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GZ, GZ Gnu Zipped Archive File (.gz)


The .gz file format

Gzip file format or extension is an application program used to compress and decompress files or data. Developed by Jean-loup Gailly and Mark Adler and first released in 1993, the software was designed to replace the compressed program used in initial Unix systems. It was developed to cater for the needs of the GNU Project. Gzip is capable of handling of a bigger size compared to those typically compressed by a zip file. Mac or Linux OS handles TGZ files much better compared to Windows which would normally require installing a special app on your PC. Gzip is a free and open source software and is contained within with most versions of Unix and Linux.


.gz technical details

Gzip is a mixture of LZ77 and Huffman coding founded on the DEFLATE algorithm. DEFLATE was developed to replace LZW algorithm whose patented status restricted the usability of compress and other popular archiving programs. Gzip features include a DEFLATE-compressed payload, a 10-byte header with a version number and a timestamp, a body with an 8-byte footer, containing a CRC-32 checksum and the length of the original uncompressed data. Compressed records are normally created by bringing together groups of files into a single tar archive, and then compressing it using gzip into the final .tar, .gz or .tgz extension file known as a tarball. The tar function included in most Linux versions can extract .tar.gz files by passing the z option, for example tar -zxf file.tar.gz. The gzip format is used in HTTP compression, so as to speed up the transfer of HTML and other content on the internet.


Additional information about GZ file format

File extension .GZ
File category ARCHIVE
Useful links
File conversion Convert a file to GZ
Developer The GNU Project
Associated programs WinRAR 5 (Windows), 7-Zip (Windows), Zipeg (Windows, Mac)