zip Man page

ZIP(1) General Commands Manual ZIP(1)


zip – package and compress (archive) files


zip [-aABcdDeEfFghjklLmoqrRSTuvVwXyz!@$] [–longoption …] [-b path] [-n suffixes] [-t date] [-tt date] [zipfile [file …]] [-xi list]

zipcloak (see separate man page)

zipnote (see separate man page)

zipsplit (see separate man page)

Note: Command line processing in zip has been changed to support long
options and handle all options and arguments more consistently. Some
old command lines that depend on command line inconsistencies may no
longer work.


zip is a compression and file packaging utility for Unix, VMS, MSDOS,
OS/2, Windows 9x/NT/XP, Minix, Atari, Macintosh, Amiga, and Acorn RISC
OS. It is analogous to a combination of the Unix commands tar(1) and
compress(1) and is compatible with PKZIP (Phil Katz’s ZIP for MSDOS

A companion program (unzip(1)) unpacks zip archives. The zip and
unzip(1) programs can work with archives produced by PKZIP (supporting
most PKZIP features up to PKZIP version 4.6), and PKZIP and PKUNZIP can
work with archives produced by zip (with some exceptions, notably
streamed archives, but recent changes in the zip file standard may
facilitate better compatibility). zip version 3.0 is compatible with
PKZIP 2.04 and also supports the Zip64 extensions of PKZIP 4.5 which
allow archives as well as files to exceed the previous 2 GB limit (4 GB
in some cases). zip also now supports bzip2 compression if the bzip2
library is included when zip is compiled. Note that PKUNZIP 1.10 can‐
not extract files produced by PKZIP 2.04 or zip 3.0. You must use PKUN‐
ZIP 2.04g or unzip 5.0p1 (or later versions) to extract them.

See the EXAMPLES section at the bottom of this page for examples of
some typical uses of zip.

Large Archives and Zip64. zip automatically uses the Zip64 extensions
when files larger than 4 GB are added to an archive, an archive con‐
taining Zip64 entries is updated (if the resulting archive still needs
Zip64), the size of the archive will exceed 4 GB, or when the number of
entries in the archive will exceed about 64K. Zip64 is also used for
archives streamed from standard input as the size of such archives are
not known in advance, but the option -fz- can be used to force zip to
create PKZIP 2 compatible archives (as long as Zip64 extensions are not
needed). You must use a PKZIP 4.5 compatible unzip, such as unzip 6.0
or later, to extract files using the Zip64 extensions.

In addition, streamed archives, entries encrypted with standard encryp‐
tion, or split archives created with the pause option may not be com‐
patible with PKZIP as data descriptors are used and PKZIP at the time
of this writing does not support data descriptors (but recent changes
in the PKWare published zip standard now include some support for the
data descriptor format zip uses).

Mac OS X. Though previous Mac versions had their own zip port, zip
supports Mac OS X as part of the Unix port and most Unix features
apply. References to “MacOS” below generally refer to MacOS versions
older than OS X. Support for some Mac OS features in the Unix Mac OS X
port, such as resource forks, is expected in the next zip release.

For a brief help on zip and unzip, run each without specifying any
parameters on the command line.

The program is useful for packaging a set of files for distribution;
for archiving files; and for saving disk space by temporarily compress‐
ing unused files or directories.

The zip program puts one or more compressed files into a single zip ar‐
chive, along with information about the files (name, path, date, time
of last modification, protection, and check information to verify file
integrity). An entire directory structure can be packed into a zip ar‐
chive with a single command. Compression ratios of 2:1 to 3:1 are com‐
mon for text files. zip has one compression method (deflation) and can
also store files without compression. (If bzip2 support is added, zip
can also compress using bzip2 compression, but such entries require a
reasonably modern unzip to decompress. When bzip2 compression is
selected, it replaces deflation as the default method.) zip automati‐
cally chooses the better of the two (deflation or store or, if bzip2 is
selected, bzip2 or store) for each file to be compressed.

Command format. The basic command format is

zip options archive inpath inpath …

where archive is a new or existing zip archive and inpath is a direc‐
tory or file path optionally including wildcards. When given the name
of an existing zip archive, zip will replace identically named entries
in the zip archive (matching the relative names as stored in the ar‐
chive) or add entries for new names. For example, if exists
and contains foo/file1 and foo/file2, and the directory foo contains
the files foo/file1 and foo/file3, then:

zip -r foo

or more concisely

zip -r foo foo

will replace foo/file1 in and add foo/file3 to After
this, contains foo/file1, foo/file2, and foo/file3, with
foo/file2 unchanged from before.

So if before the zip command is executed has:

foo/file1 foo/file2

and directory foo has:

file1 file3

then will have:

foo/file1 foo/file2 foo/file3

where foo/file1 is replaced and foo/file3 is new.

-@ file lists. If a file list is specified as -@ [Not on MacOS], zip
takes the list of input files from standard input instead of from the
command line. For example,

zip -@ foo

will store the files listed one per line on stdin in

Under Unix, this option can be used to powerful effect in conjunction
with the find (1) command. For example, to archive all the C source
files in the current directory and its subdirectories:

find . -name “*.[ch]” -print | zip source -@

(note that the pattern must be quoted to keep the shell from expanding

Streaming input and output. zip will also accept a single dash (“-“)
as the zip file name, in which case it will write the zip file to stan‐
dard output, allowing the output to be piped to another program. For

zip -r – . | dd of=/dev/nrst0 obs=16k

would write the zip output directly to a tape with the specified block
size for the purpose of backing up the current directory.

zip also accepts a single dash (“-“) as the name of a file to be com‐
pressed, in which case it will read the file from standard input,
allowing zip to take input from another program. For example:

tar cf – . | zip backup –

would compress the output of the tar command for the purpose of backing
up the current directory. This generally produces better compression
than the previous example using the -r option because zip can take
advantage of redundancy between files. The backup can be restored using
the command

unzip -p backup | tar xf –

When no zip file name is given and stdout is not a terminal, zip acts
as a filter, compressing standard input to standard output. For exam‐

tar cf – . | zip | dd of=/dev/nrst0 obs=16k

is equivalent to

tar cf – . | zip – – | dd of=/dev/nrst0 obs=16k

zip archives created in this manner can be extracted with the program
funzip which is provided in the unzip package, or by gunzip which is
provided in the gzip package (but some gunzip may not support this if
zip used the Zip64 extensions). For example:

dd if=/dev/nrst0 ibs=16k | funzip | tar xvf –

The stream can also be saved to a file and unzip used.

If Zip64 support for large files and archives is enabled and zip is
used as a filter, zip creates a Zip64 archive that requires a PKZIP 4.5
or later compatible unzip to read it. This is to avoid amgibuities in
the zip file structure as defined in the current zip standard (PKWARE
AppNote) where the decision to use Zip64 needs to be made before data
is written for the entry, but for a stream the size of the data is not
known at that point. If the data is known to be smaller than 4 GB, the
option -fz- can be used to prevent use of Zip64, but zip will exit with
an error if Zip64 was in fact needed. zip 3 and unzip 6 and later can
read archives with Zip64 entries. Also, zip removes the Zip64 exten‐
sions if not needed when archive entries are copied (see the -U
(–copy) option).

When directing the output to another file, note that all options should
be before the redirection including -x. For example:

zip archive “*.h” “*.c” -x donotinclude.h orthis.h > tofile

Zip files. When changing an existing zip archive, zip will write a
temporary file with the new contents, and only replace the old one when
the process of creating the new version has been completed without

If the name of the zip archive does not contain an extension, the
extension .zip is added. If the name already contains an extension
other than .zip, the existing extension is kept unchanged. However,
split archives (archives split over multiple files) require the .zip
extension on the last split.

Scanning and reading files. When zip starts, it scans for files to
process (if needed). If this scan takes longer than about 5 seconds,
zip will display a “Scanning files” message and start displaying
progress dots every 2 seconds or every so many entries processed,
whichever takes longer. If there is more than 2 seconds between dots
it could indicate that finding each file is taking time and could mean
a slow network connection for example. (Actually the initial file scan
is a two-step process where the directory scan is followed by a sort
and these two steps are separated with a space in the dots. If updat‐
ing an existing archive, a space also appears between the existing file
scan and the new file scan.) The scanning files dots are not con‐
trolled by the -ds dot size option, but the dots are turned off by the
-q quiet option. The -sf show files option can be used to scan for
files and get the list of files scanned without actually processing

If zip is not able to read a file, it issues a warning but continues.
See the -MM option below for more on how zip handles patterns that are
not matched and files that are not readable. If some files were
skipped, a warning is issued at the end of the zip operation noting how
many files were read and how many skipped.

Command modes. zip now supports two distinct types of command modes,
external and internal. The external modes (add, update, and freshen)
read files from the file system (as well as from an existing archive)
while the internal modes (delete and copy) operate exclusively on
entries in an existing archive.

Update existing entries and add new files. If the archive does
not exist create it. This is the default mode.

update (-u)
Update existing entries if newer on the file system and add new
files. If the archive does not exist issue warning then create
a new archive.

freshen (-f)
Update existing entries of an archive if newer on the file sys‐
tem. Does not add new files to the archive.

delete (-d)
Select entries in an existing archive and delete them.

copy (-U)
Select entries in an existing archive and copy them to a new ar‐
chive. This new mode is similar to update but command line pat‐
terns select entries in the existing archive rather than files
from the file system and it uses the –out option to write the
resulting archive to a new file rather than update the existing
archive, leaving the original archive unchanged.

The new File Sync option (-FS) is also considered a new mode, though it
is similar to update. This mode synchronizes the archive with the
files on the OS, only replacing files in the archive if the file time
or size of the OS file is different, adding new files, and deleting
entries from the archive where there is no matching file. As this mode
can delete entries from the archive, consider making a backup copy of
the archive.

Also see -DF for creating difference archives.

See each option description below for details and the EXAMPLES section
below for examples.

Split archives. zip version 3.0 and later can create split archives.
A split archive is a standard zip archive split over multiple files.
(Note that split archives are not just archives split in to pieces, as
the offsets of entries are now based on the start of each split. Con‐
catenating the pieces together will invalidate these offsets, but unzip
can usually deal with it. zip will usually refuse to process such a
spliced archive unless the -FF fix option is used to fix the offsets.)

One use of split archives is storing a large archive on multiple remov‐
able media. For a split archive with 20 split files the files are typ‐
ically named (replace ARCHIVE with the name of your archive) AR‐
CHIVE.z01, ARCHIVE.z02, …, ARCHIVE.z19, Note that the
last file is the .zip file. In contrast, spanned archives are the
original multi-disk archive generally requiring floppy disks and using
volume labels to store disk numbers. zip supports split archives but
not spanned archives, though a procedure exists for converting split
archives of the right size to spanned archives. The reverse is also
true, where each file of a spanned archive can be copied in order to
files with the above names to create a split archive.

Use -s to set the split size and create a split archive. The size is
given as a number followed optionally by one of k (kB), m (MB), g (GB),
or t (TB) (the default is m). The -sp option can be used to pause zip
between splits to allow changing removable media, for example, but read
the descriptions and warnings for both -s and -sp below.

Though zip does not update split archives, zip provides the new option
-O (–output-file or –out) to allow split archives to be updated and
saved in a new archive. For example,

zip foo.c bar.c –out

reads archive, even if split, adds the files foo.c and
bar.c, and writes the resulting archive to If inar‐ is split then defaults to the same split size.
Be aware that if and any split files that are created
with it already exist, these are always overwritten as needed without
warning. This may be changed in the future.

Unicode. Though the zip standard requires storing paths in an archive
using a specific character set, in practice zips have stored paths in
archives in whatever the local character set is. This creates problems
when an archive is created or updated on a system using one character
set and then extracted on another system using a different character
set. When compiled with Unicode support enabled on platforms that sup‐
port wide characters, zip now stores, in addition to the standard local
path for backward compatibility, the UTF-8 translation of the path.
This provides a common universal character set for storing paths that
allows these paths to be fully extracted on other systems that support
Unicode and to match as close as possible on systems that don’t.

On Win32 systems where paths are internally stored as Unicode but rep‐
resented in the local character set, it’s possible that some paths will
be skipped during a local character set directory scan. zip with Uni‐
code support now can read and store these paths. Note that Win 9x sys‐
tems and FAT file systems don’t fully support Unicode.

Be aware that console windows on Win32 and Unix, for example, sometimes
don’t accurately show all characters due to how each operating system
switches in character sets for display. However, directory navigation
tools should show the correct paths if the needed fonts are loaded.

Command line format. This version of zip has updated command line pro‐
cessing and support for long options.

Short options take the form

-s[-][s[-]…][value][=value][ value]

where s is a one or two character short option. A short option that
takes a value is last in an argument and anything after it is taken as
the value. If the option can be negated and “-” immediately follows
the option, the option is negated. Short options can also be given as
separate arguments

-s[-][value][=value][ value] -s[-][value][=value][ value] …

Short options in general take values either as part of the same argu‐
ment or as the following argument. An optional = is also supported.





-tt mmddyyyy

all work. The -x and -i options accept lists of values and use a
slightly different format described below. See the -x and -i options.

Long options take the form

–longoption[-][=value][ value]

where the option starts with –, has a multicharacter name, can include
a trailing dash to negate the option (if the option supports it), and
can have a value (option argument) specified by preceding it with = (no
spaces). Values can also follow the argument. So



–before-date mmddyyyy

both work.

Long option names can be shortened to the shortest unique abbreviation.
See the option descriptions below for which support long options. To
avoid confusion, avoid abbreviating a negatable option with an embedded
dash (“-“) at the dash if you plan to negate it (the parser would con‐
sider a trailing dash, such as for the option –some-option using
–some- as the option, as part of the name rather than a negating
dash). This may be changed to force the last dash in –some- to be
negating in the future.


[Systems using EBCDIC] Translate file to ASCII format.

Adjust self-extracting executable archive. A self-extracting
executable archive is created by prepending the SFX stub to an
existing archive. The -A option tells zip to adjust the entry
offsets stored in the archive to take into account this “pream‐
ble” data.

Note: self-extracting archives for the Amiga are a special case. At
present, only the Amiga port of zip is capable of adjusting or updating
these without corrupting them. -J can be used to remove the SFX stub if
other updates need to be made.

[WIN32] Once archive is created (and tested if -T is used,
which is recommended), clear the archive bits of files pro‐
cessed. WARNING: Once the bits are cleared they are cleared.
You may want to use the -sf show files option to store the list
of files processed in case the archive operation must be
repeated. Also consider using the -MM must match option. Be
sure to check out -DF as a possibly better way to do incremental

[WIN32] Only include files that have the archive bit set.
Directories are not stored when -AS is used, though by default
the paths of entries, including directories, are stored as usual
and can be used by most unzips to recreate directories.

The archive bit is set by the operating system when a file is
modified and, if used with -AC, -AS can provide an incremental
backup capability. However, other applications can modify the
archive bit and it may not be a reliable indicator of which
files have changed since the last archive operation. Alterna‐
tive ways to create incremental backups are using -t to use file
dates, though this won’t catch old files copied to directories
being archived, and -DF to create a differential archive.

