LBZIP2(1)                        User commands                       LBZIP2(1)

       lbzip2 - parallel bzip2 utility

       lbzip2|bzip2 [-n WTHRS] [-k|-c|-t] [-d] [-1 .. -9] [-f] [-v] [-S] [
       FILE ... ]

       lbunzip2|bunzip2 [-n WTHRS] [-k|-c|-t] [-z] [-f] [-v] [-S] [ FILE ... ]

       lbzcat|bzcat [-n WTHRS] [-z] [-f] [-v] [-S] [ FILE ... ]

       lbzip2|bzip2|lbunzip2|bunzip2|lbzcat|bzcat -h

       Compress or decompress FILE operands or standard input to regular files
       or standard output using the Burrows-Wheeler block-sorting text
       compression algorithm. The lbzip2 utility employs multiple threads and
       an input-bound splitter even when decompressing .bz2 files created by
       standard bzip2.

       Compression is generally considerably better than that achieved by more
       conventional LZ77/LZ78-based compressors, and competitive with all but
       the best of the PPM family of statistical compressors.

       Compression is always performed, even if the compressed file is
       slightly larger than the original. The worst case expansion is for
       files of zero length, which expand to fourteen bytes. Random data
       (including the output of most file compressors) is coded with
       asymptotic expansion of around 0.5%.

       The command-line options are deliberately very similar to those of
       bzip2 and gzip, but they are not identical.

       The default mode of operation is compression. If the utility is invoked
       as lbunzip2 or bunzip2, the mode is switched to decompression. Calling
       the utility as lbzcat or bzcat selects decompression, with the
       decompressed byte-stream written to standard output.

       -n WTHRS
              Set the number of (de)compressor threads to WTHRS.  If this
              option is not specified, lbzip2 tries to query the system for
              the number of online processors (if both the compilation
              environment and the execution environment support that), or
              exits with an error (if it's unable to determine the number of
              processors online).

       -k, --keep
              Don't remove FILE operands after successful (de)compression.
              Open regular input files with more than one link.

       -c, --stdout
              Write output to standard output, even when FILE operands are
              present. Implies -k and excludes -t.

       -t, --test
              Test decompression; discard output instead of writing it to
              files or standard output. Implies -k and excludes -c.  Roughly
              equivalent to passing -c and redirecting standard output to the
              bit bucket.

       -d, --decompress
              Force decompression over the mode of operation selected by the
              invocation name.

       -z, --compress
              Force compression over the mode of operation selected by the
              invocation name.

       -1 .. -9
              Set the compression block size to 100K .. 900K, in 100K
              increments.  Ignored during decompression. See also the BLOCK
              SIZE section below.

       --fast Alias for -1.

       --best Alias for -9.  This is the default.

       -f, --force
              Open non-regular input files. Open input files with more than
              one link, breaking links when -k isn't specified in addition.
              Try to remove each output file before opening it.  By default
              lbzip2 will not overwrite existing files; if you want this to
              happen, you should specify -f.  If -c and -d are also given
              don't reject files not in bzip2 format, just copy them without
              change; without -f lbzip2 would stop after reaching a file that
              is not in bzip2 format.

       -v, --verbose
              Be more verbose. Print more detailed information about
              (de)compression progress to standard error: before processing
              each file, print a message stating the names of input and output
              files; during (de)compression, print a rough percentage of
              completeness and estimated time of arrival (only if standard
              error is connected to a terminal); after processing each file
              print a message showing compression ratio, space savings, total
              compression time (wall time) and average (de)compression speed
              (bytes of plain data processed per second).

       -S     Print condition variable statistics to standard error for each
              completed (de)compression operation. Useful in profiling.

       -s, --small, -q, --quiet, --repetitive-fast, --repetitive-best,
              Accepted for compatibility with bzip2, otherwise ignored.

       -h, --help
              Print help on command-line usage on standard output and exit

       -L, --license, -V, --version
              Print license and version information on standard output and
              exit successfully.

       LBZIP2, BZIP2, BZIP
              Before parsing the command line, lbzip2 inserts the contents of
              these variables, in the order specified, between the invocation
              name and the rest of the command line. Tokens are separated by
              spaces and tabs, which cannot be escaped.

       FILE   Specify files to compress or decompress.

              FILEs with .bz2, .tbz, .tbz2 and .tz2 name suffixes will be
              skipped when compressing. When decompressing, .bz2 suffixes will
              be removed in output filenames; .tbz, .tbz2 and .tz2 suffixes
              will be replaced by .tar; other filenames will be suffixed with
              .out. If an INT or TERM signal is delivered to lbzip2, then it
              removes the regular output file currently open before exiting.

              If no FILE is given, lbzip2 works as a filter, processing
              standard input to standard output. In this case, lbzip2 will
              decline to write compressed output to a terminal (or read
              compressed input from a terminal), as this would be entirely
              incomprehensible and therefore pointless.

       0      if lbzip2 finishes successfully. This presumes that whenever it
              tries, lbzip2 never fails to write to standard error.

       1      if lbzip2 encounters a fatal error.

