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7z(1) General Commands Manual 7z(1)


7z - A file archiver with high compression ratio format


7z <command> [<switches>... ] <archive_name> [<file_names>... ] [<@listfiles>... ]


7-Zip is a file archiver supporting 7z (that implements LZMA compression algorithm featuring very high compression ratio), LZMA2, XZ, ZIP, Zip64, CAB, RAR (if the non-free p7zip-rar package is installed), ARJ, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, CPIO, RPM, ISO, most filesystem images and DEB formats. Compression ratio in the new 7z format is 30-50% better than ratio in ZIP format.

7z uses plugins to handle archives, so it might be slightly slower than 7za(1) but can handle more archive formats.


Add files to archive
Delete files from archive
Extract files from archive (without using directory names)
Calculate hash values for files
Show information about supported formats
List contents of archive
Rename files in archive
Test integrity of archive
Update files to archive
eXtract files with full paths


Stop switches parsing
Include archives
Exclude archives
Set Overwrite mode
Disable archive_name field
Set output log level
Disable progress indicator
Set output stream for output/error/progress line
Show execution time statistics
Include filenames
Set Compression Method (see /usr/share/doc/p7zip/DOC/MANUAL/cmdline/switches/method.htm from the p7zip-full package for a list of methods)
Set Output directory
Set Password (NOTE: this flag does not work with 7zr)
Recurse subdirectories (CAUTION: this flag does not do what you think, avoid using it)
Set archive name mode
Set charset for for console input/output
Set charset for list files
Set hash function for x, e, h commands
Delete files after compression
Send archive by email
Create SFX archive
Read data from stdin (e.g. tar cf - directory | 7z a -si directory.tar.7z)
Set Large Pages mode
Show technical information for l (List) command
Store hard links as links
Store symbolic links as links
Store NT security information
Store NTFS alternate streams
Create SFX archive
Write data to stdout (e.g. 7z x -so directory.tar.7z | tar xf -)
Disable wildcard matching for file names
Eliminate duplication of root folder for extract command
Use fully qualified file paths
Set sensitive case mode
Compress shared files
Set archive timestamp from the most recently modified file
Set CPU thread affinity mask (hexadecimal number)
Exclude archive type
Set type of archive
Update options
Create volumes
Set working directory. Empty path means a temporary directory
Exclude filenames
Assume Yes on all queries


7-Zip returns the following exit codes:

Normal (no errors or warnings detected)
Warning (Non fatal error(s)). For example, some files cannot be read during compressing, so they were not compressed
Fatal error
Bad command line parameters
Not enough memory for operation
User stopped the process with control-C (or similar)

Backup and limitations

DO NOT USE the 7-zip format for backup purpose on Linux/Unix because :
- 7-zip does not store the owner/group of the file.

On Linux/Unix, in order to backup directories you must use tar :
- to backup a directory : tar cf - directory | 7z a -si directory.tar.7z
- to restore your backup : 7z x -so directory.tar.7z | tar xf -

If you want to send files and directories (not the owner of file) to others Unix/MacOS/Windows users, you can use the 7-zip format.

example : 7z a directory.7z directory

Do not use "-r" because this flag does not do what you think.

Do not use directory/* because of ".*" files (example : "directory/*" does not match "directory/.profile")


7z a -t7z -m0=lzma -mx=9 -mfb=64 -md=32m -ms=on archive.7z dir1
adds all files from directory "dir1" to archive archive.7z using "ultra settings"
7z archive
lzma method
level of compression = 9 (Ultra)
number of fast bytes for LZMA = 64
dictionary size = 32 megabytes
solid archive = on


7z a -sfx archive.exe dir1
add all files from directory "dir1" to SFX archive archive.exe (Remark : SFX archive MUST end with ".exe")


7z a -mhe=on -pmy_password archive.7z a_directory
add all files from directory "a_directory" to the archive "archive.7z" (with data and header archive encryption on)


7zr(1), 7za(1), p7zip(1), bzip2(1), gzip(1), zip(1),

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March 6th, 2016 7-Zip