(2008032902 - LFS) Compression

Robert Connolly robert at linuxfromscratch.org
Sat Mar 29 14:07:53 PDT 2008


On Saturday March 29 2008 11:54:07 am Adrian Fisher wrote:
> Hello again all :)
>
> What is the best open source (or at least non commercial) compression
> format known?  How does it fair with source code?
>
> Regards,
>
> A.

7zip/lzma compresses better than anything else, but also costs the most cpu. 
If saving space is your primary concern, then this is the best choice. The 
decompression time for lzma is very competitive. Here are some examples:

261M    linux-2.6.24.3.tar

45M     linux-2.6.24.3.tar.bz2
	1m32.503s compression time at -9
	0m29.657s decompression time

57M     linux-2.6.24.3.tar.gz
	0m49.603s compression time at -9
	0m7.515s decompression time

37M     linux-2.6.24.3.tar.lzma
	11m1.600s compression time at -9
	0m10.397s decompression time

Note that your results may be different, depending on assembly code used when 
building lzma, and the type of file you're compressing. Lzma is ideal for the 
world we currently live in... it is much better for the file's maker to spend 
ten times longer compressing a file if it saves download time and storage 
space. If, however, you're compressing whole partitions (or compressing, 
decompressing, reading/editing, and recompressing, repeatedly) it will 
probably be too expensive on the cpu, and gzip/zlib may be a better choice.

robert
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