Meet 7-Zip

Once in a while I receive large files as in 4GB archives compressed using ZIP, yes it’s compression but no the best kind. ZIP brings limitations and by that I mean large files can not be effectively compressed. The right compression method can make a difference between waiting 60 minutes or 20 minutes for a download to complete.

If this is your problem then you should give 7-Zip a try. 7-Zip is a file archiver licensed under GNU. Some of it’s features are: cross platform, support for multiple CPUs, capability to encrypt files, can extract a number of other formats, and is efficient at compressing large files to a reduced size. 7-Zip can be used from both command line or GUI. The front-end for 7-Zip in Linux is File Roller.

7-Zip archive

What makes 7-Zip special:

  • High compression ratio in new 7z format with LZMA compression
  • Supported formats:
    o Packing / unpacking: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR
    o Unpacking only: ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, DEB, DMG, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MSI, NSIS, RAR, RPM, UDF, WIM, XAR and Z.

  • For ZIP and GZIP formats, 7-Zip provides a compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip
  • Strong AES-256 encryption in 7z and ZIP formats
  • Self-extracting capability for 7z format
  • Integration with Windows Shell
  • Powerful File Manager
  • Powerful command line version
  • Plugin for FAR Manager
  • Localizations for 74 languages

7-Zip can be resource intensive, specially heavy on the CPU. However, smaller files mean more space available and less time transferring them.