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[linux-help] Re: Unzipping files with the *.gz extension

[linux-help] Re: Unzipping files with the *.gz extension

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To: <linux-help@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [linux-help] Re: Unzipping files with the *.gz extension
From: Carl D Cravens <raven@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2000 18:52:54 -0600 (CST)
Reply-to: linux-help@xxxxxxxxx

On Tue, 7 Nov 2000, Patrick Klee wrote:

>     I know how to untar *.tgz and *.tar.gz files, but I don't know how
> to untar *.gz files.  For on thing, I try to download something, but
> Netscape tries to save without the *.gz extension.  Any suggestions?

To add some more comments...

Unlike ZIP, traditional Unix utilities don't combine the file-archiving
feature with the compression feature in the same program.  ZIP packs a
bunch of files into an archive and compresses them all in one step.
Under Unix, one packs the files into an archive with one utility (tar) and
compresses them with another (gzip).  This gives you some flexibility that
ZIP doesn't have... compressing an individual file without creating an
"archive" for one.  Because gzip's default behavior is to (un)compress "in
place" (replacing the original file with the (un)compressed file), this
simplifies operations involving regularly (un)compressing data files on
the fly.  (Maybe not such a big deal now that disk space is so cheap, but
there are still times that it's handy.)

This is just another example of how Unix has traditionally broken
operations down into small bites, making a system of tools with many
applications.  (Though in this case, tar wasn't originally meant for
creating file-based archives... it was for dumping files to tape.  It
probably predates the original compress/uncompress programs that gzip is a
descendant of.)

Carl D Cravens (raven@xxxxxxxxxxx)
The modems canno' stand the strain, captain!

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