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AIX Version 4.3 Commands Reference, Volume 6

zcat Command


Expands a compressed file to standard output.


zcat -n ] [ -V ] [ File ... ]


The zcat command allows the user to expand and view a compressed file without uncompressing that file. The zcat command does not rename the expanded file or remove the .Z extension. The zcat command writes the expanded output to standard output.


-n Omits the compressed file header from the compressed file.
-V Writes the current version and compile options to standard error.


File ... Specifies the compressed files to expand.

Return Values

If the zcat command exits with a status of 1 if any of the following events occur:

If no error occurs, the exit status is 0.

Exit Status

0 Successful completion.
>0 An error occurred.


To view the foo.Z file without uncompressing it, enter:

zcat foo.Z

The uncompressed contents of the foo.Z file are written to standard output. The file is not renamed.

Related Information

The compress command, pack command, uncompress command, unpack command.

Commands Overview in AIX Version 4.3 System User's Guide: Operating System and Devices.

The compress command uses the modified Lempel-Zev algorithm described in "A Technique for High Performance Data Compression," Welch, Terry A. IEEE Computer, vol. 17, no. 6 (June 1984), pp. 8-19.

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