gz or bz2 are very common compression formats on Linux. How do you read a gzip or bzip2 compressed text file? Or how can you list the files in an archive without extracting it? Fortunately the packages tar, gzip and bzip2 come with a set of handy utility programs which can do these for you. In this article we will take a peek into how those utilities work.
- Modern tar doesn’t need you to indicate the archive format for extraction:
$ tar -xvf archive.tar(.gz/.bz2)
- Neither does vim! You can open an archive in vim:
$ vim archive.tar(.gz/.bz2)
- List the files in an archive:
$ tar -tvf archive.tar(.gz/.bz2)
- cat the files in an archive:
$ zcat archive.tar.gz //gzip file $ bzcat archive.tar.bz2 //bzip2 file
- Compare archives:
$ zcmp/zdiff archive.tar.gz //gzip file $ bzcmp/bzdiff archive.tar.bz2 //bzip2 file //cmp is a tool to compare files byte by byte
- grep some text:
zgrep/zegrep/zfgrep //gzip file bzgrep/bzegrep/bzfgrep //bzip2 file
- We are more or less done:
zmore, zless //gzip file bzmore, bzless //bzip2 file
So think twice before you start extracting that huge archive file next time!