File compression can be accomplished in many different ways on a Linux system. The easiest way to determine which method to use to de-compress your file is to look at the extension.
If your extension is .zip, then you can use the instructions below to de-compress your files. If your extension is .tar, .tar-gz, or .gz, you can use our other how-to article.
Using the zip/unzip Method to Unzip
On Debian/Ubuntu, you can use the following commands to install zip/unzip:
sudo apt-get install zip unzip
To unzip files or directories (photos.zip), use:
Options When Unzipping Your Files
There are a few options worthy of noting with the unzip command:
Let’s say we wanted a single image1.png from our photos.zip.
unzip photos.zip image1.png
What if we want to unzip our files to a different directory (named ./directory/)?
unzip photos.zip -d ./directory/
If you are unsure of the integrity of the zip file and just want to test it, you can use the -t flag.
unzip -t photos.zip
If we wanted to just list the files in a zip file, we can use a simple command.
unzip -l photos.zip
If you run into trouble, the unzip man page is a great resource.