The compress and uncompress programs work just like gzip and gunzip, but they use an older and less efficient compression technique. If you're using Linux, you shouldn't have to bother with compress and uncompress at all. Even if you come across a file created with compress (something with a .Z suffix), you can decompress it with gunzip, because gunzip understands both formats. Still, just for completeness, here's how to use the compress and uncompress programs:
compress some.file Create compressed some.file.Z.
uncompress some.file Create decompressed some.file.
The zcat program is another Linux antique. It does the same thing as uncompress with the -c flag (decompresses and writes output to the pipeline), so the following two commands would be equivalent:
uncompress -c something.tar.X | tar xvf -
zcat something.tar.X | tar xvf -
You should have to use these commands only if you're running some version of Unix besides Linux. (Even then, many Unix systems will have the GNU versions of gzip, gunzip, and tar available.)
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