Cross-platform file compression


You can password-protect and encrypt zip files using zip --encrypt (-e) option OUTPUT or zipcloak OUTPUT (Figure 4). If an unencrypted file has been added to the archive, then once you enter the password, the unencrypted file is encrypted. The unencrypted output file is saved to the original directory unless the -O command is used to specify another location. With the -d option, the entire archive is decrypted, or, if you do not have the password, then copied instead. Because of zipcloak's age, it works only with archives of less than 2GB.

Figure 4: Use zipcloak to manage encryption on zip files.

The man page explains that encryption is done through a public domain program that offers a low level of encryption. However, the file that details the program no longer seems to be on the Internet. In the absence of more information, you can still rely on the password for privacy.


zipgrep searches for patterns within a zip archive. It can use any pattern supported by egrep, such as * for any number of characters or ? for a single character. zipgrep cannot be used to search for file names, only the contents of files.


zipinfo displays the attributes of all the files in a zip archive. This information includes permissions, name, date created, uncompressed and compressed file sizes, and the percentage created (Figure 5).

Figure 5: zipinfo provides a convenient viewer for the attributes of files in a zip archive.

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