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XZ Utils Installation
0. Preface
1. Supported platforms
1.1. Compilers
1.2. Platform-specific notes
1.2.1. AIX
1.2.2. IRIX
1.2.3. MINIX 3
1.2.4. OpenVMS
1.2.5. Solaris, OpenSolaris, and derivatives
1.2.6. Tru64
1.2.7. Windows
1.2.8. DOS
1.3. Adding support for new platforms
2. configure options
2.1. Static vs. dynamic linking of liblzma
2.2. Optimizing xzdec and lzmadec
3. xzgrep and other scripts
3.1. Dependencies
3.2. PATH
4. Troubleshooting
4.1. "No C99 compiler was found."
4.2. "No POSIX conforming shell (sh) was found."
4.3. configure works but build fails at crc32_x86.S
4.4. Lots of warnings about symbol visibility
4.5. "make check" fails
4.6. (or similar) not found when running xz
0. Preface
If you aren't familiar with building packages that use GNU Autotools,
see the file INSTALL.generic for generic instructions before reading
If you are going to build a package for distribution, see also the
file PACKAGERS. It contains information that should help making the
binary packages as good as possible, but the information isn't very
interesting to those making local builds for private use or for use
in special situations like embedded systems.
1. Supported platforms
XZ Utils are developed on GNU/Linux, but they should work on many
POSIX-like operating systems like *BSDs and Solaris, and even on
a few non-POSIX operating systems.
1.1. Compilers
A C99 compiler is required to compile XZ Utils. If you use GCC, you
need at least version 3.x.x. GCC version 2.xx.x doesn't support some
C99 features used in XZ Utils source code, thus GCC 2 won't compile
XZ Utils.
XZ Utils takes advantage of some GNU C extensions when building
with GCC. Because these extensions are used only when building
with GCC, it should be possible to use any C99 compiler.
1.2. Platform-specific notes
1.2.1. AIX
If you use IBM XL C compiler, pass CC=xlc_r to configure. If
you use CC=xlc instead, you must disable threading support
with --disable-threads (usually not recommended).
1.2.2. IRIX
MIPSpro 7.4.4m has been reported to produce broken code if using
the -O2 optimization flag ("make check" fails). Using -O1 should
A problem has been reported when using shared liblzma. Passing
--disable-shared to configure works around this. Alternatively,
putting "-64" to CFLAGS to build a 64-bit version might help too.
1.2.3. MINIX 3
The default install of MINIX 3 includes Amsterdam Compiler Kit (ACK),
which doesn't support C99. Install GCC to compile XZ Utils.
MINIX 3.1.8 and older have bugs in /usr/include/stdint.h, which has
to be patched before XZ Utils can be compiled correctly. See
MINIX 3.2.0 and later use a different libc and aren't affected by
the above bug.
XZ Utils doesn't have code to detect the amount of physical RAM and
number of CPU cores on MINIX 3.
See section 4.4 in this file about symbol visibility warnings (you
may want to pass gl_cv_cc_visibility=no to configure).
1.2.4. OpenVMS
XZ Utils can be built for OpenVMS, but the build system files
are not included in the XZ Utils source package. The required
OpenVMS-specific files are maintained by Jouk Jansen and can be
downloaded here:
1.2.5. Solaris, OpenSolaris, and derivatives
The following linker error has been reported on some x86 systems:
ld: fatal: relocation error: R_386_GOTOFF: ...
This can be worked around by passing gl_cv_cc_visibility=no
as an argument to the configure script. in "make check" may fail if good enough tools are
missing from PATH (/usr/xpg4/bin or /usr/xpg6/bin). See sections
4.5 and 3.2 for more information.
1.2.6. Tru64
If you try to use the native C compiler on Tru64 (passing CC=cc to
configure), you may need the workaround mention in section 4.1 in
this file (pass also ac_cv_prog_cc_c99= to configure).
1.2.7. Windows
Building XZ Utils on Windows is supported under the following
- MinGW-w64 + MSYS (32-bit and 64-bit x86): This is used
for building the official binary packages for Windows.
There is windows/build.bash to ease packaging XZ Utils with
MinGW(-w64) + MSYS into a redistributable .zip or .7z file.
See windows/INSTALL-MinGW.txt for more information.
- MinGW + MSYS (32-bit x86): I haven't recently tested this.
- Cygwin 1.7.35 and later: NOTE that using XZ Utils >= 5.2.0
under Cygwin older than 1.7.35 can lead to DATA LOSS! If
you must use an old Cygwin version, stick to XZ Utils 5.0.x
which is safe under older Cygwin versions. You can check
the Cygwin version with the command "cygcheck -V".
- Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 update 2 or later (MSVC for short):
See windows/INSTALL-MSVC.txt for more information.
It may be possible to build liblzma with other toolchains too, but
that will probably require writing a separate makefile. Building
the command line tools with non-GNU toolchains will be harder than
building only liblzma.
Even if liblzma is built with MinGW(-w64), the resulting DLL can
be used by other compilers and linkers, including MSVC. See
windows/README-Windows.txt for details.
1.2.8. DOS
There is an experimental Makefile in the "dos" directory to build
XZ Utils on DOS using DJGPP. Support for long file names (LFN) is
needed. See dos/README for more information.
GNU Autotools based build hasn't been tried on DOS. If you try, I
would like to hear if it worked.
1.3. Adding support for new platforms
If you have written patches to make XZ Utils to work on previously
unsupported platform, please send the patches to me! I will consider
including them to the official version. It's nice to minimize the
need of third-party patching.
One exception: Don't request or send patches to change the whole
source package to C89. I find C99 substantially nicer to write and
maintain. However, the public library headers must be in C89 to
avoid frustrating those who maintain programs, which are strictly
in C89 or C++.
2. configure options
In most cases, the defaults are what you want. Many of the options
below are useful only when building a size-optimized version of
liblzma or command line tools.
Specify a comma-separated LIST of filter encoders to
build. See "./configure --help" for exact list of
available filter encoders. The default is to build all
supported encoders.
If LIST is empty or --disable-encoders is used, no filter
encoders will be built and also the code shared between
encoders will be omitted.
Disabling encoders will remove some symbols from the
liblzma ABI, so this option should be used only when it
is known to not cause problems.
This is like --enable-encoders but for decoders. The
default is to build all supported decoders.
liblzma includes two categories of match finders:
hash chains and binary trees. Hash chains (hc3 and hc4)
are quite fast but they don't provide the best compression
ratio. Binary trees (bt2, bt3 and bt4) give excellent
compression ratio, but they are slower and need more
memory than hash chains.
You need to enable at least one match finder to build the
LZMA1 or LZMA2 filter encoders. Usually hash chains are
used only in the fast mode, while binary trees are used to
when the best compression ratio is wanted.
The default is to build all the match finders if LZMA1
or LZMA2 filter encoders are being built.
liblzma support multiple integrity checks. CRC32 is
mandatory, and cannot be omitted. See "./configure --help"
for exact list of available integrity check types.
liblzma and the command line tools can decompress files
which use unsupported integrity check type, but naturally
the file integrity cannot be verified in that case.
Disabling integrity checks may remove some symbols from
the liblzma ABI, so this option should be used only when
it is known to not cause problems.
Try to use SHA-256 code from the operating system libc
or similar base system libraries. This doesn't try to
use OpenSSL or libgcrypt or such libraries.
The reasons to use this option:
- It makes liblzma slightly smaller.
- It might improve SHA-256 speed if the implementation
in the operating is very good (but see below).
External SHA-256 is disabled by default for two reasons:
- On some operating systems the symbol names of the
SHA-256 functions conflict with OpenSSL's libcrypto.
This causes weird problems such as decompression
errors if an application is linked against both
liblzma and libcrypto. This problem affects at least
FreeBSD 10 and older and MINIX 3.3.0 and older, but
other OSes that provide a function "SHA256_Init" might
also be affected. FreeBSD 11 has the problem fixed.
NetBSD had the problem but it was fixed it in 2009
already. OpenBSD uses "SHA256Init" and thus never had
a conflict with libcrypto.
- The SHA-256 code in liblzma is faster than the SHA-256
code provided by some operating systems. If you are
curious, build two copies of xz (internal and external
SHA-256) and compare the decompression (xz --test)
dd if=/dev/zero bs=1024k count=1024 \
| xz -v -0 -Csha256 > foo.xz
time xz --test foo.xz
Don't build and install the command line tool mentioned
in the option name.
NOTE: Disabling xz will skip some tests in "make check".
NOTE: If xzdec is disabled and lzmadec is left enabled,
a dangling man page symlink lzmadec.1 -> xzdec.1 is
Don't create symlinks for LZMA Utils compatibility.
This includes lzma, unlzma, and lzcat. If scripts are
installed, also lzdiff, lzcmp, lzgrep, lzegrep, lzfgrep,
lzmore, and lzless will be omitted if this option is used.
Don't install the scripts xzdiff, xzgrep, xzmore, xzless,
and their symlinks.
