Linux compressors comparison on CentOS 6.5 x86-64: lzo vs lz4 vs gzip vs bzip2 vs lzma

Written by Gionatan Danti on . Posted in Linux & Unix

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Testbed and methods

Benchmarks were performed on a system equipped with:

  • PhenomII 940 CPU (4 cores @ 3.0 GHz, 1.8 GHz Northbridge and 6 MB L3 cache)
  • 8 GB DDR2-800 DRAM (in unganged mode)
  • Asus M4A78 Pro motherboard (AMD 780G + SB700 chipset)
  • 4x 500 GB hard disks (1x WD Green, 3x Seagate Barracuda) in AHCI mode, configured in software RAID10 "near" layout
  • S.O. CentOS 6.5 x64

I timed the compression and decompression of two different datasets:

  1. a tar file containing an uncompressed CentOS 6.5 minimal install / (root) image (/boot was excluded)
  2. the tar file containing Linux 3.14.1 stable kernel

In order to avoid any influence by the disk subsystem, I moved both dataset in the RAM-backed /dev/shm directory (you can think about it as a RAMDISK).

When possible, I tried to separate single-threaded results from multi-threaded ones. However, it appear that 7-zip has no thread-selection options, and by default it spawn as many threads as the hardware threads the CPU provide. So I marked 7-zip results with an asterisk (*)

Many compressors expose some tuning – for example, selecting “-1” generally means a faster (but less effective) compression that “-9”. I experimented with these flags also, where applicable.


#1 Rach Towess 2015-09-25 08:18
Thanks for the post, looks like similar info as ?

I also found this post useful at explaining the differences, the summary seems to be similar in both posts which is good to see people testing these compression get similar results :)

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