uncompress and display data 



zcat -DRVv [-O output_directory] [file ...]


zcat takes one or more compressed data files as input. The data files should be compressed with either the compress command or the mkszip command. If no data files are specified on the command line, zcat reads the standard input. You can also pass the standard input to zcat by specifying - as one of the files on the command line.

zcat decompresses the data of all the input files, and writes the result on the standard output. zcat concatenates the data in the same way cat does.

The names of compressed input files are expected to end in .Z, .gz, or .bz2. If a specified input file name does not end in this suffix, zcat searches for a file named file.Z, file.gz, or file.bz2. For example, if the command line specifies file abc, zcat looks for abc.Z, abc.gz, or abc.bz2. If none of these are found, zcat uses abc with no extension.

zcat is equivalent to

uncompress -c



decompresses files that were compressed using the dictionary option of compress and mkszip.

-O output_directory 

puts the output file in the specified output_directory.


specifies that the input file is not to be removed.


displays the version number of zcat.


displays the name of each file as it is decompressed.



MKS Toolkit supports hard links under 8.1/2012R2/10/2016/2019/11/2022 on NTFS file systems. There is a slight loss of performance for this support. If you do not require hard link support, you should set and export the environment variable TK_NTLINKS_OFF to disable this support.


Possible exit status values are:


Successful completion.


Failure due to any of the following:

— unknown command line option
— file is not in compressed format
— file was compressed with a number of bits zcat cannot handle
— there is no space for decompress tables
— compressed file is corrupt


All UNIX systems. Windows 8.1. Windows Server 2012 R2. Windows 10. Windows Server 2016. Windows Server 2019. Windows 11. Windows Server 2022.


PTC MKS Toolkit for Power Users
PTC MKS Toolkit for System Administrators
PTC MKS Toolkit for Developers
PTC MKS Toolkit for Interoperability
PTC MKS Toolkit for Professional Developers
PTC MKS Toolkit for Professional Developers 64-Bit Edition
PTC MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers
PTC MKS Toolkit for Enterprise Developers 64-Bit Edition


bzdiff, bzgrep, bzip2, bzmore, compress, gzip, mkszip, uncompress, unpack, unzip, zip, zipinfo

MKS Toolkit Backup and Tape Handling Solutions Guide

PTC MKS Toolkit 10.4 Documentation Build 39.