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How to Open GZ Files in Linux

GZ files are alson called as the gzip compresses files are more commonly encountered in the Linux environment for compression. These files are compressed using the gzip compression algorithm and reduced in the size to incorporate faster file transfer. Opening a GZ file in Linux involves decompression to access the contents of the file. Let me share some of the methods i know to open a GZ file in Linux, 

Method 1: Using the gzip Command

The first way to open a GZ file in Linux is by using the gzip command. Gzip command is not only used for compressing files but also for decompressing GZ files. To decompress a GZ file, use

gzip -d filename.gz

Replace “filename.gz” with the actual name of your GZ file. The -d option in the command stands for decompress. This command will create a decompressed file with same name as original file but without “.gz” extension.

Method 2: Using the gunzip Command

The gunzip command is another utility used for decompressing GZ files. It is essentially a symbolic link to the gzip command with the -d option. To use gunzip, use the following command:

gunzip filename.gz

Similar to the gzip command, this will decompress the GZ file and create an uncompressed file with the same name but without the “.gz” extension.

Method 3: Using the tar Command

GZ files are often used the same as the tar command to create compressed tarballs. To extract the contents of a GZ-compressed tarball, use the following command:

tar -xzf filename.tar.gz

In this command, the options are as follows:

-x: Extract the contents of the tarball.

-z: Use gzip compression.

-f: Specify the file to be extracted.

This command will decompress and extract the contents of the tarball into the current directory.

Method 4: Employing the zcat and zmore Commands

The zcat and zmore commands are useful for viewing the contents of compressed text files without decompressing them first. For instance, to display the contents of a compressed text file named “example.txt.gz,” use the following command:

zcat example.txt.gz

Similarly, you can use the zmore command:

zmore example.txt.gz

These commands are particularly handy when you want to quickly glance at the content of a compressed file without creating a decompressed copy.

Method 5: Utilizing the Nautilus File Manager

If you are a graphical user using GUI in Linux, such as GNOME, you can open GZ files using the Nautilus file manager. Simply navigate to the directory containing the GZ file, right-click on it, and select “Extract Here” or “Extract to” to decompress the file using the built-in archive manager.


You can use command-line utilities such as gzip, gunzip, and tar, or opt for graphical methods using file managers like Nautilus. Depending on the preference and task’s complexity, choose the method that fits your need. These tools make open  compressed files in  Linux environment a easy process.

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