This is a first question on this StackExchange site, please let me know if my question is off-topic, and if so, which of the sites would be more appropriate.

I am looking for an API that can be used with ANSI C on a Windows 7 OS. I will use it to uncompress files created using WinZip, DynaZip, 7zip.

(I have observed that each of these seem to accommodate compression algorithms created by each other, i.e. 7zip opens/creates files that can be open/created by WinZip which can in turn be open/created by DynaZip)

So far I have tried to compile the offerings from 7zip and miniz using an ANSI C compiler in the LabWindows/CVI environment (C99 implementation), but ran into missing header files for both offerings. I have also looked at the Windows APIs in MSDN, but did not find anything there. Surprised at that, and wonder if I just was not looking in the right areas.

I suspect either of the offerings from 7zip or miniz would be perfect, except for the incomplete file distribution. Insights from others that have successfully built either of these APIs (in a Windows/C99 environment) would be helpful. Or if there is another approach completely, i.e. another API. Any help is appreciated.

  • Why does it have to be ANSI C? Jul 21, 2014 at 19:57
  • @CristianCiupitu - My customer is standardized on ANSI C, and the application with which I will use this API will be ansi C. If the API is written in C++, or C#, that is not a problem, it just has to have a way for me to link with it, i.e. delivered with .dll, .lib and .h.
    – ryyker
    Jul 21, 2014 at 20:09

2 Answers 2


Perhaps libarchive is the answer, but I'm not sure if it's ANSI C. Though it's portable and works on most POSIX-like systems (including FreeBSD, Linux, Solaris, etc.) and supports Windows, including Cygwin, MinGW, and Visual Studio.


You can use LZMA SDK.

  • cross platform
  • ANSI C compatible
  • public domain license

You must tell your compiler where to look for headers or copy the headers to standard directories (see this).

  • LZMA requires using c++ for uncompressing .zip files according to its author. ANSI C compatibility seems to end with use only for LZMA compression.
    – ryyker
    Jul 26, 2014 at 19:20

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