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bzip2 is a freely available, patent free, high-quality data compressor. It typically compresses files to within 10% to 15% of the best available techniques, whilst being around twice as fast at compression and six times faster at decompression.
bzip2 compresses files using the Burrows-Wheeler block-sorting text compression algorithm, and Huffman coding. Compression is generally considerably better than that achieved by more conventional LZ77/LZ78-based compressors, and approaches the performance of the PPM family of statistical compressors.
The archive file format of bzip2 (.bz2) is incompatible with that of its predecessor, bzip (.bz).