Re: OFFTOPIC: Re: bzip2 for kernel dists?

Paul Slootman (
Fri, 12 Dec 1997 11:29:58 +0100 wrote:
>Mitch Davis <> writes:
>> Other people's mileage may vary, but I have found bunzip2 to be
>> absolutely hideously SLLOOOWWW. The following test shows bunzip2
>> to be 10 times slower to decompress than gunzip:
>To point out the obvious, while 25 seconds might be a long time for
>unpacking an archive, it is not particularly long for a multi-megabyte
>download. With a 64Kb line, a megabyte takes about sixteen seconds
>under optimal conditions - if you can shave a couple of Mb off the

That's a 64kB line; note that communication lines are usually measured
in bits per second, not bytes per second. So, an ISDN line will have a
ceiling of 8kbyte/s. A megabyte will take a minimum of 2:08 to transfer.
I just measured the time difference between unpacking 2.0.31 from .gz
and from .bz2 (7.5s and 44s, difference is 36.5 seconds on a P166).

I'd guess that for the majority of home users who don't have a T1 or
better, a bzip2 archive will _save_ time.

Note that for logfiles and similar, the savings of bzip2 over gzip can
be spectacular (bzip2'ed file may be half the size of gzipped file).

Paul Slootman

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