How to Unzip Files in Linux


Quick Answer

Files can be unzipped in Linux using the Terminal, or a third-party application. Unzipping is the process of opening zipped files that have been compressed for storing, uploading or downloading.

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Full Answer

There are a few steps to unzipping a file in Terminal, an application that comes with the Linux operating system and allows users to see graphic representations of file locations and type commands directly to the computer system to make changes and perform actions. When unzipping a file, one should always make sure it comes from a known and trusted source. The zipped nature of a file keeps the contents from taking up extra space on a computer, and it also protects the computer from automatically downloaded files that could be harmful. However, once the contents are unzipped and installed onto a computer, they could infect the computer with a virus, take up needed space on a hard drive or simply cause unintended consequences.

Step 1: Use the Terminal
The Linux Terminal program provides options for unzipping files, uninstalling programs, locating documents and more. If the Linux operating system has Terminal pre-installed, one can start the program by clicking the Terminal icon on the system dock. Otherwise, Terminal can be found in the settings on the Linux panel. In the operating system Ubuntu on a PC, it is easy to access the Terminal by clicking "Ctrl+Alt+T" together.

Step 2: Place the Zip File in the Root Folder
Once Terminal is open, the graphical file manager will display file locations. The zipped file can be moved to the root folder to easily unzip the file. The cut and paste functions can be used to move the zipped file from its location to the root folder. Using key shortcut "Ctrl+X" on a PC, the cut function can be used to remove the zipped file from its current folder. After moving the file to the root folder, the paste function (or pressing the keys "Ctrl" and "V") can be used to place the file in the root folder. The file manager can then be closed.

Step 3: Unzip the File
Unzipping the file involves typing a command into Terminal. Typing "unzip -j (X)" without quotes and replacing the "X" with the file name will unzip the file's contents into the current directory open. If one wants to unzip the file's contents into the current directory and any subdirectories, typing "unzip (X)" will accomplish that.

Other Options: Third-Party Programs
When using Linux, those who are hesitant to use commands, or to cut and paste files in the Terminal, can always download a third-party program to safely unzip files. These programs can be downloaded from their specific websites online. Many of these programs unzip files using Terminal commands without the user having to lift a finger. When searching for a third-party program to download onto a computer, one should always research using trusted sources and read through multiple reviews and evaluations of the program to make sure the program is safe and efficient. This way, they can protect their computers from malicious files and various types of malware and viruses.

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