It's easy to compress things on the command line with linux. All you need to do is
gzip file > file.gz. You can use other compression programmes, like
lzma. Each has a different way to compress and some are faster than others.
You can measure this using
pv a convient little command line tool that shows a progress bar through a pipe.
gzip file | pv > file.gz
Related: pv and fifos to measure the speed of anything