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11. The Command Line > 11.5. Zipping and Unzipping Files

Zipping and Unzipping Files

One of Windows’ most popular utilities is the compression program WinZip. This handy program lets you group a bunch of files together and compress them into one smaller file. This smaller file size means little when you consider the large hard drive capacities most computers have today, but it can be a real blessing when you want to send a lot of files, like all the pictures of your wedding, to friends and family via email. Also, you often need to unzip programs you download from the Internet before you can install them. This is true for both Windows and Linux.

Linux has long had the ability to zip and unzip files. In fact, it has several programs, both command-line and GUI, to perform these tasks. Some of them use the same compression algorithm used by WinZip, while others use a free variant. I’ll explain how to use both types of programs.


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