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I have more than 200 .zip files in one folder. I don't want to decompress those one by one. I want to extract those using single command or script. How to do that.

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up vote 32 down vote accepted

If you really want to uncompress them in parallel, you could do

for i in *zip; do unzip "$i" & done

That however, will launch N processes for N .zip files and could be very heavy on your system. For a more controlled approach, launching only 10 parallel processes at a time, try this:

find . -name '*.zip' -print0 | xargs -0 -I {} -P 10 unzip {}

To control the number of parallel processes launched, change -P to whatever you want. If you don't want recurse into subdirectories, do this instead:

find . -maxdepth 1 -name '*.zip' -print0 | xargs -0 -I {} -P 10 unzip {}

Alternatively, you can install GNU parallel as suggested by @OleTange in the comments and run

parallel unzip ::: *zip
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Running in parallel is a nice idea, but won't disk I/O be the major bottleneck? – Paddy Landau Mar 12 '14 at 13:05
@PaddyLandau not sure, I'd have to check. It will depend on the speed of the decompression algorithm vs the speed of the disk I imagine. – terdon Mar 12 '14 at 13:08
Use -exec or -execdir instead of piping to xargs. Not only is it simpler to understand, but also it's also less error-prone and uses fewer system resources. find . -name '*.zip' -exec unzip {} ';' (You must quote the semi-colon.) – Paddy Landau Mar 12 '14 at 13:10
@PaddyLandau the only reason I'm piping to xargs is to run things in parallel as the OP asked. -exec \; (you can escape the semicolon, no need for quotes), will run each command sequentially. -exec + is better but it won't work here since that's not how unzip works. – terdon Mar 12 '14 at 13:13
I think that we have understood the OP differently. You read him as wanting it in parallel, whereas I understood him as meaning a single command instead of multiple commands. Well, he has both methods now :) – Paddy Landau Mar 12 '14 at 21:44

The GNU parallel command is well suited to this type of thing. After:

$ sudo apt-get install parallel


ls *.zip | parallel unzip

This will use as many cores as you have, keeping each core busy with an unzip, until they are all done.

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It's a better idea to use echo *.zip instead to prevent a possible ls alias from sneaking in extra info. However, this has the same issue as @Guru's answer, it breaks on file names containing whitespace. – nyuszika7h Mar 9 '14 at 13:38
@nyuszika7h In contrast to xargs GNU Parallel does not break on file names containing space/tab/quote. Only if the file names contain newlines you will have to take extra care. For example by using: parallel unzip ::: *.zip – Ole Tange Mar 9 '14 at 14:12
@OleTange I see, thanks. – nyuszika7h Mar 9 '14 at 14:14
@nyuszika7h - These are good reasons to avoid both aliasing standard commands, and putting spaces in filenames. – Wayne Conrad Mar 9 '14 at 15:50
@nyuszika7h using echo is as bad as using ls. Globbing and a while loop is the safest. – terdon Mar 9 '14 at 15:50

You can use the following command :

First change directory in terminal to directory that contains .zip files :

cd /path

Then execute this command to unzip all .zip files :

for z in *.zip; do unzip "$z"; done
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If you have many .zip files in your folder and you want to decompress all of them then open terminal and go to your folder using:

cd <path_to_folder>

Now use this command to decompress all your .zip file:

ls *.zip | xargs -n1 unzip
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This will fail if any of the file names contain whitespace. – terdon Mar 8 '14 at 20:22
yes, you are correct. – g_p Mar 8 '14 at 20:23
It's a better idea to use echo *.zip instead to prevent a possible ls alias from sneaking in extra info, however that still does not fix the whitespace issue. – nyuszika7h Mar 9 '14 at 13:37
@OleTange In case you didn't notice, I said that it still fails on file names with whitespace in them. – nyuszika7h Mar 9 '14 at 15:59
Never depend on the output from ls for scripts, as its output is not well-defined between versions. Instead look at the answer from @terdon as it solves all the problems of this solution. – Paddy Landau Mar 12 '14 at 13:04

You can use find with -exec like so,

find . -name "*.zip" -exec unzip {} \;

This will work if the file has a space in the name.

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A non terminal method.

Just select the zip files, right click on one and choose extract here. You can select all or just a number of zip files at a time.

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unzip \*.zip or unzip '*.zip'

The obvious unzip *.zip doesn't work, because the shell expands it to unzip ... and unzip interprets the first filename as the zip file, and the following filenames as files to extract from that zip file.

However, unzip is a bit unusual among Unix commands in that it does its own glob expansions. If the * is not expanded by the shell, unzip will do it, and intepret all the resulting filenames as zip files to be processed. So in this special case, one can get away without a for loop or xargs or the like.

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