12 of the Finest Compression Instruments to Compress Information on Linux

File compression is an integral a part of system administration. Discovering one of the best compression methodology requires important dedication. Fortunately, there are various sturdy compression instruments for Linux that make backing up system knowledge simpler. Right here, we current a few of the finest Linux compression instruments that can be utilized to compress recordsdata in Linux.

1. LZ4

LZ4 is the compression instrument of selection for admins who want lightning-fast compression and decompression velocity. It makes use of the LZ4 lossless algorithm, which belongs to the household of LZ77 byte-oriented compression algorithms.

Furthermore, LZ4 comes coupled with a high-speed decoder which might course of greater than 1 Gigabyte/second per CPU core. This makes it superb for customers who want to bundle massive quantities of information with as little time as attainable.


  • Extraordinarily fast compression and decompression algorithm.
  • Obtainable in nearly each Linux distro in the present day.


  • Prioritizes velocity over excessive compression ratio.
  • The default implementation solely makes use of a single CPU core.

2. Zstandard

Zstandard is one other quick compression instrument for Linux that can be utilized for private and enterprise tasks. A few of its most compelling options embody the adaptive mode, which might management compression ratios primarily based on I/O.

Additional, Zstandard has the power to commerce velocity for higher compression, and the dictionary compression scheme. Lastly, it additionally has a wealthy API that’s out there for all main programming languages.

A terminal showing the help screen for zstd.


  • Can regulate the speed-to-compression ratio on the fly.
  • Takes little to no system assets throughout compression.


  • Not available in most distributions together with no default assist in tar.
  • Decompression can take time in excessive compression ratios.

3. lzop

lzop is a sturdy compression instrument that makes use of the Lempel-Ziv-Oberhumer (LZO) compression algorithm. It supplies breakneck compression velocity by buying and selling compression ratios. For instance, it produces barely bigger recordsdata in comparison with gzip however requires solely 10 p.c CPU runtime.

Furthermore, lzop can cope with system backups in a number of methods, together with backup mode, single file mode, archive mode, and pipe mode. Lastly, lzop additionally goals to be a drop-in alternative for the older gzip algorithm. Because of this it’s attainable to make use of lzop on scripts that usually use gzip by simply making a Bash alias.

A terminal showing the help screen for lzop.


  • First rate compression ratio for good compression velocity.
  • Simple to retrofit in older archive scripts as a consequence of compatibility with gzip.


  • Don’t delete the unique file after compression.
  • Its compression ratio tanks the extra it focuses on velocity.

4. Gzip

Gzip is definitely one of the extensively used compression instruments for Linux admins. It’s appropriate with each GNU software program, making it the proper compression instrument for distant engineers.

Gzip leverages the Lempel-Ziv coding in DEFLATE mode for file compression. It could possibly scale back the dimensions of supply code by as much as 90 p.c. Other than that, it additionally preserves a file’s metadata, which incorporates its modification time and permission bits. Total, this makes gzip a wonderful selection for seasoned Linux customers in addition to software program builders.

A terminal showing the gzip compressing and decompressing a file.


  • Obtainable in each Linux distribution as a part of GNU coreutils.
  • Preserves each related metadata of the compressed file.


  • Not as efficient when compressing directories of recordsdata.
  • Mediocre compression ratios and speeds in comparison with different algorithms.

5. bzip2

bzip2 is a free and open-source compression instrument for Linux. It compresses recordsdata utilizing the Burrows-Wheeler block-sorting compression algorithm and Huffman coding. It additionally helps a number of extra compression strategies, equivalent to run-length encoding, delta encoding and sparse bit array.

Bzip2 can even get better knowledge from media drives by reconstructing the lacking, broken knowledge from the out there archive. Total, bzip2 is an acceptable compression instrument for on a regular basis utilization as a consequence of its sturdy compression talents and quick decompression velocity.

A terminal showing bzip2 compressing and decompressing a file.


  • Has a built-in knowledge restoration operate that may reconstruct lacking and broken knowledge on the fly.
  • Extraordinarily transportable. It could possibly run on each previous and new {hardware} and working techniques.


  • Mediocre compression ratio in comparison with Zstandard and LZ4.
  • It could possibly typically trigger a file to develop in dimension as an alternative of decreasing it.

6. 7zip

7zip is the port of 7-zip’s command-line utility for Linux. It’s a high-performance archiving instrument with stable compression ratios. Much like its Home windows counterpart, it has assist for a lot of fashionable codecs, together with tar, xz, gzip, bzip2, and zip.

7zip additionally makes use of the 7z format by default, which supplies 30 to 50 p.c higher compression than commonplace zip compression. Furthermore, you should use this instrument for creating self-extracting and dynamically-sized quantity archives.

A terminal showing 7z compressing a file.


  • Format is well appropriate with different non-Linux working techniques.
  • Helps a number of compression codecs together with its signature 7z.


