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Compression tool to use


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I have been using 7zip and Winzip recently. Neither however perfectly hits the spot in terms of what I want from a file compression tool.

I would like:

  • Something where I can compress/decompress on both Windows and Linux. .zip files are OK for that.
  • Random access. .7z files do not allow this, so if you have a really big archive, it has to look through serially to find the one file you want to extract.
  • LZMA and PPMD. Both Winzip and 7zip support compression and decompression of these.

7zip is no longer being maintained and I'm concerned that all of my .zipx archives will be inaccessible to me one day when I don't have Winzip available to me. Otherwise, the format works great!

What tool do you normally use?

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What gives you the impression that 7zip is no longer being maintained? I've heard no such thing, if you have a source please post it.

Also, if you're using the 7z format, not just LZMA compression algorithm, then you have two options when creating an archive, solid or not-solid. If you choose a solid archive then the entire contents of the archive are compressed as a single stream (which allows for tighter compression), however not-solid will compress each file individually allowing you quicker access to individual files.

SquashFS is pretty good if you need fast random access, but it's read-only. If you want to add a file you need to re-compress the entire archive. Also, there's no official Windows port so you'll need to either use 3rd-party binaries or compile it yourself.

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I use WinRAR mostly, and then 7zip when winrar doens't have a file format it supports. WinRAR at times, opens files BETTER than 7zip, but 7zip is free. Winzip, junk. Hate that program and just use built in windows zip for plain zip files, but I like being able to open Word docs in WinRAR and ISO files to extract stuff and find hidden data.

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