[VM/CMS and MVS] force file to be read binary (default is text).

-Bn [TANDEM] set Edit/Enscribe formatting options with n defined as
bit 0: Don’t add delimiter (Edit/Enscribe)
bit 1: Use LF rather than CR/LF as delimiter (Edit/Enscribe)
bit 2: Space fill record to maximum record length (Enscribe)
bit 3: Trim trailing space (Enscribe)
bit 8: Force 30K (Expand) large read for unstructured files

-b path
–temp-path path
Use the specified path for the temporary zip archive. For exam‐

zip -b /tmp stuff *

will put the temporary zip archive in the directory /tmp, copy‐
ing over to the current directory when done. This
option is useful when updating an existing archive and the file
system containing this old archive does not have enough space to
hold both old and new archives at the same time. It may also be
useful when streaming in some cases to avoid the need for data
descriptors. Note that using this option may require zip take
additional time to copy the archive file when done to the desti‐
nation file system.

Add one-line comments for each file. File operations (adding,
updating) are done first, and the user is then prompted for a
one-line comment for each file. Enter the comment followed by
return, or just return for no comment.

[VMS] Preserve case all on VMS. Negating this option (-C-)

[VMS] Preserve case ODS2 on VMS. Negating this option (-C2-)

[VMS] Preserve case ODS5 on VMS. Negating this option (-C5-)

Remove (delete) entries from a zip archive. For example:

zip -d foo foo/tom/junk foo/harry/\* \*.o

will remove the entry foo/tom/junk, all of the files that start
with foo/harry/, and all of the files that end with .o (in any
path). Note that shell pathname expansion has been inhibited
with backslashes, so that zip can see the asterisks, enabling
zip to match on the contents of the zip archive instead of the
contents of the current directory. (The backslashes are not
used on MSDOS-based platforms.) Can also use quotes to escape
the asterisks as in

zip -d foo foo/tom/junk “foo/harry/*” “*.o”

Not escaping the asterisks on a system where the shell expands
wildcards could result in the asterisks being converted to a
list of files in the current directory and that list used to
delete entries from the archive.

Under MSDOS, -d is case sensitive when it matches names in the
zip archive. This requires that file names be entered in upper
case if they were zipped by PKZIP on an MSDOS system. (We con‐
sidered making this case insensitive on systems where paths were
case insensitive, but it is possible the archive came from a
system where case does matter and the archive could include both
Bar and bar as separate files in the archive.) But see the new
option -ic to ignore case in the archive.

Display running byte counts showing the bytes zipped and the
bytes to go.

Display running count of entries zipped and entries to go.

Display dots while each entry is zipped (except on ports that
have their own progress indicator). See -ds below for setting
dot size. The default is a dot every 10 MB of input file pro‐
cessed. The -v option also displays dots (previously at a much
higher rate than this but now -v also defaults to 10 MB) and
this rate is also controlled by -ds.

[MacOS] Include only data-fork of files zipped into the archive.
Good for exporting files to foreign operating-systems.
Resource-forks will be ignored at all.

Display progress dots for the archive instead of for each file.
The command

zip -qdgds 10m

will turn off most output except dots every 10 MB.

-ds size
–dot-size size
Set amount of input file processed for each dot displayed. See
-dd to enable displaying dots. Setting this option implies -dd.
Size is in the format nm where n is a number and m is a multi‐
plier. Currently m can be k (KB), m (MB), g (GB), or t (TB), so
if n is 100 and m is k, size would be 100k which is 100 KB. The
default is 10 MB.

The -v option also displays dots and now defaults to 10 MB also.
This rate is also controlled by this option. A size of 0 turns
dots off.

This option does not control the dots from the “Scanning files”
message as zip scans for input files. The dot size for that is
fixed at 2 seconds or a fixed number of entries, whichever is

Display the uncompressed size of each entry.

Display the volume (disk) number each entry is being read from,
if reading an existing archive, and being written to.

Do not create entries in the zip archive for directories.
Directory entries are created by default so that their
attributes can be saved in the zip archive. The environment
variable ZIPOPT can be used to change the default options. For
example under Unix with sh:

ZIPOPT=”-D”; export ZIPOPT

(The variable ZIPOPT can be used for any option, including -i
and -x using a new option format detailed below, and can include
several options.) The option -D is a shorthand for -x “*/” but
the latter previously could not be set as default in the ZIPOPT
environment variable as the contents of ZIPOPT gets inserted
near the beginning of the command line and the file list had to
end at the end of the line.

This version of zip does allow -x and -i options in ZIPOPT if
the form

-x file file … @

is used, where the @ (an argument that is just @) terminates the

Create an archive that contains all new and changed files since
the original archive was created. For this to work, the input
file list and current directory must be the same as during the
original zip operation.

For example, if the existing archive was created using

zip -r foofull .

from the bar directory, then the command

zip -r foofull . -DF –out foonew

also from the bar directory creates the archive foonew with just
the files not in foofull and the files where the size or file
time of the files do not match those in foofull.

Note that the timezone environment variable TZ should be set
according to the local timezone in order for this option to work
correctly. A change in timezone since the original archive was
created could result in no times matching and all files being

A possible approach to backing up a directory might be to create
a normal archive of the contents of the directory as a full
backup, then use this option to create incremental backups.

Encrypt the contents of the zip archive using a password which
is entered on the terminal in response to a prompt (this will
not be echoed; if standard error is not a tty, zip will exit
with an error). The password prompt is repeated to save the
user from typing errors.

[OS/2] Use the .LONGNAME Extended Attribute (if found) as file‐

Replace (freshen) an existing entry in the zip archive only if
it has been modified more recently than the version already in
the zip archive; unlike the update option (-u) this will not add
files that are not already in the zip archive. For example:

zip -f foo

This command should be run from the same directory from which
the original zip command was run, since paths stored in zip ar‐
chives are always relative.

Note that the timezone environment variable TZ should be set
according to the local timezone in order for the -f, -u and -o
options to work correctly.

The reasons behind this are somewhat subtle but have to do with
the differences between the Unix-format file times (always in
GMT) and most of the other operating systems (always local time)
and the necessity to compare the two. A typical TZ value is
“MET-1MEST” (Middle European time with automatic adjustment
for “summertime” or Daylight Savings Time).

The format is TTThhDDD, where TTT is the time zone such as MET,
hh is the difference between GMT and local time such as -1
above, and DDD is the time zone when daylight savings time is in
effect. Leave off the DDD if there is no daylight savings time.
For the US Eastern time zone EST5EDT.

Fix the zip archive. The -F option can be used if some portions
of the archive are missing, but requires a reasonably intact
central directory. The input archive is scanned as usual, but
zip will ignore some problems. The resulting archive should be
valid, but any inconsistent entries will be left out.

When doubled as in -FF, the archive is scanned from the begin‐
ning and zip scans for special signatures to identify the limits
between the archive members. The single -F is more reliable if
the archive is not too much damaged, so try this option first.

If the archive is too damaged or the end has been truncated, you
must use -FF. This is a change from zip 2.32, where the -F
option is able to read a truncated archive. The -F option now
more reliably fixes archives with minor damage and the -FF
option is needed to fix archives where -F might have been suffi‐
cient before.

Neither option will recover archives that have been incorrectly
transferred in ascii mode instead of binary. After the repair,
the -t option of unzip may show that some files have a bad CRC.
Such files cannot be recovered; you can remove them from the ar‐
chive using the -d option of zip.

