How to Install Bzip2 on Ubuntu

By Gareth Downes-Powell

Bzip2 is an open source data compression algorithm first released in 1996. It offers better file compression than older algorithms such as LZW and Deflate, but is slower as a trade off. Bzip2 is purely a file compressor. It does not have built-in archive facilities, but you can use bzip2 with an archive tool such as tar to compress multiple files. A bzip2 package is available from the Ubuntu package repository, for easy installation on Ubuntu Linux using the apt tool.

Step 1

Log in to the remote Ubuntu server through SSH, or open a terminal window if you are running the Ubuntu desktop.

Step 2

Type "sudo apt-get update" at the terminal prompt to update the local package list with the latest data from the repository. Enter your password when requested by the sudo command.

Step 3

Type "sudo apt-get install bzip2" to download and install the bzip2 package from the Ubuntu package repository. The required files are small, so installation is quick to complete.

Step 4

Type "bzip2 -c filename > compressed.bz2" to compress a file named "filename" into the compressed file "compressed.bz2."

Step 5

Type "bunzip2 compressed.bz2" to decompress the file named "compressed.bz2." The decompressed file has the same name as the compressed file without the ".bz2" extension.

Tips & Warnings

  • Type "dpkg -s bzip2" at the terminal prompt to view information about the bzip2 package.
  • Read the bzip manual to view the parameters accepted by bzip2 and its many features.