Files that contain the .z file extension are compressed Unix files. These files are used to create smaller files on computers that run on the Unix/Linux operating systems.
When a user has a large volume of files they can make the files more manageable by combining them into a single file archive. This makes the organization and distribution of the files easier. The .z files however, can only contain one file. Therefore users will archive the files using e.g. TAR first, and then compress the .tar archive with the "compress" command, resulting in a .taz or .tar.z file.
The .gz file format (another compression format) is becoming increasingly more popular than the .z format, however, and has been replacing it over time.
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