ZLIB Compressed Data Format Specification version 3.3
RFC 1950

Document Type RFC - Informational (May 1996; No errata)
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Network Working Group                                         P. Deutsch
Request for Comments: 1950                           Aladdin Enterprises
Category: Informational                                      J-L. Gailly
                                                                Info-ZIP
                                                                May 1996

         ZLIB Compressed Data Format Specification version 3.3

Status of This Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
   does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.

IESG Note:

   The IESG takes no position on the validity of any Intellectual
   Property Rights statements contained in this document.

Notices

   Copyright (c) 1996 L. Peter Deutsch and Jean-Loup Gailly

   Permission is granted to copy and distribute this document for any
   purpose and without charge, including translations into other
   languages and incorporation into compilations, provided that the
   copyright notice and this notice are preserved, and that any
   substantive changes or deletions from the original are clearly
   marked.

   A pointer to the latest version of this and related documentation in
   HTML format can be found at the URL
   <ftp://ftp.uu.net/graphics/png/documents/zlib/zdoc-index.html>.

Abstract

   This specification defines a lossless compressed data format.  The
   data can be produced or consumed, even for an arbitrarily long
   sequentially presented input data stream, using only an a priori
   bounded amount of intermediate storage.  The format presently uses
   the DEFLATE compression method but can be easily extended to use
   other compression methods.  It can be implemented readily in a manner
   not covered by patents.  This specification also defines the ADLER-32
   checksum (an extension and improvement of the Fletcher checksum),
   used for detection of data corruption, and provides an algorithm for
   computing it.

Deutsch & Gailly             Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 1950       ZLIB Compressed Data Format Specification        May 1996

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ................................................... 2
      1.1. Purpose ................................................... 2
      1.2. Intended audience ......................................... 3
      1.3. Scope ..................................................... 3
      1.4. Compliance ................................................ 3
      1.5.  Definitions of terms and conventions used ................ 3
      1.6. Changes from previous versions ............................ 3
   2. Detailed specification ......................................... 3
      2.1. Overall conventions ....................................... 3
      2.2. Data format ............................................... 4
      2.3. Compliance ................................................ 7
   3. References ..................................................... 7
   4. Source code .................................................... 8
   5. Security Considerations ........................................ 8
   6. Acknowledgements ............................................... 8
   7. Authors' Addresses ............................................. 8
   8. Appendix: Rationale ............................................ 9
   9. Appendix: Sample code ..........................................10

1. Introduction

   1.1. Purpose

      The purpose of this specification is to define a lossless
      compressed data format that:

          * Is independent of CPU type, operating system, file system,
            and character set, and hence can be used for interchange;

          * Can be produced or consumed, even for an arbitrarily long
            sequentially presented input data stream, using only an a
            priori bounded amount of intermediate storage, and hence can
            be used in data communications or similar structures such as
            Unix filters;

          * Can use a number of different compression methods;

          * Can be implemented readily in a manner not covered by
            patents, and hence can be practiced freely.

      The data format defined by this specification does not attempt to
      allow random access to compressed data.

Deutsch & Gailly             Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 1950       ZLIB Compressed Data Format Specification        May 1996

   1.2. Intended audience

      This specification is intended for use by implementors of software
      to compress data into zlib format and/or decompress data from zlib
      format.

      The text of the specification assumes a basic background in
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