How To: Zip Files In Lubuntu

Today’s article will be relatively short and fairly easy as we talk about how to zip files in Lubuntu. This seems like a nice and easy article and something folks might want to know. If you’re in this category, by all means, read on!

NOTE: This is written for Lubuntu, but will work in other distros. I’m just trying something new, specifically doing some distro-specific articles to see how well they do.

If you’re unfamiliar with Lubuntu, it’s a lovely distro that’s fairly lightweight and easily configurable. Lubuntu is an official Ubuntu flavor. The purpose of Lubuntu has changed. The focus has changed from being lightweight (which it still is) to getting out of your way. You can read some of the history on Wikipedia’s Lubuntu article.

I’m biased because I’m an official Lubuntu member. I’m on the team that brings you this distro and have written a few Lubuntu-specific articles.

Disable Window Grouping In Lubuntu
Change Snap Application Privileges In Lubuntu
Change Your DNS Servers To Google’s In Lubuntu

(There are more, of course!)

I’m definitely a fan.

Anyhow, we’ll be learning to zip files in Lubuntu today. When you zip a file, you compress the file and make a new file. Some files don’t compress while other files (such as plain text files) can be compressed quite a bit. There are many different compression tools, methods, and algorithms. I’ve covered some RAR stuff in the past, for example.

Zip Files In Lubuntu:

We’ll be using the zip application in the terminal to zip files in Lubuntu. You can compress files graphically, but we’ll be doing this in the terminal. You can do almost anything in the terminal. So, let’s start by pressing CTRL + ALT + T to open the terminal.

The tool we’ll be using is the zip application, defined simply as:

zip – package and compress (archive) files

For the record, the zip application should be installed by default. I don’t like to assume the default is still true, so I’ll also explain how to install the application, also in the terminal.

You can install the zip application with this command:

You can check the man page for zip with this command:

To zip a file in Lubuntu, you would run this command:

If you want to zip multiple files in Lubuntu, you can just add them to the command by tagging them on the end. That looks like this:

See? It’s just that easy to zip files in Lubuntu – specifically in the terminal. Of course, this is true for all sorts of other distros. The only thing that would change would be the process for installing the application should it not be installed by default.


Yup… I told you that this would be a quick and easy article. I will actually (probably) cover more of this very topic. It’s a way to keep fresh articles on the site, by being distro/distro-family specific. Yeah, I know that it’s more convenient to have big articles that cover a lot of information. At the same time, writing them all is a lot like work – largely because you start running out of ideas for new articles.

By the way, I could so use a break. You should write an article for me! In fact, you should write a whole series of articles!

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

Let’s Zip A Directory In The Linux Terminal

Today, we’re going to zip a directory in the Linux terminal. This isn’t a very complicated task, but it’s worth covering. It’s also not something you’re likely to do every day, but it’s bound to be useful to some of you. You’re eventually going to want to share a directory’s worth of files with someone!

Why zip a directory? This is Linux, we deal with .tar.gz!

Well, in the real world, you might just want to share files with other people. They’ll have no idea what to do with a .tar.gz file – but they’ll know exactly what to do with a .zip file.

More importantly, pretty much every operating system on the planet can open a .zip file. Even way back with the Amiga and Atari systems, you were able  to open .zip files.

As an added bonus, you probably already have the utility to compress files into .zip files and won’t need to install anything! So, you won’t need to install anything and you’ll be able to share the resulting files with pretty much anyone on the planet. What’s not to love?

Heck, you don’t even need to install an application on Windows or MacOS to open .zip files. As a quick test, I can even open them with a file management application on Android. I’m not sure if Android also deals with them by default or if it’s a function of the file manager. Still, you can open .zip files just fine on Android.

With all those great things, you might just as well learn how to zip a directory in the Linux terminal. I promise, it’s really easy.

Zip A Directory:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

Chances are very good that you won’t have to install ‘zip’ to get this to work. You can find out quickly enough by just typing:

That’ll likely tell you which zip and where it’s located. If not, you’ll need to install it from your default repositories. I expect very few people will need to do that.

Now to zip a directory…

You can also zip a directory recursively, by using the ‘r’ flag:

This is not to be confused with the R flag, which will recursively compress the files in the folder – but only those files that were specified, such as from this example command in the man page:

That’d take all the files in the current directory that ended in ‘.c’ and compress them into a file called foo. That’s not really what we’re after, nor is it what the article is about. Either way, while you’re exploring, be sure to check the man page. This is one of the biggest man pages you’ll likely come across and there are a ton of options beyond just simply letting you zip a directory.


There you have it. You can now zip a directory – such as a directory of pictures to share with your loved ones who are still not using Linux. It’s not terribly difficult, but it’s a useful skill to have and you never know when you’ll want to share a bunch of files with other people.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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