The author of the archiving software 7-Zip, Igor Pavlov, released 7-Zip 18.00 Beta today to the public. The new version of the Windows software is the first release of 2018. The first two digits of the version number reflect the year of release.

7-Zip 18.00 follows another beta version of the program, 7-Zip 17.01 which Pavlov released in August 2017. The most recent stable version is 7-Zip 16.04 released in, you guessed it, 2016.

We did not review the last beta version, and I decided to cover both releases in this article. One reason for that is that there are not that many changes in 7-Zip 18.00.

7-Zip 18.00 Beta review

The new beta version of the archiving software comes with support for unpacking .obj and .coff files. The only other addition to the programís feature set is support for the -sse command switch which stops archive creation if input files cannot be opened by the program during the process.

7-Zip 17.01 has more to offer in regards to changes. Most of the changes aim at advanced use cases, however.

The multi-threading compression performance of LZMA2 archives (xz and 7z) improved in the release, 7-Zip uses additional buffers for multi-block LZMA2 compression, and CPU utilization improved slightly as a consequence.

The handling of xz archives improved in several ways in the release as well. 7-Zip creates multi-block xz archives by default. Users can specify the block size with the -ms[Size]{m|g} switch. The xz decoder supports the unpacking of random blocks from multi-block xz archives in that version on top of that. Another improvement is that 7-Zip can open nested multi-block xz archives in that version without fully unpacking the archive first.

The two remaining changes of 7-Zip 17.01 introduced creating zip archives from stdin to stdout and limited the @listfile parameter so that it needs to be run before the -switch parameter.

Closing Words

Good news is that development of the open source archiver for Windows continues. New release versions come out slowly, however. The last stable version dates back to October 2016. Still, 7-Zip is a popular archive software for Windows, and many users stood by the program despite its slow update rate.