Note that -FF may have trouble fixing archives that include an
embedded zip archive that was stored (without compression) in
the archive and, depending on the damage, it may find the
entries in the embedded archive rather than the archive itself.
Try -F first as it does not have this problem.

The format of the fix commands have changed. For example, to
fix the damaged archive,

zip -F foo –out foofix

tries to read the entries normally, copying good entries to the
new archive If this doesn’t work, as when the ar‐
chive is truncated, or if some entries you know are in the ar‐
chive are missed, then try

zip -FF foo –out foofixfix

and compare the resulting archive to the archive created by -F.
The -FF option may create an inconsistent archive. Depending on
what is damaged, you can then use the -F option to fix that ar‐

A split archive with missing split files can be fixed using -F
if you have the last split of the archive (the .zip file). If
this file is missing, you must use -FF to fix the archive, which
will prompt you for the splits you have.

Currently the fix options can’t recover entries that have a bad
checksum or are otherwise damaged.

–fifo [Unix] Normally zip skips reading any FIFOs (named pipes)
encountered, as zip can hang if the FIFO is not being fed. This
option tells zip to read the contents of any FIFO it finds.

Synchronize the contents of an archive with the files on the OS.
Normally when an archive is updated, new files are added and
changed files are updated but files that no longer exist on the
OS are not deleted from the archive. This option enables a new
mode that checks entries in the archive against the file system.
If the file time and file size of the entry matches that of the
OS file, the entry is copied from the old archive instead of
being read from the file system and compressed. If the OS file
has changed, the entry is read and compressed as usual. If the
entry in the archive does not match a file on the OS, the entry
is deleted. Enabling this option should create archives that
are the same as new archives, but since existing entries are
copied instead of compressed, updating an existing archive with
-FS can be much faster than creating a new archive. Also con‐
sider using -u for updating an archive.

For this option to work, the archive should be updated from the
same directory it was created in so the relative paths match.
If few files are being copied from the old archive, it may be
faster to create a new archive instead.

Note that the timezone environment variable TZ should be set
according to the local timezone in order for this option to work
correctly. A change in timezone since the original archive was
created could result in no times matching and recompression of
all files.

This option deletes files from the archive. If you need to pre‐
serve the original archive, make a copy of the archive first or
use the –out option to output the updated archive to a new
file. Even though it may be slower, creating a new archive with
a new archive name is safer, avoids mismatches between archive
and OS paths, and is preferred.

Grow (append to) the specified zip archive, instead of creating
a new one. If this operation fails, zip attempts to restore the
archive to its original state. If the restoration fails, the ar‐
chive might become corrupted. This option is ignored when
there’s no existing archive or when at least one archive member
must be updated or deleted.

Display the zip help information (this also appears if zip is
run with no arguments).

Display extended help including more on command line format,
pattern matching, and more obscure options.

-i files
–include files
Include only the specified files, as in:

zip -r foo . -i \*.c

which will include only the files that end in .c in the current
directory and its subdirectories. (Note for PKZIP users: the
equivalent command is

pkzip -rP foo *.c

PKZIP does not allow recursion in directories other than the
current one.) The backslash avoids the shell filename substitu‐
tion, so that the name matching is performed by zip at all
directory levels. [This is for Unix and other systems where \
escapes the next character. For other systems where the shell
does not process * do not use \ and the above is

zip -r foo . -i *.c

Examples are for Unix unless otherwise specified.] So to
include dir, a directory directly under the current directory,

zip -r foo . -i dir/\*


zip -r foo . -i “dir/*”

to match paths such as dir/a and dir/b/file.c [on ports without
wildcard expansion in the shell such as MSDOS and Windows

zip -r foo . -i dir/*

is used.] Note that currently the trailing / is needed for
directories (as in

zip -r foo . -i dir/

to include directory dir).

The long option form of the first example is

zip -r foo . –include \*.c

and does the same thing as the short option form.

Though the command syntax used to require -i at the end of the
command line, this version actually allows -i (or –include)
anywhere. The list of files terminates at the next argument
starting with -, the end of the command line, or the list termi‐
nator @ (an argument that is just @). So the above can be given

zip -i \*.c @ -r foo .

for example. There must be a space between the option and the
first file of a list. For just one file you can use the single
value form

zip -i\*.c -r foo .

(no space between option and value) or

zip –include=\*.c -r foo .

as additional examples. The single value forms are not recom‐
mended because they can be confusing and, in particular, the
-ifile format can cause problems if the first letter of file
combines with i to form a two-letter option starting with i.
Use -sc to see how your command line will be parsed.

Also possible:

zip -r foo . -i@include.lst

which will only include the files in the current directory and
its subdirectories that match the patterns in the file

Files to -i and -x are patterns matching internal archive paths.
See -R for more on patterns.

[Acorn RISC OS] Don’t scan through Image files. When used, zip
will not consider Image files (eg. DOS partitions or Spark ar‐
chives when SparkFS is loaded) as directories but will store
them as single files.

For example, if you have SparkFS loaded, zipping a Spark archive
will result in a zipfile containing a directory (and its con‐
tent) while using the ‘I’ option will result in a zipfile con‐
taining a Spark archive. Obviously this second case will also be
obtained (without the ‘I’ option) if SparkFS isn’t loaded.

[VMS, WIN32] Ignore case when matching archive entries. This
option is only available on systems where the case of files is
ignored. On systems with case-insensitive file systems, case is
normally ignored when matching files on the file system but is
not ignored for -f (freshen), -d (delete), -U (copy), and simi‐
lar modes when matching against archive entries (currently -f
ignores case on VMS) because archive entries can be from systems
where case does matter and names that are the same except for
case can exist in an archive. The -ic option makes all matching
case insensitive. This can result in multiple archive entries
matching a command line pattern.

Store just the name of a saved file (junk the path), and do not
store directory names. By default, zip will store the full path
(relative to the current directory).

[MacOS] record Fullpath (+ Volname). The complete path including
volume will be stored. By default the relative path will be

Strip any prepended data (e.g. a SFX stub) from the archive.

Attempt to convert the names and paths to conform to MSDOS,
store only the MSDOS attribute (just the user write attribute
from Unix), and mark the entry as made under MSDOS (even though
it was not); for compatibility with PKUNZIP under MSDOS which
cannot handle certain names such as those with two dots.

Translate the Unix end-of-line character LF into the MSDOS con‐
vention CR LF. This option should not be used on binary files.
This option can be used on Unix if the zip file is intended for
PKUNZIP under MSDOS. If the input files already contain CR LF,
this option adds an extra CR. This is to ensure that unzip -a on
Unix will get back an exact copy of the original file, to undo
the effect of zip -l. See -ll for how binary files are handled.

Append to existing logfile. Default is to overwrite.

-lf logfilepath
–logfile-path logfilepath
Open a logfile at the given path. By default any existing file
at that location is overwritten, but the -la option will result
in an existing file being opened and the new log information
appended to any existing information. Only warnings and errors
are written to the log unless the -li option is also given, then
all information messages are also written to the log.

Include information messages, such as file names being zipped,
in the log. The default is to only include the command line,
any warnings and errors, and the final status.

Translate the MSDOS end-of-line CR LF into Unix LF. This option
should not be used on binary files. This option can be used on
MSDOS if the zip file is intended for unzip under Unix. If the
file is converted and the file is later determined to be binary
a warning is issued and the file is probably corrupted. In this
release if -ll detects binary in the first buffer read from a
file, zip now issues a warning and skips line end conversion on
the file. This check seems to catch all binary files tested,
but the original check remains and if a converted file is later
determined to be binary that warning is still issued. A new
algorithm is now being used for binary detection that should
allow line end conversion of text files in UTF-8 and similar

Display the zip license.

