How can I uncompress a *.7z file in Ubuntu and keep the directory structure?

6 Answers 6


First install the p7zip-full package:

sudo apt-get install p7zip-full

With this, Nautilus should have an option to uncompress 7-Zip Files.

I also recommend p7zip-rar so it also includes support for RAR files.

This is assuming you want to do it via GUI with Nautilus. If not, after downloading the packages above do the following:

7z x PACKAGE.7z 

that should eXtract the packages with full path.

  • I try to install 7zip-full using apt. I get this message: "Package p7zip-full is not available, but is referred to by another package. This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or is only available from another source."
    – posfan12
    Oct 27, 2018 at 0:12
  • Note that if the compressed file is VERY large, it will be broken up into separate component files file.7z.001, file.7z.002, etc. However, only the first file, file.7z.001, will show as an decompressable icon on the Nautilus desktop. The others appear as data file icons. Double-click this .7z.001 file to decompress ALL components in the package. Also, apparently all of the .00x component files created during the compression have to be present, or else probably the .001 decompression will fail.
    – DragonLord
    Jun 21, 2019 at 19:43
  • 3
    Pay attention: if you run 7z x my-archive.7z all files will be extracted to your home! I had a huge archive now it will be a pain in the axe finding all files and moving them in the right place!
    – Sampgun
    Aug 11, 2020 at 13:27
  • 4
    Hi @Sampgun pretty sure you were on your home folder when you ran that. Additionally there are 2 parameters, the "e" and "x", the main difference and why I recommend the "x" is because it preserves the folder structure inside the .7z file. So if you ended up with a huge amount of files in your home is because, you were in the home folder and the .7z file did not have a folder structure to begin with. Next time what you can do is create a folder, move the .7z over there and extract it inside of it to be safe. Good luck. Aug 13, 2020 at 15:18
  • 1
    @Sampgun I feel you buddy. Fully understand. Aug 14, 2020 at 22:50

There is also dtrx - which is immensely useful for un-archiving anything.

it stands for "Do The Right eXtraction" - and will uncompress anything without any fuss.


sudo apt-get install dtrx
dtrx archive.tar.XX

Manpage: http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/en/man1/dtrx.1.html

UPDATE for Ubuntu 20.04 :

According to their pypi page, dtrx is not currently available in the official repos. Thus, if you cannot install this via apt, then you can still use pip3:

pip3 install dtrx

If you don't already have pip3 installed, you can install it with

sudo apt install python3-pip
  • 7
    it currently supports [...] InstallShield files. very interesting.
    – LiveWireBT
    Feb 19, 2015 at 11:20
  • 2
    You saved me, for some reason p7zip couldn't handle my files but dtrx worked like a charm.
    – adamconkey
    Jul 1, 2015 at 0:00
  • 17
    Mandatory cliche link: xkcd.com/1168 Oct 7, 2015 at 10:52
  • Seems perpect (!), but on Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS the result of sudo apt install dtrx is an ERROR, "E: Unable to locate package dtrx". Aug 3, 2020 at 21:55
  • 1
    You're right! will edit shortly
    – rm-vanda
    Aug 3, 2020 at 22:11

Run following command in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install p7zip-full p7zip-rar

Or search through the ubuntu software center as 7zip and unrar and install the packages.


For ubuntu 17.04, no need for the full package, p7zip is enough:

sudo apt install p7zip

Then, uncompress using the -d command:

p7zip -d something.7z
  • 7
    p7zip -d --keep something.7z or it will destroy your input file !!!! Aug 4, 2018 at 7:16
  • 1
    This does not extract all files, due to features missing. in my case password protection. Thus this might be misleading.
    – scones
    Sep 25, 2018 at 10:53
  • Ah, so the default behavior is to delete the input. That is indeed very useful and polite. I wish all programs did this.
    – Przemek D
    Apr 28, 2020 at 13:04

First install the according package sudo apt install p7zip-full

  • use x flag to extract files with full path
  • use -o flag to set output directory

7z x <archive_name> -o{Directory}

for example

7z x file.7z -o/home/michael/Documents/NewFolder

Notice that there is no space between -o and the output directory. If the file was encrypted, it will automatically ask for the password.


The other answers did not work for me.

But this command worked fine:

7z e file.7z
  • 1
    You are right but, you need to use "x" to keep directory structures! Note that if you use the tag "e" f.eg 7z e Myfile.7z it will pull everything into your current working directory and overwritten of the existing files can be a permanent loss.
    – MathArt
    Nov 26, 2020 at 8:36

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