A modern compression tool

Modern Compression

The chief fault of zstd is that its advanced options are lightly documented and are only immediately useful to Python experts. However, even at the most basic level, zstd challenges traditional compression commands. While zstd does offer some compatibility with older commands, as well as using tar as a tool, it is at least as fast as older commands for compression and noticeably faster in decompression – just how much faster depends on options and file types.

Happily, although you need to experiment with settings if you want to squeeze the utmost efficiency out of zstd, the defaults are often sufficient for most purposes. Supporting legacy compression commands while developing its own perspectives, zstd is typical of the modern replacement commands that are becoming more common in Linux. As zstd matures, its documentaton should improve and the last barriers to its popularity should fall.

The Author

Bruce Byfield is a computer journalist and a freelance writer and editor specializing in free and open source software. In addition to his writing projects, he also teaches live and e-learning courses. In his spare time, Bruce writes about Northwest Coast art (http://brucebyfield.wordpress.com). He is also co-founder of Prentice Pieces, a blog about writing and fantasy at https://prenticepieces.com/.

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