GNU Gzip

GNU Gzip is a popular data compression program originally written by Jean-loup Gailly for the GNU project. Mark Adler wrote the decompression part.

We developed this program as a replacement for compress because of the Unisys and IBM patents covering the LZW algorithm used by compress. These patents made it impossible for us to use compress, and we needed a replacement. The superior compression ratio of gzip is just a bonus.


Stable source releases are available on the main GNU download server (HTTPSHTTPFTP) and its mirrors; please use a mirror if possible.


Documentation for Gzip is available online, as is documentation for most GNU software. You may also find more information about Gzip by running info gzip or man gzip, or by looking at /usr/doc/gzip/, /usr/local/doc/gzip/, or similar directories on your system. A brief summary is available by running gzip --help.

Mailing lists

Gzip has one mailing list: <>. It is used to discuss all aspects of Gzip, including development and enhancement requests, as well as bug reports.

Announcements about Gzip and most other GNU software are made on <>.

To subscribe to these or any GNU mailing lists, please send an empty mail with a Subject: header of just “subscribe” to the relevant -request list. For example, to subscribe yourself to the GNU announcement list, you would send mail to <>. Or you can use the mailing list web interface.

Getting involved

Development of Gzip, and GNU in general, is a volunteer effort, and you can contribute. For information, please read How to help GNU. If you'd like to get involved, it's a good idea to join the discussion mailing list (see above).

Test releases
Trying the latest test release (when available) is always appreciated. Test releases of Gzip are typically announced on the platform-testers mailing list.
For development sources and other information, please see the Gzip project page at
Gzip is currently being maintained by Jim Meyering and Paul Eggert. Please use the mailing list for contact.


Gzip is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.