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PLZIP(1) User Commands PLZIP(1)


plzip - reduces the size of files


plzip [options] [files]


Plzip is a massively parallel (multi-threaded) implementation of lzip, fully compatible with lzip 1.4 or newer. Plzip uses the compression library lzlib.

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 systems.

Plzip can compress/decompress large files on multiprocessor machines much faster than lzip, at the cost of a slightly reduced compression ratio (0.4 to 2 percent larger compressed files). Note that the number of usable threads is limited by file size; on files larger than a few GB plzip can use hundreds of processors, but on files of only a few MB plzip is no faster than lzip.


display this help and exit
output version information and exit
exit with error status if trailing data
set size of input data blocks [2x8=16 MiB]
write to standard output, keep input files
overwrite existing output files
force re-compression of compressed files
keep (don't delete) input files
print (un)compressed file sizes
set match length limit in bytes [36]
set number of (de)compression threads [2]
write to <file>, keep input files
suppress all messages
set dictionary size limit in bytes [8 MiB]
test compressed file integrity
be verbose (a 2nd -v gives more)
-0 .. -9
set compression level [default 6]
alias for -0
alias for -9
allow trailing data seeming corrupt header
number of 1 MiB input packets buffered [4]
number of 1 MiB output packets buffered [64]
compare version of lzlib.h with liblz.{a,so}

If no file names are given, or if a file is '-', plzip 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 'plzip -cd foo.tar.lz | tar -xf -'.

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


Report bugs to
Plzip home page:


Copyright © 2009 Laszlo Ersek.
Copyright © 2022 Antonio Diaz Diaz. Using lzlib 1.13 License GPLv2+: GNU GPL version 2 or later <>
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


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

info plzip

should give you access to the complete manual.

January 2022 plzip 1.10