The downloads on this page, e.g. of NetCDF C/C++/Fortran 4.1.3, show tar.Z and tar.gz formats. The tar.Z doesn't even have a configure file in it. What is it used for?


.Z files are compressed with the older compress utility while .gz are compressed with gzip.

Some ancient systems might be missing gzip/gunzip so will use uncompress and .Z files.

  • 4
    However, one should not just rely on the name! Use the file program to determine the real type of the file. Jul 29 '11 at 6:43
  • 2
    Some very, very, VERY ancient systems that haven't seen an update in two decades...
    – Shadur
    Jul 29 '11 at 11:20
  • 1
    That's what I meant with ancient. For example Solaris 7 11/99 was the last Solaris release not bundling gzip.
    – jlliagre
    Jul 29 '11 at 13:25

This is the right answer. I'l just add that although they are compressed using a different program, gzip/gunzip can decompress .Z archives without any problems.

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