How to Unzip a File in Linux/Ubuntu

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:

To unzip files or directories (, 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

What if we want to unzip our files to a different directory (named ./directory/)?

If you are unsure of the integrity of the zip file and just want to test it, you can use the -t flag.

If we wanted to just list the files in a zip file, we can use a simple command.

If you run into trouble, the unzip man page is a great resource.

Ryan Frankel

Questions or Comments? Ask Ryan!

Ask a question and Ryan will respond to you. We strive to provide the best advice on the net and we are here to help you in any way we can.