Move the specified files into the zip archive; actually, this
deletes the target directories/files after making the specified
zip archive. If a directory becomes empty after removal of the
files, the directory is also removed. No deletions are done
until zip has created the archive without error. This is useful
for conserving disk space, but is potentially dangerous so it is
recommended to use it in combination with -T to test the archive
before removing all input files.

All input patterns must match at least one file and all input
files found must be readable. Normally when an input pattern
does not match a file the “name not matched” warning is issued
and when an input file has been found but later is missing or
not readable a missing or not readable warning is issued. In
either case zip continues creating the archive, with missing or
unreadable new files being skipped and files already in the ar‐
chive remaining unchanged. After the archive is created, if any
files were not readable zip returns the OPEN error code (18 on
most systems) instead of the normal success return (0 on most
systems). With -MM set, zip exits as soon as an input pattern
is not matched (whenever the “name not matched” warning would be
issued) or when an input file is not readable. In either case
zip exits with an OPEN error and no archive is created.

This option is useful when a known list of files is to be zipped
so any missing or unreadable files will result in an error. It
is less useful when used with wildcards, but zip will still exit
with an error if any input pattern doesn’t match at least one
file and if any matched files are unreadable. If you want to
create the archive anyway and only need to know if files were
skipped, don’t use -MM and just check the return code. Also -lf
could be useful.

-n suffixes
–suffixes suffixes
Do not attempt to compress files named with the given suffixes.
Such files are simply stored (0% compression) in the output zip
file, so that zip doesn’t waste its time trying to compress
them. The suffixes are separated by either colons or semi‐
colons. For example:

zip -rn foo foo

will copy everything from foo into, but will store any
files that end in .Z, .zip, .tiff, .gif, or .snd without trying
to compress them (image and sound files often have their own
specialized compression methods). By default, zip does not com‐
press files with extensions in the list Such files are stored directly in
the output archive. The environment variable ZIPOPT can be used
to change the default options. For example under Unix with csh:

setenv ZIPOPT “-n”

To attempt compression on all files, use:

zip -n : foo

The maximum compression option -9 also attempts compression on
all files regardless of extension.

On Acorn RISC OS systems the suffixes are actually filetypes (3
hex digit format). By default, zip does not compress files with
filetypes in the list DDC:D96:68E (i.e. Archives, CFS files and
PackDir files).

Do not perform internal wildcard processing (shell processing of
wildcards is still done by the shell unless the arguments are
escaped). Useful if a list of paths is being read and no wild‐
card substitution is desired.

[Amiga, MacOS] Save Amiga or MacOS filenotes as zipfile com‐
ments. They can be restored by using the -N option of unzip. If
-c is used also, you are prompted for comments only for those
files that do not have filenotes.

Set the “last modified” time of the zip archive to the latest
(oldest) “last modified” time found among the entries in the zip
archive. This can be used without any other operations, if
desired. For example:

zip -o foo

will change the last modified time of to the latest time
of the entries in

-O output-file
–output-file output-file
Process the archive changes as usual, but instead of updating
the existing archive, output the new archive to output-file.
Useful for updating an archive without changing the existing ar‐
chive and the input archive must be a different file than the
output archive.

This option can be used to create updated split archives. It
can also be used with -U to copy entries from an existing ar‐
chive to a new archive. See the EXAMPLES section below.

Another use is converting zip files from one split size to
another. For instance, to convert an archive with 700 MB CD
splits to one with 2 GB DVD splits, can use:

zip -s 2g –out

which uses copy mode. See -U below. Also:

zip -s 0 –out

will convert a split archive to a single-file archive.

Copy mode will convert stream entries (using data descriptors
and which should be compatible with most unzips) to normal
entries (which should be compatible with all unzips), except if
standard encryption was used. For archives with encrypted
entries, zipcloak will decrypt the entries and convert them to
normal entries.

Include relative file paths as part of the names of files stored
in the archive. This is the default. The -j option junks the
paths and just stores the names of the files.

-P password
–password password
Use password to encrypt zipfile entries (if any). THIS IS INSE‐
CURE! Many multi-user operating systems provide ways for any
user to see the current command line of any other user; even on
stand-alone systems there is always the threat of over-the-
shoulder peeking. Storing the plaintext password as part of a
command line in an automated script is even worse. Whenever
possible, use the non-echoing, interactive prompt to enter pass‐
words. (And where security is truly important, use strong
encryption such as Pretty Good Privacy instead of the relatively
weak standard encryption provided by zipfile utilities.)

Quiet mode; eliminate informational messages and comment
prompts. (Useful, for example, in shell scripts and background

–Q-flag n
[QDOS] store information about the file in the file header with
n defined as
bit 0: Don’t add headers for any file
bit 1: Add headers for all files
bit 2: Don’t wait for interactive key press on exit

Travel the directory structure recursively; for example:

zip -r foo

or more concisely

zip -r foo foo

In this case, all the files and directories in foo are saved in
a zip archive named, including files with names starting
with “.”, since the recursion does not use the shell’s file-name
substitution mechanism. If you wish to include only a specific
subset of the files in directory foo and its subdirectories, use
the -i option to specify the pattern of files to be included.
You should not use -r with the name “.*”, since that matches
“..” which will attempt to zip up the parent directory (proba‐
bly not what was intended).

Multiple source directories are allowed as in

zip -r foo foo1 foo2

which first zips up foo1 and then foo2, going down each direc‐

Note that while wildcards to -r are typically resolved while
recursing down directories in the file system, any -R, -x, and
-i wildcards are applied to internal archive pathnames once the
directories are scanned. To have wildcards apply to files in
subdirectories when recursing on Unix and similar systems where
the shell does wildcard substitution, either escape all wild‐
cards or put all arguments with wildcards in quotes. This lets
zip see the wildcards and match files in subdirectories using
them as it recurses.

Travel the directory structure recursively starting at the cur‐
rent directory; for example:

zip -R foo “*.c”

In this case, all the files matching *.c in the tree starting at
the current directory are stored into a zip archive named Note that *.c will match file.c, a/file.c and a/b/.c.
More than one pattern can be listed as separate arguments. Note
for PKZIP users: the equivalent command is

pkzip -rP foo *.c

Patterns are relative file paths as they appear in the archive,
or will after zipping, and can have optional wildcards in them.
For example, given the current directory is foo and under it are
directories foo1 and foo2 and in foo1 is the file bar.c,

zip -R foo/*

will zip up foo, foo/foo1, foo/foo1/bar.c, and foo/foo2.

zip -R */bar.c

will zip up foo/foo1/bar.c. See the note for -r on escaping

[WIN32] Before zip 3.0, regular expression list matching was
enabled by default on Windows platforms. Because of confusion
resulting from the need to escape “[” and “]” in names, it is
now off by default for Windows so “[” and “]” are just normal
characters in names. This option enables [] matching again.

-s splitsize
–split-size splitsize
Enable creating a split archive and set the split size. A split
archive is an archive that could be split over many files. As
the archive is created, if the size of the archive reaches the
specified split size, that split is closed and the next split
opened. In general all splits but the last will be the split
size and the last will be whatever is left. If the entire ar‐
chive is smaller than the split size a single-file archive is

Split archives are stored in numbered files. For example, if
the output archive is named archive and three splits are
required, the resulting archive will be in the three files ar‐
chive.z01, archive.z02, and Do not change the num‐
bering of these files or the archive will not be readable as
these are used to determine the order the splits are read.

