How to gzip and keep original file on Unix or Linux command line


would like to compress a log file using gzip Unix command line utility, and I would also like to keep the original file. However, when I use the gzip my-app.log command, results in modifying my log file and renaming it my-app.log.gz. How do I force the gzip command to keep original file while maintaining the original file on Linux or Unix-like system?


The gzip program compresses and decompresses files on Unix like system. You need to pass the -c or –stdout, or –to-stdout option to the gzip command. This option specifies that output will go to the standard output stream, leaving original files intact.

Syntax: To keep original file while using gzip

The options are as follows:

gzip -c input.file > output.file.gz


If no files are specified and in direction used, gzip will compress from standard input, or decompress to standard output. So one can use the following syntax:

gzip < input.file > output.file.gz


Or pass the -k/–keep to the gzip command to leep (don’t delete) input files during compression or decompression:

gzip -k input.file

gzip –keep input.file


Let us tell gzip command to keep original file called Friday-Comic.jpg :

$ ls -lh Friday-Comic.jpg


Gzip and create a new file called Friday-Comic-1.jpg.gz:

$ gzip -c Friday-Comic.jpg > Friday-Comic-1.jpg.gz

$ ls -lh Friday-Comic-1.jpg.gz


Gzip and create a new file called Friday-Comic-1.jpg.gz using shell redirection:

$ gzip < Friday-Comic.jpg > Friday-Comic-2.jpg.gz

$ ls -lh Friday-Comic*


Sample outputs:

Fig.01: Tell gzip command to keep original file on Unix or Linux system



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *