gunzip a folder with many files

I have a folder with 36,348 files gz files. I want to unzip all of them.


gunzip ./*

results in

-bash: /usr/bin/gunzip: Argument list too long

What’s the easiest way to get around this?

Asked By: user1357015



find . -type f -exec gunzip {} +

This assumes that current directory only contains files that you want to unzip.

Answered By: cuonglm

A bit efficient solution would be,

find $PWD -type f -name "*.gz" -print0 | xargs -0 gunzip

But if your find does not have -print0 option and your files/dir does not have space in naming, then you can skip -print0 and -0 arguments.

Answered By: vknha

The limit is in the kernel and is on the cumulative size of the arguments and environment passed to the execve() system call used to execute a command. You can split it in several invocations.

To gunzip all the .gz files in the current directory:

with zsh:

autoload zargs # best in ~/.zshrc
zargs ./*.gz -- gunzip

With ksh93:

command -x gunzip ./*.gz


printf '%s' *.gz | xargs -r0 gunzip

POSIXly (and with gunzip):

find . ! -name . -prune -name '*.gz' -exec gunzip {} +

(beware that one will also uncompress the hidden .gz files)

Or you can raise that limit on some systems. On recent versions of Linux:

ulimit -s unlimited
gunzip ./*.gz
Answered By: Stéphane Chazelas

A less efficient ( but long-run very flexible ) process is make a batch file:

ls | grep .gz | sed -e 's/^/gunzip /' | less

shows you what will happen so a simple typo doesn’t annihilate your system

ls | grep .gz | sed -e 's/^/gunzip /' | bash

does it right now

ls | grep .gz | sed -e 's/^/gunzip /' > unpack
at 02:00
bash unpack

does it overnight

(note this example does not account for spaces in filenames.)

Answered By: paul

Simplest way I have found is:

gunzip -r .
Answered By: user154076

If you want to gunzip the files to a different directory you can try:

$ find <path to gzip files> -type f -name "*.gz" -print | 
xargs -I % sh -c 'echo "gunzip -c % > `basename % .gz`"; 
gunzip -c % > `basename % .gz`'

In the example above, the files are gunzipped to the directory where the command is run.

Answered By: Yamir Encarnacion
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