Running bzip2 with multiple cores

I was trying to bzip a 40Gb file and it was taking forever. I then checked the Activity Monitor. It turns out the default bzip was only using one cpu core!!! If you really want to make use of your other cpu cores while doing bzip’ing, here is a nice way I found.

Go to and download PBZIP2 Automator action and workflow/service for Mac OS X. Once you have the tbz2 file, double click, then you will see a folder with two files insides. Double click on each file to install the necessary programs.

Then now, just right click or Ctrl click on the file you want to compress, at the bottom you will see “Compress with PBZIP2”. Just click on that and the pbzip2 process will begin with all your cores. If you see the “Services” menu instead, then hovering on that will show you a list of actions, one of them is “Compress with PBZIP2”.

pbzip2 will make use of all of your cpu cores and a lot more memory, so be prepared before running that.

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