COMPRESS(1)                 General Commands Manual                COMPRESS(1)

       compress, uncompress.real - compress and expand data

       compress [ -f ] [ -v ] [ -c ] [ -V ] [ -r ] [ -b bits ] [ -- ] [ name ...  ]
       uncompress.real [ -f ] [ -v ] [ -c ] [ -V ] [ -- ] [ name ...  ]

       Note that the program that would normally be installed as uncompress is
       installed for Debian as uncompress.real.  This has been done to avoid
       conflicting with the more-commonly-used program with the same name that
       is part of the gzip package.

       Compress reduces the size of the named files using adaptive Lempel-Ziv
       coding.  Whenever possible, each file is replaced by one with the
       extension .Z, while keeping the same ownership modes, access and
       modification times.  If no files are specified, the standard input is
       compressed to the standard output.  Compress will only attempt to
       compress regular files.  In particular, it will ignore symbolic links.
       If a file has multiple hard links, compress will refuse to compress it
       unless the -f flag is given.

       If -f is not given and compress is run in the foreground, the user is
       prompted as to whether an existing file should be overwritten.

       Compressed files can be restored to their original form using

       uncompress.real takes a list of files on its command line and replaces
       each file whose name ends with .Z and which begins with the correct
       magic number with an uncompressed file without the .Z.  The
       uncompressed file will have the mode, ownership and timestamps of the
       compressed file.

       The -c option makes compress/uncompress.real write to the standard
       output; no files are changed.

       If the -r flag is specified, compress will operate recursively. If any
       of the file names specified on the command line are directories,
       compress will descend into the directory and compress all the files it
       finds there.

       The -V flag tells each of these programs to print its version and
       patchlevel, along with any preprocessor flags specified during
       compilation, on stderr before doing any compression or uncompression.

       Compress uses the modified Lempel-Ziv algorithm popularized in "A
       Technique for High Performance Data Compression", Terry A. Welch, IEEE
       Computer, vol. 17, no. 6 (June 1984), pp. 8-19.  Common substrings in
       the file are first replaced by 9-bit codes 257 and up.  When code 512
       is reached, the algorithm switches to 10-bit codes and continues to use
       more bits until the limit specified by the -b flag is reached (default
       16).  Bits must be between 9 and 16.  The default can be changed in the
       source to allow compress to be run on a smaller machine.

       After the bits limit is attained, compress periodically checks the
       compression ratio.  If it is increasing, compress continues to use the
       existing code dictionary.  However, if the compression ratio decreases,
       compress discards the table of substrings and rebuilds it from scratch.
       This allows the algorithm to adapt to the next "block" of the file.

       Note that the -b flag is omitted for uncompress.real, since the bits
       parameter specified during compression is encoded within the output,
       along with a magic number to ensure that neither decompression of
       random data nor recompression of compressed data is attempted.

       The amount of compression obtained depends on the size of the input,
       the number of bits per code, and the distribution of common substrings.
       Typically, text such as source code or English is reduced by 50-60%.
       Compression is generally much better than that achieved by Huffman
       coding (as used in pack), or adaptive Huffman coding (compact), and
       takes less time to compute.

       Under the -v option, a message is printed yielding the percentage of
       reduction for each file compressed.

       -- may be used to halt option parsing and force all remaining arguments
       to be treated as paths.

       Exit status is normally 0; if the last file is larger after (attempted)
       compression, the status is 2; if an error occurs, exit status is 1.

       Usage: compress [-dfvcVr] [-b maxbits] [file ...]
               Invalid options were specified on the command line.
       Missing maxbits
               Maxbits must follow -b.
       file: not in compressed format
               The file specified to uncompress.real has not been compressed.
       file: compressed with xx bits, can only handle yy bits
               File was compressed by a program that could deal with more bits
               than the compress code on this machine.  Recompress the file
               with smaller bits.
       file: already has .Z suffix -- no change
               The file is assumed to be already compressed.  Rename the file
               and try again.
       file: filename too long to tack on .Z
               The file cannot be compressed because its name is longer than
               12 characters.  Rename and try again.  This message does not
               occur on BSD systems.
       file already exists; do you wish to overwrite (y or n)?
               Respond "y" if you want the output file to be replaced; "n" if
       uncompress.real: corrupt input
               A SIGSEGV violation was detected which usually means that the
               input file has been corrupted.
       Compression: xx.xx%
               Percentage of the input saved by compression.  (Relevant only
               for -v.)
       -- not a regular file or directory: ignored
               When the input file is not a regular file or directory, (e.g. a
               symbolic link, socket, FIFO, device file), it is left
       -- has xx other links: unchanged
               The input file has links; it is left unchanged.  See ln(1) for
               more information. Use the -f flag to force compression of
               multiply-linked files.
       -- file unchanged
               No savings is achieved by compression.  The input remains

       Although compressed files are compatible between machines with large
       memory, -b12 should be used for file transfer to architectures with a
       small process data space (64KB or less, as exhibited by the DEC PDP
       series, the Intel 80286, etc.)

       Invoking compress with a -r flag will occasionally cause it to produce
       spurious error warnings of the form

        "<filename>.Z already has .Z suffix - ignored"

       These warnings can be ignored. See the comments in
       compress42.c:compdir() in the source distribution for an explanation.

       pack(1), compact(1)

                                     local                         COMPRESS(1)