The e2compr package consists of a set of patches and utilities
written primarily by Antoine Dumesnil de Maricourt (firstname.lastname@example.org) to provide
transparent compression and decompression in the second extended
Reasons you might wish to use e2compr:
- It reduces hard disk usage. (Robert Budzynski: ``Everyone knows
that you never really have enough disk space, no matter how much you do
have.'') Whether you're trying to squeeze everything you can onto
that 386 with its 50MB hard drive, or you like to keep lots of
source code / documentation / books on your multi-gigabyte
hard drive, e2compr is just the thing.
- You can keep things in plain form that you otherwise would have
gzipped. For example, Debian keeps all its documentation in
gzipped form, which makes it harder to deal with. Postscript
files and source trees especially come to mind.
- Unlike Zlibc, new files can be compressed automatically without
your explicit action each time.
- Much safer than DouBle (if the filesystem becomes full or the
system crashes). Also, with e2compr you can compress different parts
of your filesystem in different ways; in particular, you can choose to
leave some areas uncompressed.
- Unlike tcx, your data files can be compressed as well as your
- Although still something of a ``work in progress'' and not widely
released, it is usable now (for home systems) and is relied on
by many people.
Reasons you may wish not to use e2compr yet:
- Bugs are still being discovered, and there are numerous `fixme'
comments in the code.
- Reduced speed and responsiveness.
- Backward compatibility with older e2compr releases is not yet
considered very important. (Backward compatibility is a yoke
that results in kluges and reduced end product quality.) In
future, command-line options may change, behaviour may change,
and even the file format.
Antoine passed maintainership to Peter Moulder (email@example.com) when
Peter requested permission to distribute an e2compr patch updated for
the then-new Linux-2.0.0.
Since then, Peter, Jan Rêkorajski, Gábor J.Tóth
(firstname.lastname@example.org) and Tom Lees (email@example.com) and others
have developed and maintained e2compr.
In February 2000, Riley Williams rhw@MemAlpha.CX became joint e2compr maintainer with Peter. The
firstname.lastname@example.org address at the bottom of each e2compr web page
forwards to both Riley and Peter.
Antoine no longer has the time to maintain e2compr;
communication should probably be
sent to e2compr maintainers or to
the e2compr mailing list. (See below for how to subscribe to the lists).
Current state of project
The system is already usable now, and has been since at least
1997. Many people already rely on it.
Nevertheless, there are many avenues for improvement.
Error detection and handling could be improved, which
is an issue for those with unreliable hard drive I/O.
See the TODO file in the distribution for a longer list of
possibilities for further development (i.e. `wishlist').
I wouldn't use e2compr on a ``production'' machine (where neither
faults nor delays are tolerated).
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Last modified: Sat Jul 10 22:47:31 EST 1999