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4.11 Reading Data from ZIP Files

Credit: Paul Prescod

4.11.1 Problem

You have an archive in ZIP format, and you want to examine some or all of the files it contains directly, without expanding them on disk.

4.11.2 Solution

ZIP files are a popular, cross-platform way of archiving files. Python's standard library comes with a zipfile module to access them easily:

import zipfile

z = zipfile.ZipFile("zipfile.zip", "r")

for filename in z.namelist(  ):
    print 'File:', filename,
    bytes = z.read(filename)
    print 'has',len(bytes),'bytes'

4.11.3 Discussion

Python can work directly with data in ZIP files. You can look at the list of items in the directory and work with the data files themselves. This recipe is a snippet that lists all of the names and content lengths of the files included in the ZIP archive zipfile.zip.

The zipfile module does not currently handle multidisk ZIP files or ZIP files that have appended comments. Take care to use 'r' as the flag argument, not 'rb', which might seem more natural (e.g., on Windows). With ZipFile, the flag is not used the same way as for opening a file, and 'rb' is not recognized. The 'r' flag takes care of the inherently binary nature of the ZIP file on all platforms.

4.11.4 See Also

Documentation for the zipfile module in the Library Reference.

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