A file with .lz4 extension is a compressed archive file created with applications/utilities that support LZ4 compression. The LZ4 algorithm focuses on trade-off between speed and compression ratio. Compressed LZ4 archives can be created using the LZ4 command-line utility and can be decompressed using the same.
LZ4 File Format
The LZ4 file format, based on the LZ4 compression algorithm, is independent of CPU type, operating system, file system and character set. It is suitable for file compression and streaming compression using the LZ4 algorithm. The initial implementation of the LZ4 format was carried out in C language by Yann Collet in 2011 and is available for developer’s reference on Github.
LZ4 Frame Format
The general structure of LZ4 file format is as shown below.
4 Bytes, Little endian format. Value : 0x184D2204
The frame descriptor consists of 3 t0 15 bytes and is the most important part of the specifications. Together, the Magic_Number and Frame_Descriptor fields are referred to as LZ4 Frame Header, and its size varies between 7 and 19 bytes. It is as shown below.
0 - 8 bytes
0 - 4 bytes
Each data block follows the following order.
0 - 4 bytes
The flow of blocks ends when the last data block is followed by the 32-bit value 0x00000000.
The Content_Checksum verifies the validity of the content being decoded correctly and is carried out using the result of xxHash-32 algorithm. It validates the results of successful transmission of all blocks in the correct order and without any error.