Talk:A tutorial on 'tar'
Rewrite wanted: Deprecate bz2 in favour of xz
Trials reported at http://catchchallenger.first-world.info/wiki/Quick_Benchmark:_Gzip_vs_Bzip2_vs_LZMA_vs_XZ_vs_LZ4_vs_LZO suggest that --xz will typically produce a better compression ratio than --gzip but takes longer and uses more RAM while working. --gzip does not typically compress as small, but could be used if there are problems with insufficient memory or excessive run time. --bzip2 typically does not compress as small as xz but takes longer than gzip.
Consequently I think we should amend this tutorial to recommend --xz, with --gzip as a fallback, and only mention --bzip2 in the context of decompressing received files.