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I tried

sudo aptitude remove gzip

and it looked like it uninstalled but when I typed gzip at the terminal it still ran.

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Umm... why do you want to remove GZip? – TheLQ Aug 11 '10 at 1:44
i've seen it use lots of cpu and slow down the system. i want to replace it with something else. – tony_sid Aug 11 '10 at 12:32
The good news is that if you remove gzip, your system will have a lot of free CPU time, since your system WILL break. gzip isn't a bastard who just consumes CPU just because it's fun, it's a mandatory component used by everything from package management to uncompressing man pages. Do. Not. Remove. Gzip. Doing so is a tip told by a Bad Idea Panda. – Janne Pikkarainen Aug 11 '10 at 12:56
@awakeFromNib I don't think that would help. There are few reasons for that: First something is calling gzip. If there is another program that can take gzip's place, that same thing would call the replacement program instead so in the end result would be same. Something else would take up lots of CPU time. Second, lots of programs call gzip and give it command line parameters. Would other program be able to perfectly mimic gzip? You could attempt to somehow get BSD version of gzip (which is different from GNU zip on GNU/Linux), but the main thing is that problem is something else. – AndrejaKo Aug 13 '10 at 10:34
@awakeFromNib This analogy is a bit simple, but I think that it correctly describes situation: Imagine that you feel dizzy and ask doctor for help and he says "No problem! We'll just chop your head off and get you a new one!" and later it turns out that problem was hypotension! – AndrejaKo Aug 13 '10 at 10:39
up vote 29 down vote accepted

Package gzip has priority "required", meaning it must always be installed for the system to work properly. Probably aptitude is therefore refusing to remove it. What output did you get from the remove command?

BTW: Why do you want to remove gzip? Doing so is a really bad idea...


If you see gzip consuming a lot of CPU, that's because some other program is using it. If you want to do something about this, find out which program is calling gzip, and change the program (if possible). To do this, use pstree -apl to see all processes with their parents, look for gzip and what its parents are, then check why they call gzip.

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i wasn't reading carefully when i tried to uninstall it. this is what it says

WARNING: Performing this action will probably cause your system to break!
         Do NOT continue unless you know EXACTLY what you are doing!
To continue, type the phrase "I am aware that this is a very bad idea":

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Trust me. It IS a VERY bad idea. – lajuette Aug 11 '10 at 12:41
Just as I said... even aptitude says it's a bad idea ;-). BTW: Please do not post answers to supplement your question - edit the question instead. – sleske Aug 11 '10 at 15:28
No it wasn't a supplement to my question, but the answer to my question. However someone else posted a better answer so I selected it as the answer. – tony_sid Aug 13 '10 at 8:43

gzip is a very important tool for each and avery linux distribution. Many applications store their files in a compressed format. GZip can create and handle these files.

AFAIK on most distribution management systems like deb and rpm the pacakges are gzipped, too. Basic tools like logrotate use gzup compression. etc, etc, etc. Uninstalling gzip will most likely render your system unuseable and may prevent you from reinstalling it.

If gzip is taking up a lot of resources it's most likely the case that some other application is calling gzip to compress something. In this case gzip is just called as a tool.

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