GZIP is a software application used for file compression and decompression.
GZIP is based on the DEFLATE algorithm, which is a combination of LZ77 and Huffman coding. DEFLATE was intended as a replacement for LZW and other patent-encumbered data compression algorithms which, at the time, limited the usability of compress and other popular archivers.
"GZIP" is often also used to refer to the GZIP file format.
Although its file format also allows for multiple such streams to be concatenated (zipped files are simply decompressed concatenated as if they were originally one file), GZIP is normally used to compress just single files.Compressed archives are typically created by assembling collections of files into a single tar archive, and then compressing that archive with GZIP. The final .tar.gz or .tgz file is usually called a tarball.
GZIP is not to be confused with the ZIP archive format, which also uses DEFLATE. The ZIP format can hold collections of files without an external archiver, but is less compact than compressed tarballs holding the same data, because it compresses files individually and cannot take advantage of redundancy between files (solid compression).