       4      if lbzip2 issues warnings without encountering a fatal error.
              This presumes that whenever it tries, lbzip2 never fails to
              write to standard error.

              if lbzip2 intends to exit with status 1 due to any fatal error,
              but any such signal with inherited SIG_DFL action was generated
              for lbzip2 previously, then lbzip2 terminates by way of one of
              said signals, after cleaning up any interrupted output file.

              if a runtime assertion fails (i.e.  lbzip2 detects a bug in
              itself). Hopefully whoever compiled your binary wasn't bold
              enough to #define NDEBUG.

              lbzip2 catches these signals so that it can remove an
              interrupted output file. In such cases, lbzip2 exits by re-
              raising (one of) the received signal(s).

       lbzip2 compresses large files in blocks. It can operate at various
       block sizes, ranging from 100k to 900k in 100k steps, and it allocates
       only as much memory as it needs to. The block size affects both the
       compression ratio achieved, and the amount of memory needed both for
       compression and decompression.  Compression and decompression speed is
       virtually unaffected by block size, provided that the file being
       processed is large enough to be split among all worker threads.

       The flags -1 through -9 specify the block size to be 100,000 bytes
       through 900,000 bytes (the default) respectively. At decompression-
       time, the block size used for compression is read from the compressed
       file -- the flags -1 to -9 are irrelevant to and so ignored during

       Larger block sizes give rapidly diminishing marginal returns; most of
       the compression comes from the first two or three hundred k of block
       size, a fact worth bearing in mind when using lbzip2 on small machines.
       It is also important to appreciate that the decompression memory
       requirement is set at compression-time by the choice of block size. In
       general you should try and use the largest block size memory
       constraints allow.

       Another significant point applies to small files. By design, only one
       of lbzip2's worker threads can work on a single block. This means that
       if the number of blocks in the compressed file is less than the number
       of processors online, then some of worker threads will remain idle for
       the entire time. Compressing small files with smaller block sizes can
       therefore significantly increase both compression and decompression
       speed. The speed difference is more noticeable as the number of CPU
       cores grows.

       Dealing with error conditions is the least satisfactory aspect of
       lbzip2.  The policy is to try and leave the filesystem in a consistent
       state, then quit, even if it means not processing some of the files
       mentioned in the command line.

       `A consistent state' means that a file exists either in its compressed
       or uncompressed form, but not both. This boils down to the rule `delete
       the output file if an error condition occurs, leaving the input
       intact'. Input files are only deleted when we can be pretty sure the
       output file has been written and closed successfully.

       lbzip2 needs various kinds of system resources to operate. Those
       include memory, threads, mutexes and condition variables. The policy is
       to simply give up if a resource allocation failure occurs.

       Resource consumption grows linearly with number of worker threads. If
       lbzip2 fails because of lack of some resources, decreasing number of
       worker threads may help. It would be possible for lbzip2 to try to
       reduce number of worker threads (and hence the resource consumption),
       or to move on to subsequent files in the hope that some might need less
       resources, but the complications for doing this seem more trouble than
       they are worth.

       lbzip2 attempts to compress data by performing several non-trivial
       transformations on it. Every compression of a file implies an
       assumption that the compressed file can be decompressed to reproduce
       the original. Great efforts in design, coding and testing have been
       made to ensure that this program works correctly.  However, the
       complexity of the algorithms, and, in particular, the presence of
       various special cases in the code which occur with very low but non-
       zero probability make it very difficult to rule out the possibility of
       bugs remaining in the program. That is not to say this program is
       inherently unreliable. Indeed, I very much hope the opposite is true --
       lbzip2 has been carefully constructed and extensively tested.

       As a self-check for your protection, lbzip2 uses 32-bit CRCs to make
       sure that the decompressed version of a file is identical to the
       original. This guards against corruption of the compressed data, and
       against undiscovered bugs in lbzip2 (hopefully unlikely). The chances
       of data corruption going undetected is microscopic, about one chance in
       four billion for each file processed. Be aware, though, that the check
       occurs upon decompression, so it can only tell you that that something
       is wrong.

       CRCs can only detect corrupted files, they can't help you recover the
       original, uncompressed data. However, because of the block nature of
       the compression algorithm, it may be possible to recover some parts of
       the damaged file, even if some blocks are destroyed.

       Separate input files don't share worker threads; at most one input file
       is worked on at any moment.

       lbzip2 was originally written by Laszlo Ersek <>, Versions 2.0 and later were written by Mikolaj

       Copyright (C) 2011, 2012, 2013 Mikolaj Izdebski
       Copyright (C) 2008, 2009, 2010 Laszlo Ersek
       Copyright (C) 1996 Julian Seward

       This manual page is part of lbzip2, version 2.3. lbzip2 is free
       software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of
       the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software
       Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any
       later version.

       lbzip2 is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT
       ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or
       FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License
       for more details.

       You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
       with lbzip2. If not, see <>.

       Adam Maulis at ELTE IIG; Julian Seward; Paul Sladen; Michael Thomas
       from Caltech HEP; Bryan Stillwell; Zsolt Bartos-Elekes; Imre Csatlos;
       Gabor Kovesdan; Paul Wise; Paolo Bonzini; Department of Electrical and
       Information Engineering at the University of Oulu; Yuta Mori.

       lbzip2 home page







lbzip2-2.3                     22 September 2013                     LBZIP2(1)