Version 8 (modified by willimm, 12 years ago) ( diff )



If you feel like trying new software (XZ-utils is pretty stable, despite being a beta), please try XZ-Utils instead of the now decerpated LZMA-Utils. What follows are the compilation instructions for XZ-Utils:

Package Information

Instalation of XZ-Utils

Install XZ-Utils with these following commands:

  ./configure --prefix=/usr &&

Now, as the root user:

  make install &&
  mv -v /usr/bin/{xz,unxz,xzcat,lzma,unlzma,lzcat} /bin &&
  mv -v /usr/lib/* /lib &&
  ln -sfv ../../lib/ /usr/lib/

Command Explanations:

Most of this is CMMI, but the last few commands are to move xz, unxz, xzcat, lzma, unlzma, and lzcat to /bin, and* to /lib for consity with the other compression tools. And, it also relinks /usr/lib/ to point to the liblzma library in /lib.


This is useful for decompressing XZ/LZMA files, and for compressing files into the XZ/LZMA format. The applications that can use it are:

  • man-db (as of 2.5.3, man pages can now be compressed with LZMA)
  • tar (for the -J and the --xz options)
  • File Roller (Gnome archive manager, as of 2.27.1 (i.e: stable version 2.28 onward), can read XZ files.)
  • Ark (KDE4 version, as of 4.3.*)
  • Any file manager that uses shared-mime-info (as of version 0.70), can read XZ files.


  • Smaller file size: According to Upstream, XZ files are 15% smaller than bzip2 files and 30% smaller than Gzip files. This can mean a lot, especially on hosting sites where you are given a limited amount of space. Being based on LZMA2, it's faster at decompression than Bzip2, but a bit slower than Gzip, but you are not going to notice it. Just look at three tarbals, and it tells the story:
du -h on lfs-tools-svn.tar.gz says it takes up 108 megabytes.
du -h on lfs-tools-svn.tar.bz2 says it takes up 92 megabytes, somewhat smaller than the Gzip one, but ridcously big still.
du -h on lfs-tools-svn.tar.xz says it takes up 54 megabytes, a dramatic improvment over the bzip2 and Gzip tarballs.

All three tarballs are ones I (willimm) made.
  • Faster to download: Since XZ files are smaller, they are faster to download, and this also means a lot, espicaly on dog-slow dialup. Hey, I'm just saying.
  • Support: Most distros now put XZ-Utils by default into their systems, despite still being a beta, even Slackware now uses it. Additionaly, LZMA-Utils is now considered obslete by Upstream, so it's a good idea to use XZ-Utils.


  • Slow compression speed: Xz, however, has a SLOW compression speed, so it's not very fast to compress it, but in the end, it's worth the wait, as you will have a very small file.
  • Still pretty new: Not all distros (like LFS) support XZ just yet, ignoring the fact that it's very stable despite being a beta, which means often you will see a bzip2 or gzip file along with a XZ file.
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