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Content-Defined Chunking for Rust
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Content-Defined Chunking

This crates provides a way to device a stream of bytes into chunks, using methods that choose the splitting point from the content itself. This means that adding or removing a few bytes in the stream would only change the chunks directly modified. This is different from just splitting every n bytes, because in that case every chunk is different unless the number of bytes changed is a multiple of n.

Content-defined chunking is useful for data de-duplication. It is used in many backup software, and by the rsync data synchronization tool.

This crate exposes both easy-to-use methods, implementing the standard Iterator trait to iterate on chunks in an input stream, and efficient zero-allocation methods that reuse an internal buffer.

Using this crate

First, add a dependency on this crate by adding the following to your Cargo.toml:

cdchunking = 1.0

And your

extern crate cdchunking;

Then create a Chunker object using a specific method, for example the ZPAQ algorithm:

use cdchunking::{Chunker, ZPAQ};

let chunker = Chunker::new(ZPAQ::new(13)); // 13 bits = 8 KiB block average

There are multiple way to get chunks out of some input data.

From an in-memory buffer: iterate on slices

If your whole input data is in memory at once, you can use the slices() method. It will return an iterator on slices of this buffer, allowing to handle those chunks with no additional allocation.

for slice in chunker.slices(data) {
    println("{:?}", slice);

From a file object: read chunks into memory

If you are reading from a file, or any object that implements Read, you can use Chunker to read whole chunks directly. Use the whole_chunks() method to get an iterator on chunks, read as new Vec<u8> objects.

for chunk in chunker.whole_chunks(reader) {
    let chunk = chunk.expect("Error reading from file");
    println!("{:?}", chunk);

You can also read all the chunks from the file and collect them in a Vec (of Vecs) using the all_chunks() method. It will take care of the IO errors for you, returning an error if any of the chunks failed to read.

let chunks: Vec<Vec<u8>> = chunker.all_chunks(reader)
    .expect("Error reading from file");
for chunk in chunks {
    println!("{:?}", chunk);

From a file object: streaming chunks with zero allocation

If you are reading from a file to write to another, you might deem the allocation of intermediate Vec objects unnecessary. If you want, you can have Chunker provide you chunks data from the internal read buffer, without allocating anything else. In that case, note that a chunk might be split between multiple read operations. This method will work fine with any chunk sizes.

Use the stream() method to do this. Note that because an internal buffer is reused, we cannot implement the Iterator trait, so you will have to use a while loop:

let mut chunk_iterator =;
while let Some(chunk) = {
    let chunk = chunk.unwrap();
    match chunk {
        ChunkInput::Data(d) => {
            print!("{:?}, ", d);
        ChunkInput::End => println!(" end of chunk"),
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