The lzip file format is designed for data sharing and long-term archiving, taking into account both data integrity and decoder availability:
A nice feature of the lzip format is that a corrupt byte is easier to repair the nearer it is from the beginning of the file. Therefore, with the help of lziprecover, losing an entire archive just because of a corrupt byte near the beginning is a thing of the past.
Lunzip uses the same well-defined exit status values used by lzip and bzip2, which makes it safer than decompressors returning ambiguous warning values (like gunzip) when it is used as a back end for other programs like tar or zutils.
Lunzip provides a "low memory" mode able to decompress any file using as little memory as 50 kB, irrespective of the dictionary size used to compress the file. To activate it, specify the size of the output buffer with the "--buffer-size" option and lunzip will use the decompressed file as dictionary for distances beyond the buffer size. Of course, the smaller the output buffer size used in relation to the dictionary size, the more accesses to disk are needed and the slower the decompression is. This "low memory" mode only works when decompressing to a regular file and is intended for systems without enough memory (RAM + swap) to keep the whole dictionary at once. It has been tested on a laptop with a 486 processor and 4MiB of RAM.
The amount of memory required by lunzip to decompress a file is about 46 kB larger than the dictionary size used to compress that file, unless the "--buffer-size" option is specified.
Decompressing a file is much like copying or moving it; therefore lunzip preserves the access and modification dates, permissions, and, when possible, ownership of the file just as "cp -p" does. (If the user ID or the group ID can't be duplicated, the file permission bits S_ISUID and S_ISGID are cleared).
Lunzip is able to read from some types of non regular files if the "--stdout" option is specified.
If no file names are specified, lunzip decompresses from standard input to standard output. In this case, lunzip will decline to read compressed input from a terminal.
Lunzip will correctly decompress a file which is the concatenation of two or more compressed files. The result is the concatenation of the corresponding uncompressed files. Integrity testing of concatenated compressed files is also supported.
Learn more about lzip in the Lzip Home Page.
The manual is available in the info system of the GNU Operating System. Use info to access the top level info page. Use info lzip to access the lzip section directly.
An online manual for lzip can be found here.
An archive of the bug report mailing list is available at http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/lzip-bug.
See also the lzip project page at Savannah.
You are free to copy, modify and distribute all or part of this article without limitation.