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What are best lzip compression options for large game tar archives?

From: Hoël Bézier
Subject: What are best lzip compression options for large game tar archives?
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2021 15:19:39 +0200


I’m a regular contributor to ./play.it, an enormous shellscript which aims at creating regular distribution packages for commercial games from the installer provided by vendors. You can learn more about it at https://www.dotslashplay.it/en/start
or by visiting us on the IRC channel #play.it on OFTC.

Since most distribution packages are tar archives compressed with different algorithms (Debian favors bzip2 or xz, Arch favors zstd for example), I thought that where possible I could as well provide support for lzip compression (mainly for Gentoo actually, as one can write its own support for other compression tools) because I do like a lot the way lzip was designed, and game packages might be kept around for quite a few years (I still have a tar archive of a Warcraft III installation hanging around for at least seven years).

However, since we compress fairly big packages (most popular games nowadays are at least 1GB big), current compression with lzip (implemented through tar’s --lzip switch) is quite slow. For example, packaging bastion, which is 1.1G big, took half an hour on my computer.

Since I have seen that there were several options to lzip that could reduce compression time or improve compression ratio, I was wondering if you could tell me which options would be most fit for my purpose, and with which caveats, if any.

Thank you,

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