Compression notes

There are different ways to compress in a linux environment with general compression algorithms and so.

Tar and GZIP


GNU ’tar’ saves many files together into a single tape or disk archive, and can restore individual files from the archive.


Compress or uncompress FILEs (by default, compress FILES in-place).

Both are different tools, but tar can call bzip in order to compress an archived file.


Currently exists a variaty of compression techniques and algorithms.

The popular ones:


Compress or uncompress FILEs (by default, compress FILES in-place).


bzip2, a block-sorting file compressor. Version 1.0.8, 13-Jul-2019.

lzma / xz: Compress or decompress FILEs in the .xz format.

All of them supports the same preset of compressions which are from 1 (fast) to 9 (best).


The features to consider while testing the performance are: Compression file size, Compression ratio and Comprestion time.

Basically a comparision between, gzip, gzip2 and lzma/xz

  • gzip: compression ratio is low and compresion time is slow
  • lzma: compression ratio is high and compression time is fast (decompression is very low, twice as gzip)
  • bzip2: sits in the middle of gzip and lzma, it is a block-based compression