  • Doesn’t protect any file metadata for the compressed archive.
  • Not simply obtainable on most Linux distros.

7. pigz

pigz or parallel implementation of gzip is a dependable alternative for the gzip compression instrument. It leverages a number of CPU cores to extend the compression velocity dramatically. It makes use of the zlib and pthread libraries for implementing the multi-threading compression course of. Nonetheless, pigz cannot decompress archives in parallel. Therefore, you won’t be able to get comparable speeds throughout compression and decompression.

A terminal showing the help screen of pigz.


  • Extraordinarily good compression speeds as a consequence of its having the ability to use a number of cores.
  • Cross-compatible with the favored gzip compression binary.


  • Can solely compress a single file at a time.
  • Sluggish at decompressing as a consequence of a scarcity of multithreading assist on its extraction algorithm.

8. pixz

pixz is a parallel implementation of the XZ compressor with assist for knowledge indexing. As a substitute of manufacturing one huge block of compressed knowledge like xz, it creates a set of smaller blocks. This makes randomly accessing the unique knowledge easy. Furthermore, pixz additionally makes positive that the file permissions are preserved the way in which they had been throughout compression and decompression.

A terminal showing pixz compressing and decompressing a file.


  • Extremely environment friendly at compressing massive blocks of information.
  • Makes use of all out there CPU cores throughout file compression.


  • Does not have the power to pipe knowledge immediately to plain output.
  • Not totally appropriate with its single-core variant: xz.

9. plzip

plzip is a lossless knowledge compressor instrument that makes inventive use of the multi-threading capabilities supported by fashionable CPUs. It’s constructed on prime of the lzlib library and supplies a command-line interface just like gzip and bzip2.

One key good thing about plzip is its potential to completely leverage multiprocessor machines. Other than that, the developer of the algorithm designed it to be as data-safe and dependable as attainable. This makes it a sexy possibility for admins who want a high-performance Linux compression instrument that helps parallel compression and is appropriate for long-term storage.

A terminal showing the help screen for plzip.


  • Makes use of all CPU cores throughout each compression and decompression.
  • Constructed to be secure when dealing with important knowledge.


  • It prioritizes velocity over compression ratio.
  • Requires a minimal file dimension of 2MB as a way to effectively compress knowledge.

10. XZ Utils

XZ Utils is a set of compression instruments for Linux that may compress and decompress .xz and .lzma recordsdata. It primarily makes use of the LZMA2 algorithm for compression and may carry out integrity checks of compressed knowledge comfy. Since this instrument is on the market to fashionable Linux distributions by default, it may be a viable selection for compression in lots of conditions.

A terminal showing xz compressing and decompressing a file.


  • Produces recordsdata with extraordinarily excessive compression ratio.
  • Obtainable on nearly all fashionable Linux distros.


  • Each its compression and decompression algorithms are CPU-intensive and sluggish.
  • Increased compression ratio settings could be memory-hungry.

11. lrzip

Lengthy Vary ZIP (lrzip) is an environment friendly knowledge compression program for Linux that goals to optimize massive binary recordsdata. It does this by extending the rzip algorithm to accommodate variable reminiscence sizes in addition to making use of a number of compression algorithms.

Other than that, lrzip can also be extraordinarily transportable. Because of this you could find an lrzip bundle on nearly all fashionable Linux distros equivalent to Ubuntu, Debian and Arch Linux.

A terminal showing the help screen for lrzip.


  • Environment friendly at compressing recordsdata with massive total sizes.
  • The code is transportable sufficient to be out there to most Linux distros.


  • Can solely compress one file at a time.
  • Utilizing the compression program in a UNIX pipe might lead to a much less environment friendly output.

12. Zpaq

Zpaq is a strong knowledge compression instrument that may create incremental backups. In contrast to different compression algorithms, Zpaq is a whole software program suite that goals to offer a redundant however extremely space-efficient archival resolution.

Other than that, Zpaq additionally has the power to leap again to an older model of its archive. It’s because it retains observe of all the pieces that occurs on a Zpaq archive together with the precise bytes that modified in-between variations.

A terminal showing the help screen for zpaq.


  • Can routinely create incremental backups of a listing.
  • Wonderful compression ratio when coping with a number of recordsdata.


  • Does not protect the permission bits and modification occasions of its archives.
  • Does not observe symbolic hyperlinks when archiving knowledge.

A plethora of dependable Linux compression instruments make it straightforward to archive and again up important knowledge. You may select from many lossless compressors with excessive compression ratios equivalent to LZ4, lzop, and bzip2.

Then again, instruments like Zstandard, plzip and Zpaq permit for extra superior compression workflows. Lastly, compressing archival knowledge shouldn’t be the tip of making certain your knowledge’s integrity over lengthy intervals of time. Be taught how one can create a safe cloud backup utilizing rclone.

Picture credit score: Priscilla Du Preez through Unsplash. All alterations and screenshots by Ramces Purple.