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Project description

Py7za ("pizza")

Python wrapper for running the 7za.exe utility from

The wrapper simply runs the application in a separate process and provides the following added functionality:

  • capture and parse output (overriding any -bs_ arguments)
  • track progress and some basic metrics (size, files processed, etc.)

Other than providing that utility, the wrapper tries to provide users access to 7za in a way as simple, and as close to the original as possible. See some documentation for the command line options here (no affiliation).

Additionally, the package contains the AsyncIOPool class, which allows you to queue up a large number of asynchronous tasks, and it will keep a certain number of them running at all times, until all tasks are done. This works for any asyncio Task, but can be handily combined with Py7za (see below).

Finally, a command line utility py7za-box ("pizza box") is included, which allows you to quickly replace individual files with their zipped equivalent in-place and vice versa, without writing any code. The idea is that a user may want to zip many files in a large project, without removing them from their original location, and still be able to find them by name and easily extract them individually.


Install the package for use from scripts:

pip install py7za

Of if you want to use the command-line interface py7za-box as well, make sure the dependencies for it are installed like this:

pip install py7za[box]
py7za-box --help

On Linux, you will have to have p7zip installed for py7za to work, as there is no Linux binary included in the package. For example:

sudo yum install -y p7zip
sudo apt-get install -y p7zip


With the package installed, try running this script:

from py7za import Py7za

# zip all .txt files in c:\temp and subdirectories to'a c:\temp\*.txt -r')

A simple example use of AsyncIOPool, to run multiple copies of 7za in parallel:

from py7za import AsyncIOPool, Py7za
from pathlib import Path
from asyncio import run

async def zip_many(root, glob, target='.'):
    async for task_result in AsyncIOPool(pool_size=4).arun_many(
            [Py7za(f'a {target}/{}.zip {fn}') for fn in Path(root).glob(glob)]):
        print(task_result.arguments, task_result.return_code)

run(zip_many('c:/documents', '*.bak', target='c:/temp'))

This function would find a bunch of files and create zip files for each in another location, with 4 copies of 7za running at any time, until it's done.

Note: 7za itself supports multicore compression when compressing multiple files into a single archive. So if you're compressing many files into a few archives, it may not be optimal to create a pool with as many tasks as you have cores.

Command line py7za-box

To quickly replace every .csv file in a folder and in all its sub-folders with a zip-file containing that .csv:

py7za-box **/*.csv

And the reverse:

py7za-box **/* --unbox

A more elaborate example:

py7za-box **/*.csv **/*.txt --root c:/temp --folders --output verbose -7 "-mx=9 -psecret" 

This would run py7za-box with c:/temp as the working directory (--root c:/temp), matching all .csv and .txt files in it and in its sub-folders (**/*.csv **/*.txt), printing the command line for each execution of 7za as it happens (--output verbose). Ensure that the sub-folder structure relative to c:/temp is preserved in the archives (--folders). Pass options to 7za (-7 "-mx=9 -psecret") to ensure maximum compression (-mx=9) and set a password on the archive (-psecret, i.e. password will be 'secret').

Structure and Folders

There is a clear distinction between the --structure and --folders options for py7za-box, which may not be immediately obvious.

Compare these sets of statements:

py7za-box **/*.csv --structure 0 --folders 0 --target output
py7za-box **/*.csv --structure 1 --folders 0 --target output  # this is the default!
py7za-box **/*.csv --structure 0 --folders 1 --target output

All three will try and find all .csv files in the current folder (because no alternative --root was provided) and all sub-folders, and create individual archives for each.

The first will create all those archives directly in output, and the archives will only contain the .csv itself, no folder structure. So, if the current folder contains a file files/data.csv, an archive called output/ will be created, containing only data.csv.

The second will recreate the folder structure relative to the source folder, putting each archive in sub-folders created in output, but the archives will still only contain the .csv itself. Again, if the current folder contains a file files/data.csv, an archive called output/files/ will be created, containing only data.csv. This is the default and works most naturally when not providing a --target, but performing the archival in place, and deleting the originals, which is also the default.

The third will create all the archives directly in output, but the archives will contain the sub-folder structure as well as the .csv itself. Again, if the current folder contains a file files/data.csv, an archive called output/ will be created, containing files/data.csv.

Note that you could also set both --structure and --folders to be true, but that would create an archive output/files/data.csv, which would contain files/data.csv; when extracting the resulting files, care would need to be taken to avoid files ending up in double sub-folder structures, so a warning is issued if you combine these options.

