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File Format
Name ChiefLZ
Extension(s) .lza, .lzz
Released 1996

ChiefLZ is a Pascal data compression library, and its associated file formats. It was originally developed by Dr. Abimbola Olowofoyeku (a.k.a. The African Chief) and Chris Rankin. Later development was solely by Olowofoyeku.



Two compression schemes are supported: LZSS, and LZ77+Huffman.

The software includes a sample program ("LZ") for managing compressed files and archives.

LZA, a full-featured application using the formats, was released in 1999. LZA is closed source, and includes binaries for DOS and Windows. LZA also goes by longer names such as "Chief's LZSS Archiver".

There are two ChiefLZ file formats: one for single-file compression (we'll call it .LZZ), and one for compressed archives (.LZA, but not to be confused with the software named LZA). The sample program originally used the .LZZ file extension for both formats, but later software switched to .LZA for the archive format.

There are at least two incompatible versions of the formats: "v1" (used by ChiefLZ v1.x), and "v2" (used by ChiefLZ v2+ and LZA v1+).


.LZA (the format) v2: Files begin with a 13-byte signature: 0c 04 0d 43 68 66 4c 5a 5f 32 05 06 04. The signature contains ASCII "ChfLZ_2".

.LZA (the format) v1: Unconfirmed, but files probably begin with this 11-byte signature: 0a 04 0d 43 68 66 4c 5a 05 06 08.

.LZZ v2: Files begin with a 9-byte signature: 08 61 43 68 69 65 66 4d 23. The signature contains ASCII "aChiefM#".

.LZZ v1: Undetermined. The v2 signature probably appears in the file, but not at the very beginning of it.



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