Changing dpkg-deb default compression from gzip to lzma for Hardy

Mackenzie Morgan macoafi at
Tue Dec 18 02:58:05 UTC 2007

On Dec 17, 2007 7:51 PM, Emmet Hikory <emmet.hikory at> wrote:

>    Bandwidth will always be location dependent, so package size
> related to bandwidth is not an easy item for discussion.  Smaller is
> nice, but for some it doesn't matter very much, as their connections
> are either fast enough that it's not important, or slow enough that
> they download overnight (or otherwise deeply backgrounded) anyway.
>    Processor speed is similarly variable.  Not that benchmarks (1)
> mean much, but the interesting point is only relative time for
> decompression, as for most packages the IO load delay is concentrated
> on unpack rather than decompress (and further that packing happens
> once per revision per architecture, and unpacking happens a lot).  Is
> 3-5 times as long acceptable?  Maybe.  Is 10-15 times as long
> acceptable?  Probably not (so we shouldn't use bzip2 unless it gets a
> lot faster).

If the decompress time isn't a huge factor to begin with and most of the
install time is spent putting things in the right place during unpack, do we
really need to worry too much about decompression time?  We know for sure
that in a lot of areas broadband isn't available or at least isn't
practical.  There are DVD sets that people can share to get everything from
the repo, but those don't include security updates, so those still would be
problematic for users.  If we can make the updates' downloads smaller and
faster, updates become more accessible to people in those low-bandwidth

Mackenzie Morgan
Linux User #432169
ACM Member #3445683 <-my blog of Ubuntu stuff
apt-get moo
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