E2compr 0.4 User Manual – When does compression occur

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In old versions of e2compr, compression would only happen when the filein question had been closed by all processes.

However, compression now also happens whenever a cluster boundary isreached during writing.

Decompression occurs when needed, i.e. every time the kernel wants toread a compressed cluster from disk into memory. The cluster remainscompressed on the disk. The kernel does cache the file data that itreads from disk, just like any other file (see the `cached’ headingof the output of free).

(At the time of writing, this caching is suboptimal in that all filesare given equal weight, whether they’re compressed or uncompressed, andwhether they’re on a fast hard drive or on a slow floppy or CD-ROM. Iunderstand that things like weighted caching and even caching toswapspace are planned for the 2.3 kernel series.)

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