Working with compressed files is a common occurrence in programming, and of the various types of compressed files, .gz files are pretty popular in the Unix and Linux world.
In this Byte, we'll explore a few ways to unzip a .gz file using Python. We'll get into Python's
gzip module, read the contents of a .gz file, and more.
What are .gz files?
.gz is the file extension for Gzip files (GNU zip), which is a file compression and decompression tool created by the GNU project. It's often used in Unix and Linux systems for compressing things like log files, data backups, etc.
In Python, we can use the built-in
gzip module to read and write .gz files. This module provides a straightforward and easy-to-use interface for handling .gz files.
Reading Contents of a .gz File
To read the contents of a .gz file in Python, we can use the
gzip.open() function. This opens the .gz file in binary or text mode, just like the built-in Python
open() function. Here's a simple example:
import gzip with gzip.open('file.txt.gz', 'rt') as f: file_content = f.read() print(file_content)
In the above code,
file.txt.gz is the .gz file we want to read, and
'rt' is the mode in which we want to open the file. The 'r' stands for read mode and 't' stands for text mode. The output will be the content of the .gz file.
Using Python's gzip Module
gzip module in Python provides the
GzipFile class which is actually modeled after Python’s
File object. This class has methods and properties similar to the ones available in the
File object, which makes it easier to work with .gz files.
Here's an example of how to use the
gzip module to read a .gz file:
import gzip with gzip.GzipFile('file.txt.gz', 'r') as f: file_content = f.read() print(file_content)
In the above code, we're using the
GzipFile class to open the .gz file. The 'r' mode indicates that we want to open the file for reading. The output will be the content of the .gz file.
Note: While both
gzip.GzipFile() can be used to read .gz files,
gzip.open() is more convenient when you want to read the file as text, while
gzip.GzipFile() is better for reading binary files.
Using the sh Module for Unzipping
sh module is a full-fledged subprocess interface for Python that allows you to call any program as if it were a function. To unzip a .gz file, we can use the
gunzip command through the
sh module. Let's see how to do it.
First, you need to install the
sh module if you haven't done it yet. You can install it using pip:
$ pip install sh
Once installed, you can use it to unzip a .gz file:
from sh import gunzip gunzip("/path/to/yourfile.gz")
This script will unzip the
yourfile.gz file in the same directory. If you want to specify a different output directory, you can do so by passing it as a second argument to the
from sh import gunzip gunzip("/path/to/yourfile.gz", "-c > /path/to/output/yourfile")
Using the tarfile Module
tarfile module makes it possible to read and write tar archives, including those using gzip compression. Here is an example:
import tarfile with tarfile.open("/path/to/yourfile.tar.gz", "r:gz") as tar: tar.extractall(path="/path/to/output")
tarfile module is only applicable for .tar.gz files. If you're dealing with a simple .gz file, you should use the
gzip module or the
sh module with the
In this Byte, we have seen how to unzip .gz files in Python using the
sh module, the
gzip module, and the
tarfile module. Each method has its own advantages and use cases, so choose the one that best suits your needs.
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