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This is the file README for the gzip distribution, version 1.2.4. gzip (GNU zip) is a compression utility designed to be a replacement for 'compress'. Its main advantages over compress are much better compression and freedom from patented algorithms. The GNU Project uses it as the standard compression program for its system. gzip currently uses by default the LZ77 algorithm used in zip 1.9 (the portable pkzip compatible archiver). The gzip format was however designed to accommodate several compression algorithms. See below for a comparison of zip and gzip. gunzip can currently decompress files created by gzip, compress or pack. The detection of the input format is automatic. For the gzip format, gunzip checks a 32 bit CRC. For pack, gunzip checks the uncompressed length. The 'compress' format was not designed to allow consistency checks. However gunzip is sometimes able to detect a bad .Z file because there is some redundancy in the .Z compression format. If you get an error when uncompressing a .Z file, do not assume that the .Z file is correct simply because the standard uncompress does not complain. This generally means that the standard uncompress does not check its input, and happily generates garbage output. gzip produces files with a .gz extension. Previous versions of gzip used the .z extension, which was already used by the 'pack' Huffman encoder. gunzip is able to decompress .z files (packed or gzip'ed). Several planned features are not yet supported (see the file TODO). See the file NEWS for a summary of changes since 0.5. See the file INSTALL for installation instructions. Some answers to frequently asked questions are given in the file INSTALL, please read it. (In particular, please don't ask me once more for an /etc/magic entry.) WARNING: on several systems, compiler bugs cause gzip to fail, in particular when optimization options are on. See the section "Special targets" at the end of the INSTALL file for a list of known problems. For all machines, use "make check" to check that gzip was compiled correctly. Try compiling gzip without any optimization if you have a problem. Please send all comments and bug reports by electronic mail to: Jean-loup Gailly <email@example.com> or, if this fails, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Bug reports should ideally include: * The complete output of "gzip -V" (or the contents of revision.h if you can't get gzip to compile) * The hardware and operating system (try "uname -a") * The compiler used to compile (if it is gcc, use "gcc -v") * A description of the bug behavior * The input to gzip, that triggered the bug If you send me patches for machines I don't have access to, please test them very carefully. gzip is used for backups, it must be extremely reliable. The package crypt++.el is highly recommended to manipulate gzip'ed file from emacs. It recognizes automatically encrypted and compressed files when they are first visited or written. It is available via anonymous ftp to roebling.poly.edu [184.108.40.206] in /pub/crypt++.el. The same directory contains also patches to dired, ange-ftp and info. GNU tar 1.11.2 has a -z option to invoke directly gzip, so you don't have to patch it. The package ftp.uu.net:/languages/emacs-lisp/misc/jka-compr19.el.Z also supports gzip'ed files. The znew and gzexe shell scripts provided with gzip benefit from (but do not require) the cpmod utility to transfer file attributes. It is available by anonymous ftp on gatekeeper.dec.com in /.0/usenet/comp.sources.unix/volume11/cpmod.Z. The sample programs zread.c, sub.c and add.c in subdirectory sample are provided as examples of useful complements to gzip. Read the comments inside each source file. The perl script ztouch is also provided as example (not installed by default since it relies on perl). gzip is free software, you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License, a copy of which is provided under the name COPYING. The latest version of gzip are always available by ftp in prep.ai.mit.edu:/pub/gnu, or in any of the prep mirror sites: - sources in gzip-*.tar (or .shar or .tar.gz). - Solaris 2 executables in sparc-sun-solaris2/gzip-binaries-*.tar - MSDOS lha self-extracting exe in gzip-msdos-*.exe. Once extracted, copy gzip.exe to gunzip.exe and zcat.exe, or use "gzip -d" to decompress. gzip386.exe runs much faster but only on 386 and above; it is compiled with djgpp 1.10 available in directory omnigate.clarkson.edu:/pub/msdos/djgpp. A VMS executable is available in ftp.spc.edu:[.macro32.savesets]gzip-1-*.zip (use [.macro32]unzip.exe to extract). A PRIMOS executable is available in ftp.lysator.liu.se:/pub/primos/run/gzip.run. OS/2 executables (16 and 32 bits versions) are available in ftp.tu-muenchen.de:/pub/comp/os/os2/archiver/gz*-[16,32].zip Some ftp servers can automatically make a tar.Z from a tar file. If you are getting gzip for the first time, you can ask for a tar.Z file instead of the much larger tar file. Many thanks to those who provided me with bug reports and feedback. See the files THANKS and ChangeLog for more details. Note about zip vs. gzip: The name 'gzip' was a very unfortunate choice, because zip and gzip are two really different programs, although the actual compression and decompression sources were written by the same persons. A different name should have been used for gzip, but it is too late to change now. zip is an archiver: it compresses several files into a single archive file. gzip is a simple compressor: each file is compressed separately. Both share the same compression and decompression code for the 'deflate' method. unzip can also decompress old zip archives (implode, shrink and reduce methods). gunzip can also decompress files created by compress and pack. zip 1.9 and gzip do not support compression methods other than deflation. (zip 1.0 supports shrink and implode). Better compression methods may be added in future versions of gzip. zip will always stick to absolute compatibility with pkzip, it is thus constrained by PKWare, which is a commercial company. The gzip header format is deliberately different from that of pkzip to avoid such a constraint. On Unix, gzip is mostly useful in combination with tar. GNU tar 1.11.2 has a -z option to invoke gzip automatically. "tar -z" compresses better than zip, since gzip can then take advantage of redundancy between distinct files. The drawback is that you must scan the whole tar.gz file in order to extract a single file near the end; unzip can directly seek to the end of the zip file. There is no overhead when you extract the whole archive anyway. If a member of a .zip archive is damaged, other files can still be recovered. If a .tar.gz file is damaged, files beyond the failure point cannot be recovered. (Future versions of gzip will have error recovery features.) gzip and gunzip are distributed as a single program. zip and unzip are, for historical reasons, two separate programs, although the authors of these two programs work closely together in the info-zip team. zip and unzip are not associated with the GNU project. The sources are available by ftp in oak.oakland.edu:/pub/misc/unix/zip19p1.zip oak.oakland.edu:/pub/misc/unix/unz50p1.tar-z