Compressing packages with bzip2 instead gzip?

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Mon Jan 16 17:01:08 GMT 2006

On Mon, Jan 16, 2006 at 07:24:51PM +1300, John C. McCabe-Dansted wrote:
> If we are going to be upgrading dpkg so that it handles new compression 
> formats, could we also change the way the dpkg utils compress data.tar and 
> control.tar so that it uses an official and documented version for each 
> compression utility it uses. 

I don't think forcing an exact version would be very wise; we want the
packaging toolchain to remain very robust.

> For example, could the new dpkg utilities generate all data.tar.gz files be 
> using the command:
> 	gzip-1.3.5 --best -N < data.tar > data.tar.gz

Surely you mean -n rather than -N?

> Apart from saving ~1Kb per deb file, this would also make it *much* easier to 
> do tricks like Deb-diffs.

I'm not so sure about this; recall that generally the contents of .debs are
created fresh by the build process in most cases, so the gzip layer is not
the only one where differences are introduced.

 - mdz

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