I accidently gzip -rv directory and now all individual files is in .gz format. How do I undo this and gunzip all .gz files within the directory?

And how do I just gzip this whole directory?

I tried gunzip directory/*.gz but only gunzip the files in directory/ it doesn't gunzip directory beyond "directory".


To unzip your files, do the following:

find /yourdirectory -name *gz | xargs gunzip

This will unzip all files with the name *.gz find can find under the directory /yourdirectory.

For gzipping a whole directory, you need a tar container, as gzip can only compress individual files:

tar czvf archive.tgz /yourdirectory

If you want the (much slower but much more effective) bzip2 compression, use the j instead the z parameter:

tar cjvf archive.tbz2 /yourdirectory

Both commands will create a compressed archive, there is no need to do an additional compression step afterwards.

  • What command do you use exactly? – Sven Mar 13 '12 at 11:05
  • sorry my bad spelling mistake. it worked! – Maca Mar 13 '12 at 11:06

This would do the trick:

gzip -d -r directory

Tar the directory first with tar -cf myarchive.tar myarchive/and compress it afterwards with gzip myarchive.tar.

You can unpack this afterwards with tar -xvf myarchive.tar.gz with newer versions of tar. With older versions you should add use -xvzf instead

  • Is there a way to undo all the .gz file? – Maca Mar 13 '12 at 10:52
  • Switch into the directory and type gunzip *. – Chris Mar 13 '12 at 10:56
  • The additional gzip step is unnecessary, and find exist. – Sven Mar 13 '12 at 10:59
  • Certainly you can add a pipe to run it in one line, however I fail to see why you would downrate my reply as it is totally correct and a valid reply to one of Macas questions. – Chris Mar 13 '12 at 11:05
  • It's for the recommendation to manually switch into the directory and do a gunzip. That's what the OP already did and wanted to avoid to do recursively. – Sven Mar 13 '12 at 11:09

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