Climatic Research Unit
gzip files (.gz)
Much of CRU's data is held in ASCII (plain text) format.
While this allows for great flexibility in transferring data between different machines, it tends to result in large files.
When storing or transmitting files it is common practice to compress them.
In the Windows world, the Zip file format has become foremost, but in the Unix world it is more common to use gzip.
While gzipped files can have any name, it is common practice to use a ".gz" suffix.
- If you use Unix, or MacOSX, or Cygwin you should already have gzip on your machine.
Uncompress files using the syntax
gzip -d datafile.txt.gz
which will result in a file datafile.txt
- If you do not have it, you can download it from the gzip homepage.
- Windows command-line users who don't want to use Cygwin can download
GNU utilities for Win32
- If you are a Windows XP user who does not use a command line, you may prefer to use a GUI tool such as:
You may also encounter files with a ".Z" or ".bz" suffix. These have been compressed with "compress" (an older standard,
producing ".Z" files that tend to be larger than gzipped files)
or "bzip" (a newer standard, producing ".bz" files that tend to be smaller than gzipped files).
7-zip and IZarc can handle both of these.
Last updated: December 2009, Mike Salmon