Compressing distribution tarballs for release with xz

Nick Schermer nickschermer at
Sun Aug 8 23:40:27 CEST 2010

On Sun, Aug 8, 2010 at 8:44 PM, Mike Massonnet <mmassonnet at> wrote:
> I had like to take your thought on how confident you are to distribute
> tarballs for releases compressed with xz[0]. To make this happen you
> just have to initialize automake with "dist-xz"[1] and "make dist"
> will create an xz tarball. Unarchiving xz tarballs works as always
> with the tar command line tool, "tar tf foo.tar.xz", "tar xf
> foo.tar.xz", etc. Why do I want to go with xz is simple, it has a
> better compression ratio, and hence it's the same reason why we
> switched from gzip to bzip2.

I wonder if this is a big improvement. Even if for example the
tarballs are, say, 40% smaller. The biggest tarball (4mb from thunar i
think, but a lot smaller for the rest of the packages) will be 1 or
2mb smaller, do we care about that? And how portable is xz, because a
lot of people tend to run recent versions of Xfce on old distros.


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