compress / ncompress package for Cygwin

Hubert Garavel
Fri Aug 23 15:05:00 GMT 2013

> and there remain some hidden restrictions.

Wikipedia ( does not say so:

"The US LZW patent expired in 2003, so it is now in the public domain
in the United States. All patents on the LZW worldwide have also expired
(see Graphics Interchange Format#Unisys and LZW patent enforcement)."

Also, states that
"The ncompress code is released into the public domain."

> I think it's an exaggeration to say most unix-like systems ignored those restrictions.

Compress is present on recent Solaris, Mac OS X, and available on Linux
(e.g., ncompress package on Debian).

Quoting again Wikipedia,
"gzip and bzip2 increased in popularity on Linux-based operating systems due to their
alternative algorithms, along with better file compression. compress has, however,
maintained a presence on Unix and BSD systems."

For porting legacy software to Cygwin, the absence of compress is just annoying.

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