gzip is GNU zip, a data-compression program distributed by the Free Software Foundation as part of the GNU Project. You are encouraged to visit their WWW site at http://www.gnu.org/software/gzip.
The following is extracted from a file on a GNU mirror site which describes GNU software:
Because the unix `compress' utility is patented (by two separate patents, in fact), we cannot use it; it's not free software. Therefore, the GNU Project has chosen a new compression utility, `gzip', which is free of any known software patents and which tends to compress better anyway. Files compressed with this new compression program end in `.gz' (as opposed to `compress'-compressed files, which end in `.Z'). Gzip can uncompress `compress'-compressed files and SVR4 `pack' files (which end in `.z'). This is possible because the various decompression algorithms are not patented --- only compression is.
The gzip program is available from any GNU mirror site in shar, tar, or gzipped tar format (for those who already have a prior version of gzip and want faster data transmission). It works on virtually every unix system, MSDOS, OS/2, and VMS.
Please email comments about this page to email@example.com.
Copyright © 1997-2002 C.E.A. Finney. Unless specified, use in any medium of any contents at this site is permitted, provided the source URL be acknowledged and the copyright notice be included. This page's URL is http://www-chaos.engr.utk.edu/msc/gzip.html.
Updated: 2002-01-01 ceaf