Thursday, 23 November 2017

Upgrading libzstd in Ubuntu Xenial




I'm trying to raise awareness on issue 1717040:

zstd is a compression algorithm developed at Facebook.

It's available on most linux/bsd distributions, as referenced here:


Unfortunately, Ubuntu LTS 16.04 Xenial shipped with an experimental version, labelled v0.5.1.

This version uses an early experimental format, incompatible with the "stable" format,

officially supported since all versions starting >= v1.0 (unofficially supported starting >= v0.8.x).


This makes Ubuntu Xenial incompatible with all other distributions, including later Ubuntu releases,

because it reads and generate a different format.

This has ripple effects on a growing number of applications depending on zstd, as they cannot rely on system's libzstd,

since an especially important Linux distribution ships an incompatible version.

Ubuntu Xenial is latest Ubuntu LTS version, and it's expected to stay around and be supported up to 2021.


To solve this problem, it's enough to backport a new version of libzstd, from a newer Ubuntu release.

To this end, a backport request has been issued:

the package proposed here has been tested, and works successfully.

Unfortunately, the process seems to be stuck in the "after test" stage, with no progress since September.


Is there any way to get this action completed, so that applications depending on zstd can safely expect it to work on Ubuntu LTS too?





Yann Collet