Split size is a number optionally followed by a multiplier.
Currently the number must be an integer. The multiplier can
currently be one of k (kilobytes), m (megabytes), g (gigabytes),
or t (terabytes). As 64k is the minimum split size, numbers
without multipliers default to megabytes. For example, to cre‐
ate a split archive called foo with the contents of the bar
directory with splits of 670 MB that might be useful for burning
on CDs, the command:

zip -s 670m -r foo bar

could be used.

Currently the old splits of a split archive are not excluded
from a new archive, but they can be specifically excluded. If
possible, keep the input and output archives out of the path
being zipped when creating split archives.

Using -s without -sp as above creates all the splits where foo
is being written, in this case the current directory. This
split mode updates the splits as the archive is being created,
requiring all splits to remain writable, but creates split ar‐
chives that are readable by any unzip that supports split ar‐
chives. See -sp below for enabling split pause mode which
allows splits to be written directly to removable media.

The option -sv can be used to enable verbose splitting and pro‐
vide details of how the splitting is being done. The -sb option
can be used to ring the bell when zip pauses for the next split

Split archives cannot be updated, but see the -O (–out) option
for how a split archive can be updated as it is copied to a new
archive. A split archive can also be converted into a single-
file archive using a split size of 0 or negating the -s option:

zip -s 0 –out

Also see -U (–copy) for more on using copy mode.

If splitting and using split pause mode, ring the bell when zip
pauses for each split destination.

Show the command line starting zip as processed and exit. The
new command parser permutes the arguments, putting all options
and any values associated with them before any non-option argu‐
ments. This allows an option to appear anywhere in the command
line as long as any values that go with the option go with it.
This option displays the command line as zip sees it, including
any arguments from the environment such as from the ZIPOPT vari‐
able. Where allowed, options later in the command line can
override options earlier in the command line.

Show the files that would be operated on, then exit. For
instance, if creating a new archive, this will list the files
that would be added. If the option is negated, -sf-, output
only to an open log file. Screen display is not recommended for
large lists.

Show all available options supported by zip as compiled on the
current system. As this command reads the option table, it
should include all options. Each line includes the short option
(if defined), the long option (if defined), the format of any
value that goes with the option, if the option can be negated,
and a small description. The value format can be no value,
required value, optional value, single character value, number
value, or a list of values. The output of this option is not
intended to show how to use any option but only show what
options are available.

If splitting is enabled with -s, enable split pause mode. This
creates split archives as -s does, but stream writing is used so
each split can be closed as soon as it is written and zip will
pause between each split to allow changing split destination or

Though this split mode allows writing splits directly to remov‐
able media, it uses stream archive format that may not be read‐
able by some unzips. Before relying on splits created with -sp,
test a split archive with the unzip you will be using.

To convert a stream split archive (created with -sp) to a stan‐
dard archive see the –out option.

As -sf, but also show Unicode version of the path if exists.

As -sf, but only show Unicode version of the path if exists,
otherwise show the standard version of the path.

Enable various verbose messages while splitting, showing how the
splitting is being done.

[MSDOS, OS/2, WIN32 and ATARI] Include system and hidden files.
[MacOS] Includes finder invisible files, which are ignored oth‐

-t mmddyyyy
–from-date mmddyyyy
Do not operate on files modified prior to the specified date,
where mm is the month (00-12), dd is the day of the month
(01-31), and yyyy is the year. The ISO 8601 date format
yyyy-mm-dd is also accepted. For example:

zip -rt 12071991 infamy foo

zip -rt 1991-12-07 infamy foo

will add all the files in foo and its subdirectories that were
last modified on or after 7 December 1991, to the zip archive

-tt mmddyyyy
–before-date mmddyyyy
Do not operate on files modified after or at the specified date,
where mm is the month (00-12), dd is the day of the month
(01-31), and yyyy is the year. The ISO 8601 date format
yyyy-mm-dd is also accepted. For example:

zip -rtt 11301995 infamy foo

zip -rtt 1995-11-30 infamy foo

will add all the files in foo and its subdirectories that were
last modified before 30 November 1995, to the zip archive

Test the integrity of the new zip file. If the check fails, the
old zip file is unchanged and (with the -m option) no input
files are removed.

-TT cmd
–unzip-command cmd
Use command cmd instead of ‘unzip -tqq’ to test an archive when
the -T option is used. On Unix, to use a copy of unzip in the
current directory instead of the standard system unzip, could

zip archive file1 file2 -T -TT “./unzip -tqq”

In cmd, {} is replaced by the name of the temporary archive,
otherwise the name of the archive is appended to the end of the
command. The return code is checked for success (0 on Unix).

Replace (update) an existing entry in the zip archive only if it
has been modified more recently than the version already in the
zip archive. For example:

zip -u stuff *

will add any new files in the current directory, and update any
files which have been modified since the zip archive
was last created/modified (note that zip will not try to pack into itself when you do this).

Note that the -u option with no input file arguments acts like
the -f (freshen) option.

Copy entries from one archive to another. Requires the –out
option to specify a different output file than the input ar‐
chive. Copy mode is the reverse of -d delete. When delete is
being used with –out, the selected entries are deleted from the
archive and all other entries are copied to the new archive,
while copy mode selects the files to include in the new archive.
Unlike -u update, input patterns on the command line are matched
against archive entries only and not the file system files. For

zip inarchive “*.c” –copy –out outarchive

copies entries with names ending in .c from inarchive to out‐
archive. The wildcard must be escaped on some systems to pre‐
vent the shell from substituting names of files from the file
system which may have no relevance to the entries in the ar‐

If no input files appear on the command line and –out is used,
copy mode is assumed:

zip inarchive –out outarchive

This is useful for changing split size for instance. Encrypting
and decrypting entries is not yet supported using copy mode.
Use zipcloak for that.

-UN v
–unicode v
Determine what zip should do with Unicode file names. zip 3.0,
in addition to the standard file path, now includes the UTF-8
translation of the path if the entry path is not entirely 7-bit
ASCII. When an entry is missing the Unicode path, zip reverts
back to the standard file path. The problem with using the
standard path is this path is in the local character set of the
zip that created the entry, which may contain characters that
are not valid in the character set being used by the unzip.
When zip is reading an archive, if an entry also has a Unicode
path, zip now defaults to using the Unicode path to recreate the
standard path using the current local character set.

This option can be used to determine what zip should do with
this path if there is a mismatch between the stored standard
path and the stored UTF-8 path (which can happen if the standard
path was updated). In all cases, if there is a mismatch it is
assumed that the standard path is more current and zip uses
that. Values for v are

q – quit if paths do not match

w – warn, continue with standard path

i – ignore, continue with standard path

n – no Unicode, do not use Unicode paths

The default is to warn and continue.

Characters that are not valid in the current character set are
escaped as #Uxxxx and #Lxxxxxx, where x is an ASCII character
for a hex digit. The first is used if a 16-bit character number
is sufficient to represent the Unicode character and the second
if the character needs more than 16 bits to represent it’s Uni‐
code character code. Setting -UN to

e – escape

as in

zip archive -sU -UN=e

forces zip to escape all characters that are not printable 7-bit

Normally zip stores UTF-8 directly in the standard path field on
systems where UTF-8 is the current character set and stores the
UTF-8 in the new extra fields otherwise. The option

u – UTF-8

as in

zip archive dir -r -UN=UTF8

forces zip to store UTF-8 as native in the archive. Note that
storing UTF-8 directly is the default on Unix systems that sup‐
port it. This option could be useful on Windows systems where
the escaped path is too large to be a valid path and the UTF-8
version of the path is smaller, but native UTF-8 is not backward
compatible on Windows systems.

