Linux Kernels Can Now Be Compressed With LZ4
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 11 July 2013 at 11:14 AM EDT. 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.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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