Don't install the documentation files to $docdir
(often /usr/doc/xz or /usr/local/doc/xz). Man pages
will still be installed. The $docdir can be changed
with --docdir=DIR.
liblzma includes some assembler optimizations. Currently
there is only assembler code for CRC32 and CRC64 for
32-bit x86.
All the assembler code in liblzma is position-independent
code, which is suitable for use in shared libraries and
position-independent executables. So far only i386
instructions are used, but the code is optimized for i686
class CPUs. If you are compiling liblzma exclusively for
pre-i686 systems, you may want to disable the assembler
Allow liblzma to use unaligned memory access for 16-bit
and 32-bit loads and stores. This should be enabled only
when the hardware supports this, i.e. when unaligned
access is fast. Some operating system kernels emulate
unaligned access, which is extremely slow. This option
shouldn't be used on systems that rely on such emulation.
Unaligned access is enabled by default on x86, x86-64,
and big endian PowerPC.
Reduce the size of liblzma by selecting smaller but
semantically equivalent version of some functions, and
omit precomputed lookup tables. This option tends to
make liblzma slightly slower.
Note that while omitting the precomputed tables makes
liblzma smaller on disk, the tables are still needed at
run time, and need to be computed at startup. This also
means that the RAM holding the tables won't be shared
between applications linked against shared liblzma.
This option doesn't modify CFLAGS to tell the compiler
to optimize for size. You need to add -Os or equivalent
flag(s) to CFLAGS manually.
On the most common operating systems, XZ Utils is able to
detect the amount of physical memory on the system. This
information is used by the options --memlimit-compress,
--memlimit-decompress, and --memlimit when setting the
limit to a percentage of total RAM.
On some systems, there is no code to detect the amount of
RAM though. Using --enable-assume-ram one can set how much
memory to assume on these systems. SIZE is given as MiB.
The default is 128 MiB.
Feel free to send patches to add support for detecting
the amount of RAM on the operating system you use. See
src/common/tuklib_physmem.c for details.
Threading support is enabled by default so normally there
is no need to specify this option.
Supported values for METHOD:
yes Autodetect the threading method. If none
is found, configure will give an error.
posix Use POSIX pthreads. This is the default
except on Windows outside Cygwin.
win95 Use Windows 95 compatible threads. This
is compatible with Windows XP and later
too. This is the default for 32-bit x86
Windows builds. The `win95' threading is
incompatible with --enable-small.
vista Use Windows Vista compatible threads. The
resulting binaries won't run on Windows XP
or older. This is the default for Windows
excluding 32-bit x86 builds (that is, on
x86-64 the default is `vista').
no Disable threading support. This is the
same as using --disable-threads.
NOTE: If combined with --enable-small, the
resulting liblzma won't be thread safe,
that is, if a multi-threaded application
calls any liblzma functions from more than
one thread, something bad may happen.
Use symbol versioning for liblzma. This is enabled by
default on GNU/Linux, other GNU-based systems, and
This enables the assert() macro and possibly some other
run-time consistency checks. It makes the code slower, so
you normally don't want to have this enabled.
If building with GCC, make all compiler warnings an error,
that abort the compilation. This may help catching bugs,
and should work on most systems. This has no effect on the
resulting binaries.
2.1. Static vs. dynamic linking of liblzma
On 32-bit x86, linking against static liblzma can give a minor
speed improvement. Static libraries on x86 are usually compiled as
position-dependent code (non-PIC) and shared libraries are built as
position-independent code (PIC). PIC wastes one register, which can
make the code slightly slower compared to a non-PIC version. (Note
that this doesn't apply to x86-64.)
If you want to link xz against static liblzma, the simplest way
is to pass --disable-shared to configure. If you want also shared
liblzma, run configure again and run "make install" only for
2.2. Optimizing xzdec and lzmadec
xzdec and lzmadec are intended to be relatively small instead of
optimizing for the best speed. Thus, it is a good idea to build
xzdec and lzmadec separately:
- To link the tools against static liblzma, pass --disable-shared
to configure.
- To select somewhat size-optimized variant of some things in
liblzma, pass --enable-small to configure.
- Tell the compiler to optimize for size instead of speed.
E.g. with GCC, put -Os into CFLAGS.
- xzdec and lzmadec will never use multithreading capabilities of
liblzma. You can avoid dependency on libpthread by passing
--disable-threads to configure.
- There are and will be no translated messages for xzdec and
lzmadec, so it is fine to pass also --disable-nls to configure.
- Only decoder code is needed, so you can speed up the build
slightly by passing --disable-encoders to configure. This
shouldn't affect the final size of the executables though,
because the linker is able to omit the encoder code anyway.
If you have no use for xzdec or lzmadec, you can disable them with
--disable-xzdec and --disable-lzmadec.
