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Linux Kernels Can Now Be Compressed With LZ4

Linux Kernel

Published on 11 July 2013 11:14 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
21 Comments

The Linux 3.11 kernel will support kernel images compressed using the LZ4 compression algorithm.

As an alternative to Gzip, BZIP2, LZMA, and LZO, the Linux kernel can now be compressed using LZ4. The upstream LZ4 implementation has compression and decompression speeds easily beating LZO, Snappy, zlib, and other compression alternatives.

The LZ4 results for a Linux kernel image is that on an ARMv7 1.5GHz board the LZ4 compression speeds can top out at 45.6MB/s compared to 25.2MB/s and for a completely different ARM board the gains are similar of 86.7 MB/s versus 34.1/52.2 MB/s with LZO. This Linux kernel work was done by LG Electronics.

Right now though it appears the LZ4 Linux kernel support is for ARM hardware only though support could be added to other architectures. The LZ4 Linux 3.11 commits can be found through CGit.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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