<lzop logo>
Version 1.03
01 Nov 2010

Copyright (C) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003,
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
Markus F.X.J. Oberhumer


$ parallel lzop ::: *.tar

lzop 1.03 is still a single-threaded program (multithreading is planned for v2), but you can easily achieve process-level parallelism by using the amazing GNU Parallel tool. Also, I do recommend watching the GNU Parallel tutorial video at YouTube, which demonstrates a number of nice features.

lzop compares favorably in a number of reviews, including a nice article from the Linux Journal called Compression Tools Compared and the Huge Unix File Compresser Shootout.


lzop is a file compressor which is very similar to gzip. lzop uses the LZO data compression library for compression services, and its main advantages over gzip are much higher compression and decompression speed (at the cost of some compression ratio).

lzop is copyrighted OpenSource software distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).


lzop is the fastest compressor and decompressor around. See the well-known Archive Comparison Test for details.

On modern systems, when making backups of terrabyte of data, lzop is usually IO-bound and not CPU-bound, which means that you can both decrease storage requirements and effectively reduce backup time by quite an amount.

lzop was designed with the following goals in mind:

  • speed (both compression and decompression)
  • reasonable drop-in compatibility to gzip
  • portability

General functionality and behaviour has been modelled very closely after gzip. The main differences between lzop and gzip are:

  • files compressed by lzop will have the suffix `.lzo'
  • lzop does not delete the input file(s) by default.

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The term lzop is a shorthand for "the Lempel-Ziv-Oberhumer Packer" and holds no connection with potential owners of registered trademarks or other rights. All trademarks, brands, and names are the property of their respective owners.

Last modified Sun Jun 29 12:16:50 UTC 2014.