Extract only a specific file from a zipped archive to a given directory

I need to extract a single file from a ZIP file which I know the path to. Is there a command like the following:

unzip -d . myarchive.zip path/to/zipped/file.txt

Unfortunately, the above command extracts and recreates the entire path to the file at ./path/to/zipped/file.txt. Is there a way for me to simply pull the file out into a specified directory?

Asked By: Naftuli Kay


You can extract just the text to standard output with the -p option:

unzip -p myarchive.zip path/to/zipped/file.txt >file.txt

This won’t extract the metadata (date, permissions, …), only the file contents (obviously, it only works for regular files, not symlinks, devices, directories…). That’s the price to pay for the convenience of not having to move the file afterwards.

Alternatively, mount the archive as a directory and just copy the file. With AVFS:

cp -p ~/.avfs"$PWD/myarchive.zip#"/path/to/zipped/file.txt .

Or with fuse-zip:

mkdir myarchive.d
fuse-zip myarchive.zip myarchive.d
cp -p myarchive.d/path/to/zipped/file.txt .
fusermount -u myarchive.d; rmdir myarchive.d
unzip -j "myarchive.zip" "in/archive/file.txt" -d "/path/to/unzip/to"

Enter full path for zipped file, not just the filename. Be sure to keep the structure as seen from within the zip file.

This will extract the single file file.txt in myarchive.zip to /path/to/unzip/to/file.txt.

-j: junk paths. The archive’s directory structure is not recreated; all files are deposited in the extraction directory (by default, the current one)

-d: An optional directory to which to extract files.


Multiple files:

unzip -j myarchive.zip in/archive/file.txt another/file.ext -d /path/to/unzip/to

Entire Sub-directory

unzip -j archive.zip "sub/dir/*" -d "dest/dir"
Answered By: sMyles

Simpler version:


This will recreate PATH_OF_FILE_INSIDE_ARCHIVE in current directory but only extracts specified file.

To list all files in a Zip archive:

Answered By: Taukir

On macOS, which by default uses Info-Zip

First list off the files to find what you want

unzip -l my.zip

Then extract file from the archive

unzip my.zip annoying/path/to/file/in/zip

Combine with -p for stdout

unzip -p my.zip annoying/path/to/file/in/zip >./file

or -j for extracting to the current directory (discard junk path)

unzip -j my.zip annoying/path/to/file/in/zip

with -d you can specify to create an arbitrary directory

unzip -d /path/to/dir my.zip annoying/path/to/file/in/zip

If you want the file in the -d directory you probably want to combine it with the -j option.

Answered By: Cameron Lowell Palmer

simple use:

unzip zipfile.zip path/inside/zip/file.txt

and it will inflate the file.

$ unzip -l ./../html.zip | grep wp-config

     3328  07-22-2019 15:10   html/wp-config.php

     2898  01-07-2019 23:30   html/wp-config-sample.php

$ unzip ./../html.zip html/wp-config.php

     Archive:  ./../html.zip
     inflating: html/wp-config.php

$ ls -lrth

     total 4.0K
     drwxr-sr-x 2 apache apache 4.0K Jul 26 14:41 html

$ ls -lrth html/*

     total 4.0K
     -rw-rw-rw- 1 apache apache 3.3K Jul 22 15:10 wp-config.php

Extract to a relative dir

unzip -j -d relativedir archive.zip path/in/archive/file.ext

Extract to the current dir

unzip -j -d . archive.zip path/in/archive/file.ext

Extract to absolute dir

unzip -j -d /absolutedir archive.zip path/in/archive/file.ext
Answered By: Gapmeister66

If you want to restore the file’s metadata from the archive, be able to restore files of any type (including symlinks) and with arbitrary names, and also choose the new name of the file, you could use libarchive’s bsdtar (which also supports ZIP format archives) instead of unzip as:

bsdtar -nqvvxpf file.zip -'s/.*/newname/S' some/dir/originalname

Note: like in unzip, the some/dir/originalname there is taken as a shell wildcard pattern. So if the path of archive member you want to extract does contain *, ?, or [ characters, you’ll need to escape them as in:

bsdtar -nqvvxpf file.zip -'s/.*/newname/S' 'som[?]/dir/[*]riginalname'


bsdtar -nqvvxpf file.zip -'s/.*/newname/S' 'som?/dir/*riginalname'

if the archive member is called som?/dir/*riginalname.

Note that that approach would work with any of the archive formats supported by libarchive, not just zip.

Answered By: Stéphane Chazelas
unzip myarchive.zip `zipinfo -2 myarchive.zip | head -1`
Answered By: camel
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