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format file gz

What is a gz file and how do I open a gz file?

A GZ, or GNU Zipped Archive file is a compression utility developed by Jean-Loup Gailly and Mark Adler as a free software to replace Compress in early Unix systems. It allows for better compression and freedom from patented algorithms. GZ was adopted by the GNU Project, and is relatively popular on the Internet. GZIP produces files with a GZ extension, which can be decompressed by GUNZIP.

By default, GZIP keeps the original file name as well as the time stamp in the compressed file. These are used when decompressing the file with the option -N. This is useful when a compressed file name was truncated or when the time stamp was not preserved after the file was transferred.

A file or folder, or even a group of files and folders can be selected by a user and compressed as one GZ file. Multiple GZ files can even be compressed as one GZ file, or these GZ files can be placed by the folder that can then be compressed as a GZ file. The GZIP compression technology and the GZ compression format were developed for Linux systems, though there are certain Microsoft Windows decompression applications implemented with support for decompressing and opening these GZ files. Gzip is normally used to compress just a single file. Users of Mac platforms can also install and use some compatible Mac decompression tools to open and view the archived content of these GZ files.


In order to extract a .gz file you can use GZIP/GNUZIP program. It is a software application used for file compression. It is based on the DEFLATE algorithm, which is a combination of LZ77 and Huffman coding.

Use the following command: $ gunzip file.gz

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Detail gz file extension information:
File Type: gz
File Format: Gnu Zipped Archive
Primary Association: Compressed Files
Mime Type: application/gzip, application/gzip-compressed, application/gzipped, application/octet-stream, application/x-compress, application/x-compressed, application/x-gunzip, application/x-gzip, gzip/document, image/xcf, application/x-gzip-compressed