Lzip is a lossless data compressor with a user interface similar to the
one of gzip or bzip2. Lzip can compress about as fast as gzip (lzip -0)
or compress most files more than bzip2 (lzip -9). Decompression speed is
intermediate between gzip and bzip2. Lzip is better than gzip and bzip2
from a data recovery perspective. Lzip has been designed, written and
tested with great care to replace gzip and bzip2 as the standard
general-purpose compressed format for unix-like systems.
The lzip file format is designed for data sharing and long-term archiving,
taking into account both data integrity and decoder availability:
* The lzip format provides very safe integrity checking and some data
recovery means. The lziprecover program can repair bit flip errors
(one of the most common forms of data corruption) in lzip files,
and provides data recovery capabilities, including error-checked
merging of damaged copies of a file.
* The lzip format is as simple as possible (but not simpler). The
lzip manual provides the source code of a simple decompressor
along with a detailed explanation of how it works, so that with
the only help of the lzip manual it would be possible for a
digital archaeologist to extract the data from a lzip file long
after quantum computers eventually render LZMA obsolete.
* Additionally the lzip reference implementation is copylefted, which
guarantees that it will remain free forever.
A nice feature of the lzip format is that a corrupt byte is easier to
repair the nearer it is from the beginning of the file. Therefore, with
the help of lziprecover, losing an entire archive just because of a
corrupt byte near the beginning is a thing of the past.
Lzip uses the same well-defined exit status values used by bzip2, which
makes it safer than compressors returning ambiguous warning values (like
gzip) when it is used as a back end for other programs like tar or zutils.
Lzip will automatically use for each file the largest dictionary size
that does not exceed neither the file size nor the limit given. Keep in
mind that the decompression memory requirement is affected at
compression time by the choice of dictionary size limit.
The amount of memory required for compression is about 1 or 2 times the
dictionary size limit (1 if input file size is less than dictionary size
limit, else 2) plus 9 times the dictionary size really used. The option
'-0' is special and only requires about 1.5 MiB at most. The amount of
memory required for decompression is about 46 kB larger than the
dictionary size really used.
When compressing, lzip replaces every file given in the command line
with a compressed version of itself, with the name "original_name.lz".
When decompressing, lzip attempts to guess the name for the decompressed
file from that of the compressed file as follows:
filename.lz becomes filename
filename.tlz becomes filename.tar
anyothername becomes anyothername.out
(De)compressing a file is much like copying or moving it; therefore lzip
preserves the access and modification dates, permissions, and, when
possible, ownership of the file just as 'cp -p' does. (If the user ID or
the group ID can't be duplicated, the file permission bits S_ISUID and
S_ISGID are cleared).
Lzip is able to read from some types of non regular files if the
'--stdout' option is specified.
If no file names are specified, lzip compresses (or decompresses) from
standard input to standard output. In this case, lzip will decline to
write compressed output to a terminal, as this would be entirely
incomprehensible and therefore pointless.
Lzip will correctly decompress a file which is the concatenation of two or
more compressed files. The result is the concatenation of the corresponding
decompressed files. Integrity testing of concatenated compressed files is
Lzip can produce multimember files, and lziprecover can safely recover
the undamaged members in case of file damage. Lzip can also split the
compressed output in volumes of a given size, even when reading from
standard input. This allows the direct creation of multivolume
compressed tar archives.
Lzip is able to compress and decompress streams of unlimited size by
automatically creating multimember output. The members so created are
large, about 2 PiB each.
In spite of its name (Lempel-Ziv-Markov chain-Algorithm), LZMA is not a
concrete algorithm; it is more like "any algorithm using the LZMA coding
scheme". For example, the option '-0' of lzip uses the scheme in almost
the simplest way possible; issuing the longest match it can find, or a
literal byte if it can't find a match. Inversely, a much more elaborated
way of finding coding sequences of minimum size than the one currently
used by lzip could be developed, and the resulting sequence could also
be coded using the LZMA coding scheme.
Lzip currently implements two variants of the LZMA algorithm; fast
(used by option '-0') and normal (used by all other compression levels).
The high compression of LZMA comes from combining two basic, well-proven
compression ideas: sliding dictionaries (LZ77/78) and markov models (the
thing used by every compression algorithm that uses a range encoder or
similar order-0 entropy coder as its last stage) with segregation of
contexts according to what the bits are used for.
The ideas embodied in lzip are due to (at least) the following people:
Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv (for the LZ algorithm), Andrey Markov (for
the definition of Markov chains), G.N.N. Martin (for the definition of
range encoding), Igor Pavlov (for putting all the above together in
LZMA), and Julian Seward (for bzip2's CLI).
LANGUAGE NOTE: Uncompressed = not compressed = plain data; it may never
have been compressed. Decompressed is used to refer to data which have
undergone the process of decompression.
Copyright (C) 2008-2019 Antonio Diaz Diaz.
This file is free documentation: you have unlimited permission to copy,
distribute and modify it.
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