3. xzgrep and other scripts
3.1. Dependencies
POSIX shell (sh) and bunch of other standard POSIX tools are required
to run the scripts. The configure script tries to find a POSIX
compliant sh, but if it fails, you can force the shell by passing
gl_cv_posix_shell=/path/to/posix-sh as an argument to the configure
xzdiff (xzcmp/lzdiff/lzcmp) may use mktemp if it is available. As
a fallback xzdiff will use mkdir to securely create a temporary
directory. Having mktemp available is still recommended since the
mkdir fallback method isn't as robust as mktemp is. The original
mktemp can be found from <>. On GNU, most will
use the mktemp program from GNU coreutils instead of the original
implementation. Both mktemp versions are fine.
In addition to using xz to decompress .xz files, xzgrep and xzdiff
use gzip, bzip2, and lzop to support .gz, bz2, and .lzo files.
3.2. PATH
The scripts assume that the required tools (standard POSIX utilities,
mktemp, and xz) are in PATH; the scripts don't set the PATH themselves.
Some people like this while some think this is a bug. Those in the
latter group can easily patch the scripts before running the configure
script by taking advantage of a placeholder line in the scripts.
For example, to make the scripts prefix /usr/bin:/bin to PATH:
perl -pi -e 's|^#SET_PATH.*$|PATH=/usr/bin:/bin:\$PATH|' \
4. Troubleshooting
4.1. "No C99 compiler was found."
You need a C99 compiler to build XZ Utils. If the configure script
cannot find a C99 compiler and you think you have such a compiler
installed, set the compiler command by passing CC=/path/to/c99 as
an argument to the configure script.
If you get this error even when you think your compiler supports C99,
you can override the test by passing ac_cv_prog_cc_c99= as an argument
to the configure script. The test for C99 compiler is not perfect (and
it is not as easy to make it perfect as it sounds), so sometimes this
may be needed. You will get a compile error if your compiler doesn't
support enough C99.
4.2. "No POSIX conforming shell (sh) was found."
xzgrep and other scripts need a shell that (roughly) conforms
to POSIX. The configure script tries to find such a shell. If
it fails, you can force the shell to be used by passing
gl_cv_posix_shell=/path/to/posix-sh as an argument to the configure
script. Alternatively you can omit the installation of scripts and
this error by passing --disable-scripts to configure.
4.3. configure works but build fails at crc32_x86.S
The easy fix is to pass --disable-assembler to the configure script.
The configure script determines if assembler code can be used by
looking at the configure triplet; there is currently no check if
the assembler code can actually actually be built. The x86 assembler
code should work on x86 GNU/Linux, *BSDs, Solaris, Darwin, MinGW,
Cygwin, and DJGPP. On other x86 systems, there may be problems and
the assembler code may need to be disabled with the configure option.
If you get this error when building for x86-64, you have specified or
the configure script has misguessed your architecture. Pass the
correct configure triplet using the --build=CPU-COMPANY-SYSTEM option
(see INSTALL.generic).
4.4. Lots of warnings about symbol visibility
On some systems where symbol visibility isn't supported, GCC may
still accept the visibility options and attributes, which will make
configure think that visibility is supported. This will result in
many compiler warnings. You can avoid the warnings by forcing the
visibility support off by passing gl_cv_cc_visibility=no as an
argument to the configure script. This has no effect on the
resulting binaries, but fewer warnings looks nicer and may allow
using --enable-werror.
4.5. "make check" fails
If the other tests pass but fails, then the problem
is in the scripts in src/scripts. Comparing the contents of
tests/xzgrep_test_output to tests/xzgrep_expected_output might
give a good idea about problems in xzgrep. One possibility is that
some tools are missing from the current PATH or the tools lack
support for some POSIX features. This can happen at least on
Solaris where the tools in /bin may be ancient but good enough
tools are available in /usr/xpg4/bin or /usr/xpg6/bin. One fix
for this problem is described in section 3.2 of this file.
If tests other than fail, a likely reason is that
libtool links the test programs against an installed version of
liblzma instead of the version that was just built. This is
obviously a bug which seems to happen on some platforms.
A workaround is to uninstall the old liblzma versions first.
If the problem isn't any of those described above, then it's likely
a bug in XZ Utils or in the compiler. See the platform-specific
notes in this file for possible known problems. Please report
a bug if you cannot solve the problem. See README for contact
4.6. (or similar) not found when running xz
If you installed the package with "make install" and get an error
about (or a similarly named file) being missing, try
running "ldconfig" to update the run-time linker cache (if your
operating system has such a command).