Using other compression algos with GnuPG

Roscoe eocsor at
Sat Jan 21 08:23:23 CET 2006

LZMA seems to be notably[1] faster/better than BZIP2, which has made
it into the standard so I wouldn't immediately rule out its
suitability for OpenPGP.

That said I don't much think it should be included. It could *replace*
BZIP2 but replacing BZIP2 with LZMA would break backwards
compatibility a bit, and adding it resulting in  having both BZIP2 and
LZMA seems a bit redundant when we've been getting along fine with
just BZIP2.

Back to on-topic-ness...
I'd just use whatever compression scheme you want and pipe it into
|gpg --compress-algo none.
One tool one job :).


On 1/21/06, Ryan Malayter <ryan at> wrote:
> On 1/20/06, David Shaw <dshaw at> wrote:
> > It's always possible for someone to add a nonstandard algorithm, but
> > if you really want a particular algorithm, it's healthier to get the
> > OpenPGP working group to add it officially.
> The RAR compression algorithm proprietary and closed source, so it is
> not likely to make it into any standards. RARlabs has refused for
> years to allow anyone else to make RAR encoders (although they exist
> in violation of the RARlabs license).
> See
> A much better choice would be the LZMA algorithm from 7zip, which is
> open-source and unpatented. It compresses with similar efficiency and
> speed to RAR.
> In any case, though, such slow-but-compact algorithms are really only
> useful for archival purposes. While I have used PGP for some
> archiving, this is not the most common usage of PGP, and probably not
> an OpenPGP design goal.
> There are much faster file encryption tools than PGP out there. We
> actually use 7zip to compress and encrypt backups for offsite storage,
> as its AES implementation is so much more efficient than GnuPG's.
> --
>    RPM
> =========================
> All problems can be solved by diplomacy, but violence and treachery
> are equally effective, and more fun.
>       -Anonymous
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