Ubuntu is considered a good distribution for beginners who usually want to learn Linux from scratch. In comparison between OS software, it is far better than windows. The integral part of system administration is File compression. It might be quite a tough task to find a reliable file compression tool. Till now many robust compression tools with better compression rates and the period has been developed which make backing up system data easier. So here we have listed the 10 top compression tools which will help out to choose the best compression tool.


Tar is a popular tool for compressing multiple files into a single archive file. It supports different extensions some of the popular are tar, tar.gz, and tar.bz2. In the latest distribution of ubuntu, tar is the default compression utility. The tar command can be used as follows.


The gzip is an open-source compression tool that is well known for its high file compression feature. It refers to GNU zip which is compatible with every GNU software and has the .gz extension. It has a high compression rate as it can reduce the size up to 90 percent which is quite amazing.


bzip2, an open-source compression utility that uses the Burrows-Wheeler block-sorting compression algorithm and Huffman coding to compress files. It is not a file archiver so it only supports single file compression but it supports different compression methods such as sparse bit array, Huffman tables, run-length, etc. During compression and decompression of files, it consumes high memory and has slower decompression as compared with gzip but overall, bzip2 is a suitable compression utility due to its robust compression abilities.


Zstandard which was also named zstd was developed at Facebook by Yann Collet which is a lossless data compression algorithm. It has a high compression ratio and also provides a special feature called dictionary compression for small data.


LZ4 is the perfect compression tool for high compression speed as more than half a gigabyte of data can be compressed per second by it. It was built using LZ4_HC and LZ77 lossless compression algorithms with the motive of providing high compression and decompression speed. The compression speed can be dynamically changed by accelerating the rate of data compression.


lzop is a file compressor that is built using the LZO data compression library and is quite similar to gzip. By trading some compression rate ratio it provides higher compression and decompression speed as compared with zip. Files can be compressed into two file extensions .tar and .tzo. It usually uses only ten percent of the CPU to produce files slightly larger than gzip.


p7zip is a Unix/Linux command-line utility tool of 7-Zip that archives the files into 7z format along with a high compression ratio. It also supports the many popular formats such as tar, bzip2, zip, xz, and gzip. It provides an encryption feature that uses Advanced Encryption Standart (AES – 256) technology to encrypt the archive file. Corrupted compressed files can be recovered using it.


Pigz refers to the parallel implementation of gzip which is the replacement for gzip with reduced compression time. It implements Zlib and pthread libraries which use available cores and processors to compress the files which makes it much faster than gzip when compared. To put it another way, it performs similarly to gzip which compresses huge files using just a single command.


Zip is the lossless data compression tool that helps you create zip archives. Zip can store one or more compressed files in a single archive file and can easily transfer from one system to another. It supports the different platforms where zip files can be extracted. An entire directory structure can be compressed into a zip file in single command execution.

XZ Utils

XZ Utils is a free lossless data compressors tool that can compress and decompress .xz and .lzma files. When compressing the data it has higher compression rates than gzip and bzip2 but compression and decompression speed is quite slower than gzip for higher compression rates. It also provides features like error tracking while compressing the files. The .xz is the native file format for it which uses the LZMA algorithm to compress the file.


These are the 10 file and compression utilities for ubuntu which may be useful for storing files for backup or sharing within a group. Aside from these, you could find a lot more compression utilities out there that are open-source as well as rich features. Thank you for taking the time to read this article.

Top 10 compression utilities for Ubuntu

Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. You can reach Karim on LinkedIn