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

Ryan Frankel has been a professional in the tech industry for more than 10 years and has been developing websites for more than 15. With his background in integrated circuit design and digital signal processing, he has a fundamental understanding of hardware systems and the software that runs them. Ryan now sits as the CTO of Digital Brands Inc. and manages all of the server infrastructure of their websites, as well as their development team. In addition, Ryan has a passion for guitars, good coffee, and puppies.