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How to Unzip Files on Linux?

Louie Morgan
Louie Morgan Originally published Jun 25, 23, updated Aug 14, 23
In this article


As a flexible and robust operating system, Linux provides various tools and commands to perform diverse tasks. Compressed data, like zip files, is one of the everyday tasks. Zip files are a standard archive format for compressing several files into one file. It makes data distribution and sharing easier. Now the question would come to your mind how would you unzip a ZIP file if you get it? Keeping it in mind, I have come up with an article. This article will provide simple steps to extract the contents of zip files whether you are a new or seasoned Linux user. So, are you ready to learn the steps to unzip a zip file Linux? If yes, then read on!

Part 1: Zip Files in Linux: An Overview

Zip files are the term used in Linux to describe archive files that have been compressed using the ZIP file format. One or more files or directories can be compressed using zip files as containers for quick storage or transit. They are frequently used for file distribution, backup creation, and packing.

To work with zip files, Linux users can use various tools. These tools let you handle and control zip archives by allowing you to create zip files, extract their contents, and carry out other actions.

Part 2: What is the Precondition for Linux Zip File Unzipping?

Zip files typically need the unzip utility on Linux to be opened. Many Linux distributions come with this utility preinstalled. Still, if it's not already there on your machine, you may add it with the help of your distribution's unique package management.

The steps needed to install unzip on a few well-liked Linux distributions are as follows:

1. On Debian and Ubuntu, install unzip as follows:

install unzip

2. On Fedora, CentOS, or other RHEL-based distributions, install unzip as follows:

rhel-based distributions

3. On Arch Linux-based systems, install unzip as follows:

arch linux-based system

It is now time to unzip a zip file in Linux after confirming that your system has unzip capabilities.

I will show both the command line and the GUI for you to use for this. So, keep reading this article!

Part 3: How to Unzip ZIP Files Using the Command Line

Now you know how to install Zip utility on a Linux system. So, it’s time to understand the steps to unzip the Linux Zip folder using the command line. Let’s have a look at this way!

1. Steps for Unzipping Linux Zip Folder

The ZIP file's contents are all extracted during the unzipping process. By unzipping the file to a different directory, you can change the default extraction location for these files, which is the current Directory.

Enter the following command to unzip the file Linux:

unzip the filename

The output of the program above includes a list of all the extracted files' names. Using the -q parameter, you can silence the command's output:

program output

The unzip command's output is hidden with the -q option, which correctly stands for quiet.

2. Unzip Linux ZIP Folder to a Specific Directory

To keep the current directory looking uncluttered, you can Linux extract ZIP files to a different folder. Also, this organizes the extracted files and ensures they are clear from other files already in the current Directory.

Use the command's -d option to extract files to a different Directory. A relative or absolute path can be used as the input for the -d option, which stands for Directory.

unzip the file to the directory

3. Unzip Password Protected Zip Folder

Securing ZIP files using a password to retain privacy is the usual practice. The following command can be used to unzip a ZIP archive that is password-protected:

unzip the password-protected file

where your_password is the archive's password.

Part 4: How to Unzip ZIP Files Graphically?

Without a command line, you may unzip a file using the conventional Extract technique in Linux desktop environments.

The steps to unzip a file Linux graphically are as follows:

Step 1: Double-click the archived file by opening the folder containing it.

Step 2: Click the Extract button in the window's upper left corner.

choose the extract option

Step 3: When you click the button, a dialog window will appear and ask you where you want to save the extracted file. You can choose the options- Extract All Files, Do Not Overwrite Newer Files, and Keep Directory Structure at this window. Before moving further, make the appropriate selections.

Step 4: Choose the location in the dialog box's upper right corner, then click the green Extract button.

choose the location option

This enables graphical interface-based file unzipping at any place. As per your settings, the archive manager will extract all the files to the designated directory.

Please note that the approach above may only be used if your system has an archive manager preinstalled. The default archive manager included in most Linux desktop environments may be used to extract and create ZIP files.

Part 5: How to Repair Corrupted ZIP Files?

Although Zip files are flexible, they can get damaged or corrupt for various reasons. Suppose you downloaded an important zip folder, but your PC does not let you open it. At that moment, you would hunt for a reliable ZIP repair tool to restore a corrupt file. Isn't it? So, keeping that scenario in mind, I am sharing the best Zip File Repair tool that would help you avoid wasting time hunting for the zip file repair tools.

And the best zip file repair tool is Wondershare Repairit - File Repair. You can use this zip file repair tool on your computer or Mac to repair the damaged or corrupted zip folder.

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Some Key Features of Wondershare Repairit - File Repair

  • Fix corrupted files that won't open, have an unfamiliar format or content, have had their layout modified, etc.
  • Perfectly fix corrupted files without changing the original file, with a very high success rate.
  • Compatible with Windows 11/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X 10.10–macOS 13.
  • All Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Zip, and Adobe file types are supported, as is file repair.

Steps to Repair Corrupted ZIP Files

The three steps that you need to take are as follows:

Step 1: On your PC or Mac, download and run Wondershare Repairit. After selecting File Fix from Repairit's main interface and Zip File Repair, the damaged Zip files you want to fix should be uploaded.

add corrupt file

Step 2: Repairit will fix the broken Zip files after pressing the Repair button.

repair corrupt file

Step 3: After the fixing process, you can check the Zip files by clicking the Preview option and saving the file to your local drive.

preview zip file


In this article, I have explained how to unzip a zip file Linux in multiple ways. I hope you have understood all the ways now. Moreover, if you want the best zip file repair, always choose Wondershare Repairit- File Repair.


  • 1. What is the purpose of a zip file?
    A zip file is an archive type that combines and compresses multiple files into a single file. A zip file takes up less space and uses less bandwidth to send because it is compressed.
  • 2. What does the Linux command unzip do?
    The compressed archive's content is extracted or decompressed using the Unzip command.
  • 3. How can I unzip a file manually?
    You need to follow some steps to unzip a file manually. The steps are explained below:
    • Step 1: Locate the zipped folder in File Explorer.
    • Step 2: Follow the on-screen directions after selecting Extract All from the right-click menu to unzip the whole folder.
    • Step 3: Double-click the zipped folder to open it.
    • Step 4: Then click a single file or folder to unzip it.
    • Step 5: Move the object you just copied or dragged from the zipped folder.
Louie Morgan
Louie Morgan Aug 14, 23
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