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The dd command has a conv=sparse sparse try to seek rather than write the output for NUL input blocks So I would attempt xz -dc < image.xz | dd of=image conv=sparse Using dd in this way will work with any form of input (whether or not the first command could generate sparse files itself).


Citing the xz manpage (which you really should consult with such questions), in which I very quickly searched for sparse: --no-sparse Disable creation of sparse files. By default, if decompressing into a regular file, xz tries to make the file sparse if the decompressed data contains long sequences of binary zeros. It also works when writing to standard ...

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