Archive for May, 2019

There are several tools for compressing and decompressing files in Linux, you can get a summary of these tools in this link. Zip is one of the utilities used for packaging, compressing (archive) and decompressing files.


  • Ubuntu
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install zip unzip
  • RedHat or CentOS
sudo yum install unzip

Compress files

Compress files in a directory named tutorial –

$ zip -r tutorial/
   adding: tutorial/ (stored 0%)
   adding: tutorial/host.conf (deflated 13%)
   adding: tutorial/hostname (stored 0%)
   adding: tutorial/hosts.deny (deflated 44%)
   adding: tutorial/hosts (deflated 35%)
   adding: tutorial/hosts.allow (deflated 42%)
   adding: tutorial/ (deflated 52%)

View contents of zip files, without uncompressing –

$ zip -sf tutorial
 Archive contains:
 Total 7 entries (2487 bytes)

Unzip or decompress

To decompress a zipped file, use the unzip command –

 $ unzip
   creating: tutorial/
  inflating: tutorial/host.conf
 extracting: tutorial/hostname
  inflating: tutorial/hosts.deny
  inflating: tutorial/hosts
  inflating: tutorial/hosts.allow
  inflating: tutorial/

Search and compress

You can also combine find and zip command to search for certain types of files and compress those files in one command –

 $ find . -type f -name '*.conf' -print | zip confi-files -@
  adding: host.conf (deflated 13%)
  adding: colord.conf (deflated 50%)
  adding: ntp.conf (deflated 56%)

$ zip -sf confi-files
Archive contains:
Total 3 entries (1858 bytes)
References -

Contents of most text files change during the life of the file , and it is common to find yourself trying to search and replace certain text across multiple files. In Linux, this is a fairly easy task. Let us go through some of the commands you will need to perform this task and then finally construct a single liner to do the job.

  • grep is your best friend when it comes to finding a string in a file. In this case we are looking for the string “REPLACEME” in current directory and across multiple files –
$ grep -r REPLACEME *
host.conf:# The "REPLACEME" line is only used by old versions of the C library.
host.conf:order hosts,REPLACEME,bind
hosts.deny:ALL: REPLACEME

If we are interested only in the files which contains this particular text –

$ grep -lr REPLACEME *
  • sed is a tool of choice for inline editing of files –
$ cat data 
This text will be replaced - REPLACEME
$ sed -i 's/REPLACEME/NEWTEXT/g' data 
$ cat data 
This text will be replaced - NEWTEXT

From here, there are multiple ways to skin the cat – we can loop through the files and do the replacement or we can let the commands do the replacement with a wildcard.

For loop style update -

$ for f in $(grep -lr REPLACEME *); do echo "*** File: ${f} ***" ; sed -i 's/REPLACEME/NEWTEXT/g' $f; done
*** File: host.conf ***
*** File: hostname ***
*** File: hosts.deny ***

$ grep -lr REPLACEME *

$ grep -lr NEWTEXT *

Actually the above for loop is redundant, sed can make changes across multiple files –

 sed -i 's/REPLACEME/NEWTEXT/g' *