Clzip is a C language version of lzip, fully compatible with lzip 1.4 or
newer. As clzip is written in C, it may be easier to integrate in
applications like package managers, embedded devices, or systems lacking a
Lzip is a lossless data compressor with a user interface similar to the one
of gzip or bzip2. Lzip uses a simplified form of the 'Lempel-Ziv-Markov
chain-Algorithm' (LZMA) stream format and provides a 3 factor integrity
checking to maximize interoperability and optimize safety. 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
For compressing/decompressing large files on multiprocessor machines plzip
can be much faster than lzip at the cost of a slightly reduced compression
For creation and manipulation of compressed tar archives tarlz can be more
efficient than using tar and plzip because tarlz is able to keep the
alignment between tar members and lzip members.
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 program lziprecover 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.
Clzip 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.
Clzip 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
When compressing, clzip replaces every file given in the command line
with a compressed version of itself, with the name "original_name.lz".
When decompressing, clzip 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 clzip
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).
Clzip is able to read from some types of non-regular files if either the
option '-c' or the option '-o' is specified.
If no file names are specified, clzip compresses (or decompresses) from
standard input to standard output. Clzip will refuse to read compressed data
from a terminal or write compressed data to a terminal, as this would be
entirely incomprehensible and might leave the terminal in an abnormal state.
Clzip 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
Clzip can produce multimember files, and lziprecover can safely recover the
undamaged members in case of file damage. Clzip 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.
Clzip 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.
Clzip 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 clzip 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) 2010-2022 Antonio Diaz Diaz.
This file is free documentation: you have unlimited permission to copy,
distribute, and modify it.
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