- GNU LGPL
- File Archiver
- Linux, macOS (unofficial), Windows
7-Zip is a free and open-source file archiver, a utility used to place groups of files within compressed containers known as "archives". 7-Zip uses its own 7z archive format, but can read and write several other archive formats. The program can be used from a command-line interface as the command p7zip, or through a graphical user interface that also features shell integration.
By default, 7-Zip creates 7z-format archives with a .7z file extension. Each archive can contain multiple directories and files. As a container format, security or size reduction are achieved using a stacked combination of filters. These can consist of pre-processors, compression algorithms, and encryption filters.
The core 7z compression uses a variety of algorithms, the most common of which are bzip2, PPMd, LZMA2, and LZMA. LZMA is a relatively new system, making its debut as part of the 7z format. LZMA uses an LZ-based sliding dictionary of up to 4 GB in size, backed by a range coder. The native 7z file format is open and modular. File names are stored as Unicode.
7-Zip supports a number of other compression and non-compression archive formats (both for packing and unpacking), including ZIP, Gzip, bzip2, xz, tar and WIM. The utility also supports unpacking APM, ARJ, CHM, cpio, DEB, FLV, JAR, LHA/LZH, LZMA, MSLZ, Office Open XML, onepkg, RAR, RPM, smzip, SWF, XAR, and Z archives and CramFS, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, MBR, NTFS, SquashFS, UDF, and VHD disk images. 7-Zip supports the ZIPX format for unpacking only
7-Zip can open some MSI files, allowing access to the meta-files within along with the main contents. Some Microsoft CAB (LZX compression) and NSIS (LZMA) installer formats can be opened. Similarly, some Microsoft executable programs (.EXEs) that are self-extracting archives or otherwise contain archived content (e.g., some setup files) may be opened as archives.
When compressing ZIP or gzip files, 7-Zip uses its own DEFLATE encoder, which may achieve higher compression, but at lower speed, than the more common zlib DEFLATE implementation. The 7-Zip deflate encoder implementation is available separately as part of the AdvanceCOMP suite of tools.
The decompression engine for RAR archives was developed using freely available source code of the unRAR program, which has a licensing restriction against creation of a RAR compressor. 7-Zip v15.06 and later support extraction of files in the RAR5 format. Some backup systems use formats supported by archiving programs such as 7-Zip; e.g., some Android backups are in tar format, and can be extracted by archivers such as 7-Zip.
7-Zip comes with a file manager along with the standard archiver tools. The file manager has a toolbar with options to create an archive, extract an archive, test an archive to detect errors, copy, move, and delete files, and open a file properties menu exclusive to 7-Zip. The file manager, by default, displays hidden files because it does not follow Windows Explorer's policies. The tabs show name, modification time, original and compressed sizes, attributes, and comments (4DOS descript.ion format).
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