Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: January 2019
Page Index


plzip - reduces the size of files  


plzip [,options/] [,files/]  


Plzip is a massively parallel (multi-threaded) implementation of lzip, fully compatible with lzip 1.4 or newer. Plzip uses the lzlib compression library.

Lzip is a lossless data compressor with a user interface similar to the one of gzip or bzip2. Lzip can compress about as fast as gzip (lzip -0) or compress most files more than bzip2 (lzip -9). Decompression speed is intermediate between gzip and bzip2. Lzip is better than gzip and bzip2 from a data recovery perspective. Lzip has been designed, written and tested with great care to replace gzip and bzip2 as the standard general-purpose compressed format for unix-like systems.

Plzip can compress/decompress large files on multiprocessor machines much faster than lzip, at the cost of a slightly reduced compression ratio (0.4 to 2 percent larger compressed files). Note that the number of usable threads is limited by file size; on files larger than a few GB plzip can use hundreds of processors, but on files of only a few MB plzip is no faster than lzip.  


-h, --help
display this help and exit
-V, --version
output version information and exit
-a, --trailing-error
exit with error status if trailing data
-B, --data-size=<bytes>
set size of input data blocks [2x8=16 MiB]
-c, --stdout
write to standard output, keep input files
-d, --decompress
-f, --force
overwrite existing output files
-F, --recompress
force re-compression of compressed files
-k, --keep
keep (don't delete) input files
-l, --list
print (un)compressed file sizes
-m, --match-length=<bytes>
set match length limit in bytes [36]
-n, --threads=<n>
set number of (de)compression threads [2]
-o, --output=<file>
if reading standard input, write to <file>
-q, --quiet
suppress all messages
-s, --dictionary-size=<bytes>
set dictionary size limit in bytes [8 MiB]
-t, --test
test compressed file integrity
-v, --verbose
be verbose (a 2nd -v gives more)
-0 .. -9
set compression level [default 6]
alias for -0
alias for -9
allow trailing data seeming corrupt header
number of 1 MiB input packets buffered [4]
number of 1 MiB output packets buffered [64]

If no file names are given, or if a file is '-', plzip compresses or decompresses from standard input to standard output. Numbers may be followed by a multiplier: k = kB = 10^3 = 1000, Ki = KiB = 2^10 = 1024, M = 10^6, Mi = 2^20, G = 10^9, Gi = 2^30, etc... Dictionary sizes 12 to 29 are interpreted as powers of two, meaning 2^12 to 2^29 bytes.

The bidimensional parameter space of LZMA can't be mapped to a linear scale optimal for all files. If your files are large, very repetitive, etc, you may need to use the --dictionary-size and --match-length options directly to achieve optimal performance.

Exit status: 0 for a normal exit, 1 for environmental problems (file not found, invalid flags, I/O errors, etc), 2 to indicate a corrupt or invalid input file, 3 for an internal consistency error (eg, bug) which caused plzip to panic.  


Report bugs to
Plzip home page:  


Copyright © 2009 Laszlo Ersek.
Copyright © 2019 Antonio Diaz Diaz. Using lzlib 1.11 License GPLv2+: GNU GPL version 2 or later <>
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.  


The full documentation for plzip is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and plzip programs are properly installed at your site, the command
info plzip

should give you access to the complete manual.