Also note that py7za-box **/*.csv --structure 0 --folders 1 --target output is not the same as 7za.exe a output/ *.csv -r. The latter creates a single archive, not one archive for each file, which is the purpose of py7za-box.

Common mistakes

Folders that already have archives

If a folder already contains archives (.zip, .gz, etc.) and you run py7za-box using some filter that would (also) match these files, they will not get zipped again, unless you also provide the zip_archives option. However, if you then proceed to unzip all archives, these original archives may also be matched and unzipped. I.e.:

py7za-box **/*                 # everything gets matched, but matched archives like .zip files will get ignored
py7za-box **/*.zip --unbox     # after this, if there were .zip files in the original folder, they will have been extracted

py7za-box **/* --zip_archives  # this option will get py7za-box to re-zip the archives
py7za-box **/*.zip --unbox     # after this, the folder will be identical to the original folder, with any archives

Based on the above, you might expect --zip_archives to be the default, after all it makes it easier to restore a folder to its original state. However, a more common use case is where a user boxes files in a folder, then proceeds to add new files, and then want to box these new files, without having to explicitly exclude the previously boxed files. For example:

py7za-box **/*                 # box everything
copy newfile.txt .             # add some new content
py7za-box **/**                # box everything new (but leave the archives created before)

To make life a little easier, if an archive contains more than one file, it will not be extracted by --unbox. Since most existing archives likely contain more than one file, that means that in the first example above, only zip files that only contain a single file would be extracted by:

py7za-box **/*.zip --unbox     # after this, if there were .zip files **with a single file in them ** 
                               # in the original folder, they will have been extracted

But of course there are cases where you use py7za-box to zip folders, which may contain multiple files, so you need some way to tell it to do that. For example:

py7za-box **/sub-* --match_dir                # box directories starting with "sub-"
py7za-box **/sub-*.zip --unbox --unbox_multi  # unbox the resulting zip files, regardless of the number of files 

As with any major file operation, you will want to be careful, but hopefully the above helps making some common mistakes that can make a mess. py7za has been designed with defaults that keep the most common use cases in mind, but you can override those defaults as needed.

Matching directories

Consider this command:

py7za-box **/* --match_dir

Looks innocent, but note that this matches all files and folders it can find and will try to archive all of them. This almost certainly will lead to a folder being archived before its content, causing py7za-box to fail because after the folder is archived, the file can no longer be found and thus cannot be archived.

So, how about:

py7za-box **/* --match_dir --match_file false

Better, but matched subdirectories can still cause the same problem. When using --match_dir, you should make sure there won't be matches inside matches. py7za-box does not currently offer a --safe option, though it may in the future (which could check for these situations before running). Typically this means you either only match directories that have names or match patterns where you know they won't be nested, or you do something like this:

py7za-box */temp --match_dir --match_file false

This would match and directory named temp exactly one level from the current directory, so accidental nesting is impossible. However, it would of course miss ./dir1/dir2/temp while **/temp would match both ./dir1/temp and ./dir1/temp/temp. There is no glob expression that allows you to only match the first or last occurrance. Similar to --safe, py7za-box currently does not have a --regex_match option where you could provide more powerful (but slower) matching, but may in future versions.

A final note on matching directories: unless you happen to know every directory you're matching only contains a single file, you should most likely pass --unbox_multi when unboxing archived directories, so that directories with multiple files also get unboxed corretly. However, not that this may also unzip multi-file archives that were present before boxing.

py7za-box */* --match_dir --match_file false
py7za-box */*.7z --unbox --unbox_multi

Locked files

If you have files open in a program that locks the file for reading or writing, py7za-box may file to archive them, or remove them after archiving. A warning or error will be logged (and it's recommended you log to file with --log_error <path> for easy review).

However, consider this scenario: a file is locked when archiving, so no file is archived and an error is logged. However, an (empty) archive is still created. From the presence of the archive (and ignoring the error log), you may falsely conclude that your file is safe and remove the original - you've just removed the only copy of the file!

If you notice these errors, simply close the program locking the files and rerun the boxing operation - under normal settings, it will proceed to box these files and ignore the other previously created archives.


The only external dependency is on conffu for the configuration of the command-line tool. If you only want to use the Py7za class, and just use pip install py7za, this dependency won't be installed. To install the dependency, use pip install py7za[box].


This package is licensed under the MIT license. See LICENSE.txt.



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