To obtain a fresh zip file just like as tar does, do I have to perform rm foo.zip before executing zip?

$ mkdir foo; touch foo/bar
$ zip -r foo.zip foo
  adding: foo/ (stored 0%)
  adding: foo/bar (stored 0%)
$ rm foo/bar; touch foo/baz
$ zip -r foo.zip foo
  adding: foo/ (stored 0%)
  adding: foo/baz (stored 0%)
$ unzip -l foo.zip
Archive:  foo.zip
  Length      Date    Time    Name
---------  ---------- -----   ----
        0  2011-10-27 07:49   foo/
        0  2011-10-27 07:49   foo/bar
        0  2011-10-27 07:49   foo/baz
---------                     -------
        0                     3 files

2 Answers 2


Use the -FS option to "file sync"

zip -FSr foo.zip foo

This will add any new files in the folder to the zip, and delete any files from the zip that aren't in the folder.

  • Which version of zip has this option? My zip command does not recognise "-S"
    – Jayan
    Jun 26, 2014 at 11:08
  • 5
    The switch is -FS not -F and -S together. This has been there since zip 3.0 at least. Check man zip.
    – Paul
    Jun 26, 2014 at 13:53
  • How is "new file" defined? Its filesize changes, date modified, both? Just curious
    – Moseleyi
    May 31, 2018 at 4:20
  • This just work for Zip 3.0 and don't work for Zip 2.32 (didn't remove old files in zip pack) Jul 20, 2019 at 23:05
  • You mean -FS -r, right?
    – avalanche1
    Sep 5, 2019 at 17:31

An alternative to using the -FS option (or deleting the old ZIP file first), is to overwrite the existing ZIP file by having zip output to stdout and redirect it to the designated file:

zip -r - foo >foo.zip

If foo.zip exists, it will be overwritten by shell redirection, meaning you'll get a fresh new ZIP file 100% of the time, every time.

Option Explanation
-r Recursively add directory and its contents
- Output ZIP contents to stdout
foo The directory to be zipped
>foo.zip Redirect stdout to file foo.zip
  • You mean output to stdout
    – flarn2006
    Aug 26, 2019 at 19:53

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