I have a project with lots of hidden folders / files in it. I want to create a zip-archive of it, but in the archive shouldn't be any hidden folders / files. If files in a hidden folder are not hidden, they should also not be included.

I know that I can create a zip archive of a directory like this:

zip -r zipfile.zip directory

I also know that I can exclude files with the -x option, so I thought this might work:

zip -r zipfile.zip directory -x .*

It didn't work. All hidden directories were still in the zip-file.

up vote 98 down vote accepted

This also excludes hidden files in unhidden directories:

find /full_path -path '*/.*' -prune -o -type f -print | zip ~/file.zip -@
  • 1
    Thanks for your answer. The command (find community-chess/ -path '*/.*' -prune -o -type f -print | zip ~/community-chess.zip -@) is longer than expected, but it works fine. Subdirectories are also included, so +1 and an accepted answer :-) – Martin Thoma Aug 28 '11 at 9:17

First of all if you don't have installed zip install it first as follows:

sudo apt-get install zip

Then for simply creating a zip file:

zip -r compressed_filename.zip foldername

If you want to exclude hidden files:

find /folder_path -path '*/.*' -prune -o -type f -print | zip ~/compressed_filename.zip -@
  • 5
    Thank you for your effort to help a fellow Ubuntu user. Please keep in mind that re-stating the accepted answer in a new answer just adds to the clutter and has a high probability of being flagged for removal. – hmayag Aug 11 '15 at 7:04

Add " to the .* (otherwise, your shell expands .* to the dot files in the current directory), and also exclude hidden files in subdirectories:

zip -r zipfile.zip . -x ".*" -x "*/.*"

This will result in files starting with a . not to be added into your zip file.

rinzwind@discworld:~/tmp$ ls -la
drwxr-xr-x  2 rinzwind rinzwind 4096 2011-08-28 00:15 tmp
drwxr-xr-x  2 rinzwind rinzwind 4096 2011-08-28 00:15 .tmp
rinzwind@discworld:~/tmp$ zip -r zipfile.zip . -x .*
adding: .tmp/ (stored 0%)
adding: tmp/ (stored 0%)
rinzwind@discworld:~/tmp$ zip -r zipfile.zip . -x ".*" -x "*/.*"
updating: tmp/ (stored 0%)
  • 1
    I don't think your last statement is correct. .* would get expanded by the shell. – hammar Aug 27 '11 at 22:11
  • 1
    I think it is likely to be correct but I removed it (not sure about it) :) – Rinzwind Aug 27 '11 at 22:22
  • this didn't work. The .svn-directories were added – Martin Thoma Aug 28 '11 at 9:13
  • 1
    @moose The exclude pattern matches the full path, not just the file base name, so you need to exclude */.* as well as .* (*/ matches any non-empty sequence of directories). – Gilles May 8 '14 at 17:21
  • This runs without changing anything! Best answer. – Whitecat Oct 7 '17 at 4:12

This one includes all "." directories, subdirectories, and "." files or directories within directories... Essentially the first answer but includes top level "." files.

find /full_path -path '*.*/.*' -prune -o -type f -print | zip ~/file.zip -@

Example for excluding all folders begining with . :

tar cvpzf folder.tgz folder/ --exclude '.*'

Better compress but slower :

tar cvpjf folder.tar.bz2 folder/ --exclude '.*'

The correct method would be:

zip -r zipfile.zip directory -x directory/.*
  • @downvoter: What's wrong, this seems to be working for me. – jobin May 8 '14 at 16:55
  • Same problem as with Rinzwind's original answer (now corrected): you aren't excluding subdirectories. And as Rinzwind noted, you need to quote the wildcards, otherwise the shell will expand them. – Gilles May 8 '14 at 17:25

While zipping dirs excluding some file extension:

$ cd /path/to/dir
$ zip -r dir.zip . -x "*.log" -x "*.cache"

Without hidden folders and files in directory:

zip -r zipfile.zip directory/*

directory: |── .git │   ├── src │   └── Work.file ├── .test │   └── .file └── test.file

$ zip -r zipfile.zip directory/*
adding: directory/src/ (stored 0%)
adding: directory/src/Work.file (stored 0%)
adding: directory/test.file (stored 0%)

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