File compression

Compressing files reduces the space used by files, while retaining the accessibility of the files and being transparent to applications. Compressed files look and behave almost exactly like uncompressed files: the compressed files have the same name, and can be read and written as with uncompressed files. Reads cause data to be uncompressed in memory, only; the on-disk copy of the file remains compressed. In contrast, after a write, the new data is uncompressed on disk.

See About compressing files.