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lzip - Man Page

reduces the size of files

Examples (TL;DR)


lzip [options] [files]


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 to maximize interoperability. The maximum dictionary size is 512 MiB so that any lzip file can be decompressed on 32-bit machines. Lzip provides accurate and robust 3-factor integrity checking. 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.


-h,  --help

display this help and exit

-V,  --version

output version information and exit

-a,  --trailing-error

exit with error status if trailing data

-b,  --member-size=<bytes>

set member size limit in bytes

-c,  --stdout

write to standard output, keep input files

-d,  --decompress

decompress, test compressed file integrity

-f,  --force

overwrite existing output files

-F,  --recompress

force re-compression of compressed files

-k,  --keep

keep (don't delete) input files

-l,  --list

print (un)compressed file sizes

-m,  --match-length=<bytes>

set match length limit in bytes [36]

-o,  --output=<file>

write to <file>, keep input files

-q,  --quiet

suppress all messages

-s,  --dictionary-size=<bytes>

set dictionary size limit in bytes [8 MiB]

-S,  --volume-size=<bytes>

set volume size limit in bytes

-t,  --test

test compressed file integrity

-v,  --verbose

be verbose (a 2nd -v gives more)

-0 .. -9

set compression level [default 6]


alias for -0


alias for -9


exit with error status if empty member in file


exit with error status if 1st LZMA byte not 0


allow trailing data seeming corrupt header

If no file names are given, or if a file is '-', lzip compresses or decompresses from standard input to standard output. Numbers may be followed by a multiplier: k = kB = 10^3 = 1000, Ki = KiB = 2^10 = 1024, M = 10^6, Mi = 2^20, G = 10^9, Gi = 2^30, etc... Dictionary sizes 12 to 29 are interpreted as powers of two, meaning 2^12 to 2^29 bytes.

The bidimensional parameter space of LZMA can't be mapped to a linear scale optimal for all files. If your files are large, very repetitive, etc, you may need to use the options --dictionary-size and --match-length directly to achieve optimal performance.

To extract all the files from archive 'foo.tar.lz', use the commands 'tar -xf foo.tar.lz' or 'lzip -cd foo.tar.lz | tar -xf -'.

Exit status: 0 for a normal exit, 1 for environmental problems (file not found, invalid command-line options, I/O errors, etc), 2 to indicate a corrupt or invalid input file, 3 for an internal consistency error (e.g., bug) which caused lzip to panic.

The ideas embodied in lzip are due to (at least) the following people: Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv (for the LZ algorithm), Andrei 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).

Reporting Bugs

Report bugs to lzip-bug@nongnu.org
Lzip home page: http://www.nongnu.org/lzip/lzip.html

See Also

The full documentation for lzip is maintained as a Texinfo manual.  If the info and lzip programs are properly installed at your site, the command

info lzip

should give you access to the complete manual.

Referenced By

lha(1), libarchive(3), pbzip2(1), tar(1).

March 2024 lzip 1.24.1