Verbose mode or print diagnostic version info.

Normally, when applied to real operations, this option enables
the display of a progress indicator during compression (see -dd
for more on dots) and requests verbose diagnostic info about
zipfile structure oddities.

However, when -v is the only command line argument a diagnostic
screen is printed instead. This should now work even if stdout
is redirected to a file, allowing easy saving of the information
for sending with bug reports to Info-ZIP. The version screen
provides the help screen header with program name, version, and
release date, some pointers to the Info-ZIP home and distribu‐
tion sites, and shows information about the target environment
(compiler type and version, OS version, compilation date and the
enabled optional features used to create the zip executable).

[VMS] Save VMS file attributes. (Files are truncated at EOF.)
When a -V archive is unpacked on a non-VMS system, some file
types (notably Stream_LF text files and pure binary files
like fixed-512) should be extracted intact. Indexed files and
file types with embedded record sizes (notably variable-length
record types) will probably be seen as corrupt elsewhere.

[VMS] Save VMS file attributes, and all allocated blocks in a
file, including any data beyond EOF. Useful for moving ill-
formed files among VMS systems. When a -VV archive is
unpacked on a non-VMS system, almost all files will appear cor‐

[VMS] Append the version number of the files to the name,
including multiple versions of files. Default is to use only
the most recent version of a specified file.

[VMS] Append the version number of the files to the name,
including multiple versions of files, using the .nnn format.
Default is to use only the most recent version of a specified

Wildcards match only at a directory level. Normally zip handles
paths as strings and given the paths



an input pattern such as


normally would match both paths, the * matching dir/file1.c and
file2.c. Note that in the first case a directory boundary (/)
was crossed in the match. With -ws no directory bounds will be
included in the match, making wildcards local to a specific
directory level. So, with -ws enabled, only the second path
would be matched.

When using -ws, use ** to match across directory boundaries as *
does normally.

-x files
–exclude files
Explicitly exclude the specified files, as in:

zip -r foo foo -x \*.o

which will include the contents of foo in while exclud‐
ing all the files that end in .o. The backslash avoids the
shell filename substitution, so that the name matching is per‐
formed by zip at all directory levels.

Also possible:

zip -r foo foo -x@exclude.lst

which will include the contents of foo in while exclud‐
ing all the files that match the patterns in the file

The long option forms of the above are

zip -r foo foo –exclude \*.o


zip -r foo foo –exclude @exclude.lst

Multiple patterns can be specified, as in:

zip -r foo foo -x \*.o \*.c

If there is no space between -x and the pattern, just one value
is assumed (no list):

zip -r foo foo -x\*.o

See -i for more on include and exclude.

Do not save extra file attributes (Extended Attributes on OS/2,
uid/gid and file times on Unix). The zip format uses extra
fields to include additional information for each entry. Some
extra fields are specific to particular systems while others are
applicable to all systems. Normally when zip reads entries from
an existing archive, it reads the extra fields it knows, strips
the rest, and adds the extra fields applicable to that system.
With -X, zip strips all old fields and only includes the Unicode
and Zip64 extra fields (currently these two extra fields cannot
be disabled).

Negating this option, -X-, includes all the default extra
fields, but also copies over any unrecognized extra fields.

For UNIX and VMS (V8.3 and later), store symbolic links as such
in the zip archive, instead of compressing and storing the file
referred to by the link. This can avoid multiple copies of
files being included in the archive as zip recurses the direc‐
tory trees and accesses files directly and by links.

Prompt for a multi-line comment for the entire zip archive. The
comment is ended by a line containing just a period, or an end
of file condition (^D on Unix, ^Z on MSDOS, OS/2, and VMS). The
comment can be taken from a file:

zip -z foo < foowhat -Z cm --compression-method cm Set the default compression method. Currently the main methods supported by zip are store and deflate. Compression method can be set to: store - Setting the compression method to store forces zip to store entries with no compression. This is generally faster than compressing entries, but results in no space savings. This is the same as using -0 (compression level zero). deflate - This is the default method for zip. If zip determines that storing is better than deflation, the entry will be stored instead. bzip2 - If bzip2 support is compiled in, this compression method also becomes available. Only some modern unzips currently sup‐ port the bzip2 compression method, so test the unzip you will be using before relying on archives using this method (compression method 12). For example, to add bar.c to archive foo using bzip2 compres‐ sion: zip -Z bzip2 foo bar.c The compression method can be abbreviated: zip -Zb foo bar.c -# (-0, -1, -2, -3, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8, -9) Regulate the speed of compression using the specified digit #, where -0 indicates no compression (store all files), -1 indi‐ cates the fastest compression speed (less compression) and -9 indicates the slowest compression speed (optimal compression, ignores the suffix list). The default compression level is -6. Though still being worked, the intention is this setting will control compression speed for all compression methods. Cur‐ rently only deflation is controlled. -! --use-privileges [WIN32] Use privileges (if granted) to obtain all aspects of WinNT security. -@ --names-stdin Take the list of input files from standard input. Only one file‐ name per line. -$ --volume-label [MSDOS, OS/2, WIN32] Include the volume label for the drive holding the first file to be compressed. If you want to include only the volume label or to force a specific drive, use the drive name as first file name, as in: zip -$ foo a: c:bar EXAMPLES The simplest example: zip stuff * creates the archive (assuming it does not exist) and puts all the files in the current directory in it, in compressed form (the .zip suffix is added automatically, unless the archive name contains a dot already; this allows the explicit specification of other suffixes). Because of the way the shell on Unix does filename substitution, files starting with "." are not included; to include these as well: zip stuff .* * Even this will not include any subdirectories from the current direc‐ tory. To zip up an entire directory, the command: zip -r foo foo creates the archive, containing all the files and directories in the directory foo that is contained within the current directory. You may want to make a zip archive that contains the files in foo, without recording the directory name, foo. You can use the -j option to leave off the paths, as in: zip -j foo foo/* If you are short on disk space, you might not have enough room to hold both the original directory and the corresponding compressed zip ar‐ chive. In this case, you can create the archive in steps using the -m option. If foo contains the subdirectories tom, dick, and harry, you can: zip -rm foo foo/tom zip -rm foo foo/dick zip -rm foo foo/harry where the first command creates, and the next two add to it. At the completion of each zip command, the last created archive is deleted, making room for the next zip command to function. Use -s to set the split size and create a split archive. The size is given as a number followed optionally by one of k (kB), m (MB), g (GB), or t (TB). The command zip -s 2g -r foo creates a split archive of the directory foo with splits no bigger than 2 GB each. If foo contained 5 GB of contents and the contents were stored in the split archive without compression (to make this example simple), this would create three splits, split.z01 at 2 GB, split.z02 at 2 GB, and at a little over 1 GB. The -sp option can be used to pause zip between splits to allow chang‐ ing removable media, for example, but read the descriptions and warn‐ ings for both -s and -sp below. Though zip does not update split archives, zip provides the new option -O (--output-file) to allow split archives to be updated and saved in a new archive. For example, zip foo.c bar.c --out reads archive, even if split, adds the files foo.c and bar.c, and writes the resulting archive to If inar‐ is split then defaults to the same split size. Be aware that and any split files that are created with it are always overwritten without warning. This may be changed in the future. PATTERN MATCHING This section applies only to Unix. Watch this space for details on MSDOS and VMS operation. However, the special wildcard characters * and [] below apply to at least MSDOS also. The Unix shells (sh, csh, bash, and others) normally do filename sub‐ stitution (also called "globbing") on command arguments. Generally the special characters are: ? match any single character * match any number of characters (including none) [] match any character in the range indicated within the brackets (example: [a-f], [0-9]). This form of wildcard matching allows a user to specify a list of characters between square brackets and if any of the characters match the expression matches. For example: zip archive "*.[hc]" would archive all files in the current directory that end in .h or .c. Ranges of characters are supported: zip archive "[a-f]*" would add to the archive all files starting with "a" through "f". Negation is also supported, where any character in that position not in the list matches. Negation is supported by adding ! or ^ to the beginning of the list: zip archive "*.[!o]" matches files that don't end in ".o". On WIN32, [] matching needs to be turned on with the -RE option to avoid the confusion that names with [ or ] have caused. When these characters are encountered (without being escaped with a backslash or quotes), the shell will look for files relative to the current path that match the pattern, and replace the argument with a list of the names that matched. The zip program can do the same matching on names that are in the zip archive being modified or, in the case of the -x (exclude) or -i (include) options, on the list of files to be operated on, by using backslashes or quotes to tell the shell not to do the name expansion. In general, when zip encounters a name in the list of files to do, it first looks for the name in the file system. If it finds it, it then adds it to the list of files to do. If it does not find it, it looks for the name in the zip archive being modified (if it exists), using the pattern matching characters described above, if present. For each match, it will add that name to the list of files to be processed, unless this name matches one given with the -x option, or does not match any name given with the -i option. The pattern matching includes the path, and so patterns like \*.o match names that end in ".o", no matter what the path prefix is. Note that the backslash must precede every special character (i.e. ?*[]), or the entire argument must be enclosed in double quotes (""). In general, use backslashes or double quotes for paths that have wild‐ cards to make zip do the pattern matching for file paths, and always for paths and strings that have spaces or wildcards for -i, -x, -R, -d, and -U and anywhere zip needs to process the wildcards. ENVIRONMENT The following environment variables are read and used by zip as described. ZIPOPT contains default options that will be used when running zip. The contents of this environment variable will get added to the command line just after the zip command. ZIP [Not on RISC OS and VMS] see ZIPOPT Zip$Options [RISC OS] see ZIPOPT Zip$Exts [RISC OS] contains extensions separated by a : that will cause native filenames with one of the specified extensions to be added to the zip file with basename and extension swapped. ZIP_OPTS [VMS] see ZIPOPT


