GZ File Documentation

GZ format files are archives of files that have been compressed using the GNU Zip utility. Files with the GZ extension are most often used in Unix-based systems. A special feature of files with the GZ extension is that they can contain only one file.

Compressing files using the GNU Zip algorithm allows for a significant reduction in file size, which allows for easier and faster distribution on the Internet.


Feature Value
File Extension .gz - The standard file extension for Gzip compressed files.
Compression Algorithm DEFLATE - A combination of LZ77 and Huffman coding, known for its balance between speed and compression efficiency.
Origin GNU Project - Developed as part of the GNU free software project to provide a free compression tool.
Developers Jean-loup Gailly and Mark Adler - The original creators of the Gzip compression algorithm.
Header Size 10 bytes - The header contains metadata like the magic number, a version number, and a timestamp.
Footer Size 8 bytes - The footer contains a checksum and the size of the original data for integrity verification.
Checksum Yes, in Footer - Used for data integrity checks during decompression.
Timestamp Yes, in Header - Records the time when the file was compressed.
Single-File Compression Yes - Designed to compress individual files. For multiple files, it's often used with tar.
Multiple File Support No - Native support for multiple files is not available unless used with tar to create a .tar.gz file.
Native OS Support Unix, Linux, macOS - Native support is available. Windows support is available via third-party tools like 7-Zip.
Common Usage File storage, HTTP web compression - Used both for compressing files for storage and for web data transmission.
Password Protection No - Does not natively support password-protected compression.
Compression Efficiency High - Offers a good balance between compression ratio and speed, making it suitable for various applications.
Programmatic Support Python, Java, C, etc. - Libraries and modules are available in multiple programming languages for handling GZ files.
Typical File Extensions when used with tar .tar.gz, .tgz - When used with tar for multiple file compression.
Streaming Capability Yes - Can be used for streaming compression and decompression.
Text and Binary Mode Both - Capable of compressing both text and binary files.
File Size Limitation None - No inherent file size limitations, although system and software limitations may apply.
Open Standard Yes - Gzip is an open standard, allowing for broad adoption and support.
Metadata Support Limited - Supports basic metadata like filename and comment, but not as extensive as some other formats.