DEFLATE Data: Recreate for Optimal Compression

preflate-rs is a port of the C++ preflate library to split deflate streams into uncompressed data and reconstruction information, or reconstruct the original deflate stream from those two.

IMPORTANT: This library is still in initial development, so there are probably breaking changes being done fairly frequently.

The resulting uncompressed content can then be recompressed by a more modern compression technique such as Zstd, lzma, etc. This library is designed to be used as part of a cloud storage system that requires exact binary storage of content, so the libary needs to make sure that the DEFLATE content is recreated exactly as it was written. This is not trivial, since DEFLATE has a large degree of freedom in choosing both how the distance/length pairs are chose and how the Huffman trees are created.

The library tries to detect the following compressors to try to do a reasonable job:

  • Zlib: Zlib is more or less perfectly compressed.
  • MiniZ: The fastest mode uses a different hash function.
  • Libdeflate: This library uses 4 byte hash-tables, which we try to detect.

The general approach is as follows:

  1. Decompress stream into plaintext and a list of blocks containing tokens that are either literals (bytes) or distance, length pairs.
  2. Estimation scan of content to estimate parameters used for compression. The better the estimation, the less corrections we need when we try to recreate the compression.
  3. Rerun compression using the zlib algorithm using the parameters gathered above. A difference encoder is used to record each instance where the token predicted by our implementation of DEFLATE differs from what we found in the file.

The following differences are corrected:

  • Type of block (uncompressed, static huffman, dynamic huffman)
  • Number of tokens in block (normally 16386)
  • Dynamic huffman encoding (estimated using the zlib algorithm, but there are multiple ways to construct more or less optimal length limited Huffman codes)
  • Literal vs (distance, length) pair (corrected by a single bit)
  • Length or distance is incorrect (corrected by encoding the number of hops backwards until the correct one)
  • Weird 258 length size (standard allows for two different encodings)

Note that the data formats of the recompression information are different and incompatible to the original preflate implemenation, as this library uses a different arithmetic encoder (shared from the Lepton JPEG compression library).

How to Use This Library

Building From Source

  • Rust 1.70 or Above
git clone
cd preflate-rs
cargo build
cargo test
cargo build --release


There is an preflate_util.exe wrapper that is built as part of the project that can be used to test out the library against Deflate compressed content.

Download Details:

Author: microsoft

Official Github: 

License: Apache-2.0 license


DEFLATE Data: Recreate for Optimal Compression
3.15 GEEK