compress(1), shar(1), tar(1), unzip(1), gzip(1)

The exit status (or error level) approximates the exit codes defined by
PKWARE and takes on the following values, except under VMS:

0 normal; no errors or warnings detected.

2 unexpected end of zip file.

3 a generic error in the zipfile format was detected. Pro‐
cessing may have completed successfully anyway; some bro‐
ken zipfiles created by other archivers have simple work-

4 zip was unable to allocate memory for one or more buffers
during program initialization.

5 a severe error in the zipfile format was detected. Pro‐
cessing probably failed immediately.

6 entry too large to be processed (such as input files
larger than 2 GB when not using Zip64 or trying to read
an existing archive that is too large) or entry too large
to be split with zipsplit

7 invalid comment format

8 zip -T failed or out of memory

9 the user aborted zip prematurely with control-C (or simi‐

10 zip encountered an error while using a temp file

11 read or seek error

12 zip has nothing to do

13 missing or empty zip file

14 error writing to a file

15 zip was unable to create a file to write to

16 bad command line parameters

18 zip could not open a specified file to read

19 zip was compiled with options not supported on this sys‐

VMS interprets standard Unix (or PC) return values as other, scarier-
looking things, so zip instead maps them into VMS-style status codes.
In general, zip sets VMS Facility = 1955 (0x07A3), Code = 2* Unix_sta‐
tus, and an appropriate Severity (as specified in ziperr.h). More
details are included in the VMS-specific documentation. See
[.vms]NOTES.TXT and [.vms]vms_msg_gen.c.


zip 3.0 is not compatible with PKUNZIP 1.10. Use zip 1.1 to produce zip
files which can be extracted by PKUNZIP 1.10.

zip files produced by zip 3.0 must not be updated by zip 1.1 or PKZIP
1.10, if they contain encrypted members or if they have been produced
in a pipe or on a non-seekable device. The old versions of zip or PKZIP
would create an archive with an incorrect format. The old versions can
list the contents of the zip file but cannot extract it anyway (because
of the new compression algorithm). If you do not use encryption and
use regular disk files, you do not have to care about this problem.

Under VMS, not all of the odd file formats are treated properly. Only
stream-LF format zip files are expected to work with zip. Others can
be converted using Rahul Dhesi’s BILF program. This version of zip
handles some of the conversion internally. When using Kermit to trans‐
fer zip files from VMS to MSDOS, type “set file type block” on VMS.
When transferring from MSDOS to VMS, type “set file type fixed” on VMS.
In both cases, type “set file type binary” on MSDOS.

Under some older VMS versions, zip may hang for file specifications
that use DECnet syntax foo::*.*.

On OS/2, zip cannot match some names, such as those including an excla‐
mation mark or a hash sign. This is a bug in OS/2 itself: the 32-bit
DosFindFirst/Next don’t find such names. Other programs such as GNU
tar are also affected by this bug.

Under OS/2, the amount of Extended Attributes displayed by DIR is (for
compatibility) the amount returned by the 16-bit version of DosQuery‐
PathInfo(). Otherwise OS/2 1.3 and 2.0 would report different EA sizes
when DIRing a file. However, the structure layout returned by the
32-bit DosQueryPathInfo() is a bit different, it uses extra padding
bytes and link pointers (it’s a linked list) to have all fields on
4-byte boundaries for portability to future RISC OS/2 versions. There‐
fore the value reported by zip (which uses this 32-bit-mode size) dif‐
fers from that reported by DIR. zip stores the 32-bit format for
portability, even the 16-bit MS-C-compiled version running on OS/2 1.3,
so even this one shows the 32-bit-mode size.

Copyright (C) 1997-2008 Info-ZIP.

Currently distributed under the Info-ZIP license.

Copyright (C) 1990-1997 Mark Adler, Richard B. Wales, Jean-loup Gailly,
Onno van der Linden, Kai Uwe Rommel, Igor Mandrichenko, John Bush and
Paul Kienitz.

Original copyright:

Permission is granted to any individual or institution to use, copy, or
redistribute this software so long as all of the original files are
included, that it is not sold for profit, and that this copyright
notice is retained.


Please send bug reports and comments using the web page at: For bug reports, please include the version of zip (see
zip -h), the make options used to compile it (see zip -v), the machine
and operating system in use, and as much additional information as pos‐

Thanks to R. P. Byrne for his Shrink.Pas program, which inspired this
project, and from which the shrink algorithm was stolen; to Phil Katz
for placing in the public domain the zip file format, compression for‐
mat, and .ZIP filename extension, and for accepting minor changes to
the file format; to Steve Burg for clarifications on the deflate for‐
mat; to Haruhiko Okumura and Leonid Broukhis for providing some useful
ideas for the compression algorithm; to Keith Petersen, Rich Wales,
Hunter Goatley and Mark Adler for providing a mailing list and ftp site
for the Info-ZIP group to use; and most importantly, to the Info-ZIP
group itself (listed in the file infozip.who) without whose tireless
testing and bug-fixing efforts a portable zip would not have been pos‐
sible. Finally we should thank (blame) the first Info-ZIP moderator,
David Kirschbaum, for getting us into this mess in the first place.
The manual page was rewritten for Unix by R. P. C. Rodgers and updated
by E. Gordon for zip 3.0.

Info-ZIP 16 June 2008 (v3.0) ZIP(1)

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