Open/Extract bz2/bzip2 File with Freeware on Windows/Mac/Linux

bz2/bzip2 is a free and open-source file compression program that uses the Burrows¨CWheeler algorithm. It only compresses single files and is not a file archiver. It is developed and maintained by Julian Seward. Seward made the first public release of bzip2, version 0.15, in July 1996. The compressor's stability and popularity grew over the next several years, and Seward released version 1.0 in late 2000.

bzip2 compresses most files more effectively than the older LZW (.Z) and Deflate (.zip and .gz) compression algorithms, but is considerably slower. LZMA is generally more space-efficient than bzip2 at the expense of slower compression speed, while having much faster decompression.

bzip2 compresses data in blocks of size between 100 and 900 kB and uses the Burrows¨CWheeler transform to convert frequently-recurring character sequences into strings of identical letters. It then applies move-to-front transform and Huffman coding. bzip2's ancestor bzip used arithmetic coding instead of Huffman. The change was made because of a software patent restriction.

A .bz2 stream consists of a 4-byte header, followed by zero or more compressed blocks, immediately followed by an end-of-stream marker containing a 32-bit CRC for the plaintext whole stream processed. The compressed blocks are bit-aligned and no padding occurs.

Open/Extract bz2/bzip2 File on Windows

To open/extract bz2/bzip2 file on Windows, you can use 7-Zip, Easy 7-Zip, TUGZip, PeaZip, or Bzip2 for Windows. I recommend Easy 7-Zip. The Easy 7-Zip is an easy-to-use version of 7-Zip. The open source freeware keeps all features of 7-Zip and adds a few useful features that makes the software more user-friendly.

Easy 7-Zip works on Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/2008/2003/XP/2000 (both 32-bit and 64-bit compatible).

  1. Free Download Easy 7-Zip
  2. Install Easy 7-Zip by step-by-step instructions
  3. The installation will associate bz2/bzip2 with Easy 7-Zip automatically
  4. Double-click on bz2/bzip2 file to open bz2/bzip2 file with Easy 7-Zip

  5. Easy 7-Zip
    You will see files or folders within the bz2/bzip2 file then, click button Extract to extract the bz2/bzip2 file.

  6. Alternatively, Right-click on bz2/bzip2 file on Windows Explorer

  7. And then, choose Extract files..., Extract Here, or Extract to "folder\" to extract the bz2/bzip2 file.

  8. Done

Easy 7-Zip Download Links:

Open/Extract bz2/bzip2 File on Mac

To open/extract bz2/bzip2 file on Mac, you can use Mac OS built-in utility Archive Utility, or third-part freeware. For example: GUI Tar, The Unarchiver, Nmap, or B1 Free Archiver. B1 Free Archiver is recommended. B1 Free Archiver is a free software for creating archive folder and extracting archive file. B1 Archiver works on all platforms - Windows, Linux, Mac and Android. The freeware supports most popular formats including bz2/bzip2.

B1 Free Archiver is compatible with:

  • Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks
  • Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
  • Mac OS X 10.7 Lion
  • Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

Open/Extract bz2/bzip2 File on Linux

You need to install bzip2. bunzip2 (or bzip2 -d) decompresses bz/bzip2 file. Files which were not created by bzip2 will be detected and ignored, and a warning issued. bzip2 attempts to guess the filename for the decompressed file from that of the compressed file as follows:

  • filename.bz2 -> filename
  • -> filename
  • filename.tbz2 -> filename.tar
  • filename.tbz -> filename.tar
  • anyothername -> anyothername.out

Install bzip2 on CentOS and Fedora

# yum install bzip2

Install bzip2 on Debian and Ubuntu

$ sudo apt-get install bzip2

Extract a bz2/bzip2 file on Linux

$ bunzip2 filename.bz2

OR, use bzip2 command with parameter "d".

$ bzip2 -d filename.bz2

bzip2 and bunzip2 will by default not overwrite existing files. If you want this to happen, specify the -f flag.

If file extension is tar.bz2 use

$ tar xvjf filename.tar.bz2



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