Python bindings for the snappy google library
Python C++ C



Python library for the snappy compression library from Google. This library is distributed under the New BSD License (


To use with pypy:

Build & Install


python build


python install

Or install it from PyPi:

pip install python-snappy

Run tests

# run python snappy tests

# support for cffi backend


snappy vs. zlib


%timeit zlib.compress("hola mundo cruel!")
100000 loops, best of 3: 9.64 us per loop

%timeit snappy.compress("hola mundo cruel!")
1000000 loops, best of 3: 849 ns per loop

Snappy is 11 times faster than zlib when compressing


r = snappy.compress("hola mundo cruel!")

%timeit snappy.uncompress(r)
1000000 loops, best of 3: 755 ns per loop

r = zlib.compress("hola mundo cruel!")

%timeit zlib.decompress(r)
1000000 loops, best of 3: 1.11 us per loop

Snappy is twice as fast as zlib

Commandline usage

You can invoke Python Snappy to compress or decompress files or streams from the commandline after installation as follows

Compressing and decompressing a file:

$ python -m snappy -c uncompressed_file compressed_file.snappy
$ python -m snappy -d compressed_file.snappy uncompressed_file

Compressing and decompressing a stream:

$ cat uncompressed_data | python -m snappy -c > compressed_data.snappy
$ cat compressed_data.snappy | python -m snappy -d > uncompressed_data

You can get help by running

$ python -m snappy --help
Snappy - compression library from Google (c)

Frequently Asked Questions

How to install it on Mac OS X?

It has been reported a few times (Issue #7 and #23) that it can't be installed correctly the library in Mac. The procedure should be,

$ brew install snappy # snappy library from Google
$ CPPFLAGS="-I/usr/local/include -L/usr/local/lib" pip install python-snappy