Did you know there's a (weirdly named) zipmt compression program that does only one thing: compress to bzip2 with multiple threads. Crazy that this is still not done automatically with the normal bzip2. You may also you parallel bzip2. The advantage of zipmt is that it can compress from standard input, which pbzip2 unfortunately does not. pbzip2 has the advantage that is can automatically detect the number of CPUs and adjust the cpu usage according to the current system/cpu load.
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