I picked 13 freely available compressors (not all are open free but all are money free).
The original 7-zip
was designed for Windows but it does come with source and someone has ported it to unix and called p7zip
Open source under LGPL and comes with a SDK. 7zip uses a number of compression methods but the default LZMA is the most powerful.
is the most restricted product reviewed. It is closed source and the unix version doesn't even come with a compressor.
Ace is very common among the p2p community and at least there is a method of uncompressing ace files in Unix.
has always been a slightly less successful than zip.
The open source version
tries to be as compatible as possible with the original. Open source under GPL.
Jar is Sun's compressed java executable distribution format (not to be confused with Arj Software compressor by the same name), but it can be used to compress anything you like.
Originally written in Java it run very
Now rewritten in C and called fastjar
it has become a worthy opponent. Open source under GPL.
Lha is a rather abandoned format which started on the Amiga but still sometimes pops up. Strangely the tool is called Lha but often the file extension is called .lzh .
There are losts of implementations
available but the format is only used nowadays from programs which want their data compressed e.g. Doom maps and Kiss dolls.
Another format popular in the p2p community. No source is available but it does come with a compressor on Linux
Stuffit is the standard Apple compression which comes with a 15 day trial linux version
I can't say I am impressed with the way it is distributed but if you are desperate to extract a file some Mac user sent you, then it comes in useful.
is the tar prince waiting to take the throne from gzip.
Many projects have moved from gzip to bzip2 and the -j option on gnu tar makes the transition even easier.
is the current standard tar compression. Intergated into gnu tar (-z option).
is an interesting compression format which tries to keep a low memory footprint and processor usage.
Sounds useful in embedded applications. Open source under GPL.
Unix compress has been abandoned but is still useful when you find some source files from the eighties.
Zip is the most popular format on DOS/Windows. In fact Windows XP nowadays has a built in zip file manager.
Originally written by PK software but there are open versions such as infozip
. Open under a BSD like licence.
I have never seen any zoo files but I though I would put this one in just to compare the new compression tools to some dead ones.