The Unix compress command

The Unix compress command is rarely used any more, and has largely been replaced by the Unix/Linux gzip and bzip2 commands. However, on some Unix systems the compress command is still used, so for them, here are a few examples of how to use it.

Unix compress command examples

The following command will compress the file named foo.tar into a new file named foo.tar.Z:

compress foo.tar

This command compresses the file named foo.tar, and replaces it will a file named foo.tar.Z. (Very important note: Your original foo.tar file will no longer exist.)

You can also use the -v argument to get more output information during the file compression process, like this:

compress -v foo.tar

This compress command works just like the previous example, but gives more verbose output during the compression process. This is useful if you like to see the compression ratio you're getting with this utility.

Related Linux file compression commands

As mentioned above, the compress command has largely been replaced by the Unix/Linux gzip and bzip2 commands. I don't have any bzip2 command examples out here yet, as I always use the gzip command, so here are some gzip tutorials:

As you can see from the names of those tutorials, the gzip command has a lot of support with other Linux system commands.

This website is a little one-man operation. If you found this information helpful, I’d appreciate it if you would share it.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Anonymous format

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <pre>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.