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I store a very large (TBytes) amount of logs. These logs will rarely be extracted, and when they will - only a single file will be required.

Could you recommend an ultra-efficient and extremely stable compression algorithm that's considerably better than bzip2?

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

lzma (aka xz) should do notably better than bzip2, but will take a bit longer.
paq (aka zp) will do quite a bit better yet, but will take ages to compress and just as long to decompress.

Both are available for Windows and *nix environments (most *nix systems have packages available)

A quick test on a smartd log:

Original       3900K
GZip            208K    0.11s
BZip2            71K    3.07s
XZ               13K    1.76s*
ZP                6K   25.68s*

*I've got -O3 compiled ports for xz and zp. The gzip and bzip2 binaries were precompiled with no optimization.

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See also – jftuga Jun 12 '11 at 19:11
xz is faster than bz2. Even if your quick test shows it. – Brendan Long Jun 12 '11 at 20:22
In linux lzma is also supported by tar – leonbloy Jun 12 '11 at 20:27
@Brendan, just tested -Os compiled versions of xz and bzip2 on 100MB of random data. bzip2 took 45.39s while xz took 1:25.77; bzip2 should be faster for any sizable dataset and similar compiler optimizations. @leonbloy, tar also supports the use of external compressors if they can work on stdin to stdout, which all of these compressors do. – Chris S Jun 13 '11 at 1:25
@ChrisS but the original 7z doesn't, also a built in alias of -J sure gives something – Hubert Kario Jan 15 '12 at 20:56

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