Your company here, and a link to your site. Click to find out more.

7z - Man Page

A file archiver with high compression ratio format

Examples (TL;DR)


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 (it was removed due a non-free license), 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")

Example 1

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

Example 2

7z a -sfx archive.exe dir1

add all files from directory "dir1" to SFX archive archive.exe (Remark : SFX archive MUST end with ".exe")

Example 3

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)

See Also

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

HTML Documentation



Written for Debian by Mohammed Adnene Trojette. Updated by Robert Luberda.

Referenced By

7za(1), clifm(1), xz(1).

March 6th, 2016 7-Zip