Compressing Cheat Sheet

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How to compress files and folders from the terminal

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    How to compress and uncompress filesand folders in OSX 10.10 Yosemite usingTerminalMarch 19, 2014 15 Comments

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  • zip-tar-dmg-osx-compress-formats[/caption]

    Since OSX is based on Unix there are a of ways to compress files and folders, below are afew options using the command line interface. The default command line applicationinterface in OSX is the Terminal and stored in /Applications/Utilities.

    We should always compress files and folders to save on file size and ensure the contents arecaptured and delivered or stored as one monolithic file. A compressed file which containsfiles and folders is generally referred to as an archive.

    ZIP Cross PlatformFirst up is ZIP one of the most commonly used compression techniques used across allplatforms

    To compress

    zip -r folder_to_compress

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  • To extract


    If you want to make a zip without those invisible Mac resource files such as _MACOSX or._Filename and .ds store files, use the -X option in the command so:

    zip -r -X folder_to_compress

    TAR.GZ Cross PlatformSecond up is TAR, an old favourite on Unix/Linux you add the GZ for the compression compresses tighter than zip

    To compress

    tar -zcvf archive_name.tar.gz folder_to_compress

    To extract

    tar -zxvf archive_name.tar.gz

    TAR.BZ2 Cross PlatformA variation on TAR GZ but with better compression than both tar.gz and zip.

    To compress

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  • tar -jcvf archive_name.tar.bz2 folder_to_compress

    To extract

    tar -jxvf archive_name.tar.bz2

    GZWithout the tar

    To extract

    gunzip archivename.gz

    DMG OSX OnlyThis one is Mac OSX native only for a GUI interface use /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility for command line use:

    To create

    hdiutil create -format UDZO -srcfolder folder_to_compress archive_name.dmg

    To mount

    hdiutil attach archive_name.dmg

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  • 6LikeLike 4 TweetTweet 8

    To view

    ls -lah /Volumes/archive_name/

    To Eject

    hdiutil eject /Volumes/archive_name/

    You can also use a number of dierent formats for creating a .dmg

    UDZO Compressed image (default)UDRO Read only imageUDBZ Better compressed imageUDRW Read/Write imageUDTO DVD disk image


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  • Cats: OS X, TechTags: compress, OSX, tar, zip

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  • 15 Comments Coolest Guides on the Planet Login1Share Sort by Newest

    Join the discussion


    Niall Mac Giolla Rua 3 months agoHi. Is creating DMGs better for compression than tar files?


    Neil Gee 3 months agoMod > Niall Mac Giolla RuaNo tar is better


    Niall Mac Giolla Rua 3 months ago> Neil GeeThank you!


    Billy Romano III 5 months agoSo this isn't working in Mac OS X Yosemite. Awesome. Another bug with the new operating system...

    Since Yosemite is a princess, it requires the 'sudo' user command prepended to fix this issue. If not, it will

    throw this error: tar: Failed to open 'archive_name.tar.gz'


    nevermind. It was an issue with the CHOWN of my folder being set to _www, instead of my user

    account... : D


    Kourasmenos Tempelaros a year agoIs it possible to split the files also?



    Pawe P. a year agoThanks!


    dek a year agothis really is a very helpful article. all other guides on the web only explain the .zip way. but tar is a lot


    Chris M 2 years agoShouldn't tar -jcvf archive_name.tar.bz2 folder_to_compress be :

    tar -jxvf archive_name.tar.bz2 to uncompress?

    Recommend 1








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