Open/Extract xz/txz/tar.xz File with Freeware on Windows/Mac/Linux

xz is a lossless data compression program and file format which incorporates the LZMA compression algorithm. xz compresses single files as input, and does not bundle multiple files into a single archive. It is therefore common to compress a file that is itself an archive, such as those created by the tar or cpio Unix programs.

xz has gained notability for compressing packages in the GNU coreutils project, Debian family of systems deb (file format), openSUSE, Fedora, Arch Linux, Slackware, FreeBSD, Gentoo, GNOME, and TeX Live, as well as being an option to compress a compiled Linux kernel. In December 2013, the Linux kernel maintainers announced that they would use xz instead of bzip2 as their compression tool from 2014 on.

txz is short for tar.xz. tar.xz is an archive created with tar and xz utilities; contains one or more files first archived using tar and then compressed using xz compression; compressed using a high compression ratio. Beginning with Slackware 13, TXZ files are used to distribute Slackware Linux packages. They can be opened using various Slackware package management tools, including pkgtool and installpkg. Due to the high compression ratio, TXZ files are typically smaller in size than .TGZ files.

Compared to a few other popular stream compression formats, the .xz format provides a couple of advanced features. At the same time, it has been kept simple enough to be usable in many embedded systems. Here is a summary of the features:

  • Streamable: It is always possible to create and decompress .xz files in a pipe; no seeking is required.
  • Random-access reading: The data can be split into independently compressed blocks. Every .xz file contains an index of the blocks, which makes limited random-access reading possible when the block size is small enough.
  • Multiple filters (algorithms): It is possible to add support for new filters, so no new file format is needed every time a new algorithm has been developed. Developers can use a developer-specific filter ID space for experimental filters.
  • Filter chaining: Up to four filters can be chained, which is very similar to piping on the UN*X command line. Chaining can improve compression ratio with some file types. Different filter chain can be used for every independently compressed block.
  • Integrity checks: Integrity of all headers is always protected with CRC32. The integrity of the actual data may be verified with CRC32, CRC64, SHA-256, or the check may be omitted completely. It is possible to add new integrity checks in future, but there is no possibility for developer-specific check IDs like there is for filter IDs.
  • Concatenation: Just like with .gz and .bz2 files, it is possible to concatenate .xz files as is. The decompressor can decompress a concatenated file as if it was a regular single-stream .xz file.
  • Padding: Binary zeros may be appended to .xz files to pad them to fill e.g. a block on a backup tape. The padding needs to be multiple of four bytes, because the size of every valid .xz file is a multiple of four bytes.

Open/Extract xz/txz/tar.xz File on Windows

Easy 7-Zip opens/extracts xz/txz/tar.xz file easily on Windows. The Easy 7-Zip was developed based on 7-Zip. 7-Zip is a famous open source file archiver. 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 xz/txz/tar.xz with Easy 7-Zip automatically
  4. Double-click on xz/txz/tar.xz file to open xz/txz/tar.xz file with Easy 7-Zip

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

  6. Alternatively, Right-click on xz/txz/tar.xz file on Windows Explorer

  7. And then, choose Extract files..., Extract Here, or Extract to "folder\" to extract the xz/txz/tar.xz file.

  8. Done

Easy 7-Zip Download Links:

You can try other alternative freeware that opens/extracts xz/txz/tar.xz file on Windows. For example:

  • PeaZip
  • B1 Free Archiver
  • Universal Extractor
  • Bandizip
  • FreeArc
  • Bitser

Open/Extract xz/txz/tar.xz File on Mac

B1 Free Archiver opens/extracts xz/txz/tar.xz file on Mac. 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 xz/txz/tar.xz.

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

Alternative freeware that opens/extracts xz/txz/tar.xz file on Mac.

  • The Unarchiver
  • EZ 7z
  • 7zX

Open/Extract xz/txz/tar.xz File on Linux

You need to install xz-utils. XZ Utils is free general-purpose data compression software with high compression ratio. XZ Utils were written for POSIX-like systems, but also work on some not-so-POSIX systems. XZ Utils are the successor to LZMA Utils. The core of the XZ Utils compression code is based on LZMA SDK, but it has been modified quite a lot to be suitable for XZ Utils. The primary compression algorithm is currently LZMA2, which is used inside the .xz container format. With typical files, XZ Utils create 30% smaller output than gzip and 15% smaller output than bzip2.

XZ Utils consist of several components:

  • liblzma is a compression library with API similar to that of zlib.
  • xz is a command line tool with syntax similar to that of gzip.
  • xzdec is a decompression-only tool smaller than the full-featured xz tool.
  • A set of shell scripts (xzgrep, xzdiff, etc.) have been adapted from gzip to ease viewing, grepping, and comparing compressed files.
  • Emulation of command line tools of LZMA Utils eases transition from LZMA Utils to XZ Utils.

Install xz-utils on CentOS and Fedora

# yum install xz-utils

Install xz-utils on Debian and Ubuntu

$ sudo apt-get install xz-utils

Extract xz file

$ unxz file.xz


$ xz -d file.xz

Compress a file with xz compression

$ xz file

Extract txz/tar.xz file

$ tar xvJf file.txz
$ tar xvJf file.tar.xz

Compress a directory with tar and xz compression

$ tar cvJf file.txz /dir_name
$ tar cvJf file.tar.xz /dir_name



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