How To Zip In Linux Terminal

Linux, as a powerful system, offers countless capabilities, one of which is file compression. Zipping files is a vital task that any Linux user should know. Whether you want to back up your data or send a bunch of files to a colleague, zipping in the Linux terminal makes life easier. This blog post will guide you through the process of zipping files and directories using the Linux terminal.

Getting Started

The primary command for zipping files in the Linux terminal is zip. This command may not be installed by default on your Linux distribution, so you might have to install it manually. For Ubuntu or Debian, you can install it using the following command:

sudo apt-get install zip

For CentOS or RHEL, use:

sudo yum install zip

Zipping Files

Once you have zip installed, you can compress files or directories using the zip command followed by the name you want for your zip file and the name of the file or directory you want to compress. Here’s the syntax:

zip file1.txt

This command will create a zip file named ‘’ from ‘file1.txt’.

Zipping Multiple Files

You can even compress multiple files into a zip file. You just have to list all the files you want to include after the name of your zip file. Here’s an example:

zip file1.txt file2.txt file3.txt

This will create a zip file named ‘’ containing file1.txt, file2.txt, and file3.txt.

Zipping Directories

Zipping a directory (and everything inside it) is just as easy. Just add the -r (recursive) option after the zip command, like this:

zip -r my_directory

In this command, ‘my_directory’ is the directory you want to compress. This will create a zip file named ‘’ that contains everything inside ‘my_directory’.


Zipping files and directories in the Linux terminal is a handy skill that can save you lots of time and effort. Whether you’re sending multiple files or backing up your data, the zip command has you covered. Happy zipping!