I have a collection of comic books that I store on my computer, mostly in .cbz format (which is just a ZIP archive, but with a fancy name). Recently, I decided to make a collage of the covers of a specific comic series, for which I'd need the first file in the comic book archive.

Here's the breakdown of the problem:

  • 75 .cbz files in a single folder;
  • Each file has a name like <series name> #<issue number>, where issue numbers go from 1 to 75 (one problem: it's not like 01, 02, 03, etc, so there may be a confusion with sorting there);
    • Each file inside each archive is named like <issue name> <3-digit issue number with preceding zeros>
  • Archives can be renamed to .zip if necessary, but I know 7Zip (and some other archivers, but not unrar) handles CBZ well enough;

What I need:

  • The first file from each of the 75 archives. The files already have distinctive names, so there's no need to rename them at the output.

What I have:

  • Ubuntu 16.04
  • 7Zip
  • Internet connection

How do I make this happen? What command will extract the first file from every archive in a folder to the same folder?


If you don't need to rename output files then I suggest something like this:


for file in *.cbz
 cover="`zipinfo -2 "$file" | awk 'NR==2 {exit} 1'`"
 unzip -j "$file" "$cover"

Save it in a file like script.sh and put it into the same directory as your comics are. Then give it execute permission:

chmod +x script.sh

And run it:


How does it work?

We can get a list of all files within a zip archive using zipinfo:

zipinfo -2 mycomic.cbz

it outputs something similar to:

First file within the archive.jpg
Second file within the archive.jpg

Then using awk 'NR==1 { print }' we can return the first file name which is: First file within the archive.jpg.

Now to extract this file I can use a unzip like:

unzip -j mycomic.cbz "First file within the archive.jpg"
  • Got an error for each file without any output: Archive: Lucifer #10.cbz caution: filename not matched: – Gallifreyan May 28 '17 at 15:11
  • @Gallifreyan Updated, check it again ;) – Ravexina May 28 '17 at 15:14
  • It worked!... But extracted the 2nd page of every issue (i.e. the files end with 002) :D – Gallifreyan May 28 '17 at 15:18
  • Change the NR==2 to NR==1 see if you get the desired result ;) – Ravexina May 28 '17 at 15:19
  • Yep, that worked perfectly! Now how does that magic work, really? Would it work if the files in the archives weren't enumerated? – Gallifreyan May 28 '17 at 15:20

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