Last Updated on July 8, 2023
LZ4 is a lossless compression algorithm, providing compression speed > 500 MB/s per core (>0.15 Bytes/cycle).
It features an extremely fast decoder, with speed in multiple GB/s per core (~1 Byte/cycle). A high compression derivative, called LZ4_HC, is available, trading customizable CPU time for compression ratio.
LZ4 is an LZ77-type compressor with a fixed, byte-oriented encoding. There is no entropy encoder back-end nor framing layer. The latter is assumed to be handled by other parts of the system (see LZ4 Frame format). This design is assumed to favor simplicity and speed. It helps later on for optimizations, compactness, and features.
LZ4 is also compatible with dictionary compression, both at API and CLI levels. It can ingest any input file as dictionary, though only the final 64KB are used. This capability can be combined with the Zstandard Dictionary Builder, in order to drastically improve compression performance on small files.
Compression can be done in: a single step (described as Simple Functions), a single step, reusing a context (described in Advanced Functions), and unbounded multiple steps (described as Streaming compression).
LZ4 library is provided as open source software using a BSD license.
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