zlib is a general-purpose, free, open source and legally unencumbered library software that provides support for lossless data-compression using the portable zip archive file format. It can be used on any operating system or computer hardware.
The library is designed to minimize memory allocation, while compressing archives with up to 20% faster than other similar formats, with a crc32 error-detecting code of about 50% faster. Supports decode and encode of gzip streams, and much more.
Getting started with zlib
Installing zlib on your GNU/Linux machine is an easy task that can be achieved even by those who just started using a Linux kernel-based operating systems. All you have to do, is to download the latest version of zlib from Softpedia or via its official website (see link at the end of the article), save the archive somewhere on your computer and extract its contents with an archive manager software.
Then, open a Terminal app and use the ‘cd’ command to go to the location of the extracted archive files (e.g. cd /home/softpedia/zlib-1.2.8). Run the ‘./configure && make’ command to configure and compile the program, followed by the ‘make install’ command (or ‘sudo make install’ on some systems) to install the library system wide.
That’s it, zlib is no installed on your computer and can be easily integrated into an application to handle zip archives (compress and decompress). When installed, the respective app will require the zlib library.
A portable library, supported on all mainstream OSes
Being highly portable, the zlib library can be used on any modern, mainstream Linux and UNIX-like operating system, including GNU/Linux, BSD (FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD), Solaris, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Currently, it can be installed on 64-bit and 32-bit computers. The project is distributed as part of the well-known libpng library software.