Extremely fast non-cryptographic hash algorithm

c, dispersion, hash, hash-checksum, hash-functions, smhasher, xxhash
brew install xxhash


xxHash - Extremely fast hash algorithm

xxHash is an Extremely fast Hash algorithm, running at RAM speed limits. It successfully completes the SMHasher test suite which evaluates collision, dispersion and randomness qualities of hash functions. Code is highly portable, and hashes are identical on all platforms (little / big endian).

Branch Status
master Build Status
dev Build Status


The benchmark uses SMHasher speed test, compiled with Visual 2010 on a Windows Seven 32-bit box. The reference system uses a Core 2 Duo @3GHz

Name Speed Quality Author
xxHash 5.4 GB/s 10 Y.C.
MurmurHash 3a 2.7 GB/s 10 Austin Appleby
SBox 1.4 GB/s 9 Bret Mulvey
Lookup3 1.2 GB/s 9 Bob Jenkins
CityHash64 1.05 GB/s 10 Pike & Alakuijala
FNV 0.55 GB/s 5 Fowler, Noll, Vo
CRC32 0.43 GB/s 9
MD5-32 0.33 GB/s 10 Ronald L.Rivest
SHA1-32 0.28 GB/s 10

Q.Score is a measure of quality of the hash function. It depends on successfully passing SMHasher test set. 10 is a perfect score. Algorithms with a score < 5 are not listed on this table.

A more recent version, XXH64, has been created thanks to Mathias Westerdahl, which offers superior speed and dispersion for 64-bit systems. Note however that 32-bit applications will still run faster using the 32-bit version.

SMHasher speed test, compiled using GCC 4.8.2, on Linux Mint 64-bit. The reference system uses a Core i5-3340M @2.7GHz

Version Speed on 64-bit Speed on 32-bit
XXH64 13.8 GB/s 1.9 GB/s
XXH32 6.8 GB/s 6.0 GB/s

This project also includes a command line utility, named xxhsum, offering similar features as md5sum, thanks to Takayuki Matsuoka contributions.


The library files xxhash.c and xxhash.h are BSD licensed. The utility xxhsum is GPL licensed.

Build modifiers

The following macros can be set at compilation time, they modify xxhash behavior. They are all disabled by default.

  • XXH_ACCEPT_NULL_INPUT_POINTER : if set to 1, when input is a null-pointer, xxhash result is the same as a null-length key, instead of a dereference segfault.
  • XXH_FORCE_MEMORY_ACCESS : default method 0 uses a portable memcpy() notation. Method 1 uses a gcc-specific packed attribute, which can provide better performance for some targets. Method 2 forces unaligned reads, which is not standard compliant, but might sometimes be the only way to extract better performance.
  • XXH_CPU_LITTLE_ENDIAN : by default, endianess is determined at compile time. It's possible to skip auto-detection and force format to little-endian, by setting this macro to 1. Setting it to 0 forces big-endian.
  • XXH_FORCE_NATIVE_FORMAT : on big-endian systems : use native number representation. Breaks consistency with little-endian results.
  • XXH_NAMESPACE : prefix all symbols with the value of XXH_NAMESPACE. Useful to evade symbol naming collisions, in case of multiple inclusions of xxHash library. Client programs can still use regular function name, symbols are automatically translated through xxhash.h.
  • XXH_STATIC_LINKING_ONLY : gives access to state definition for static allocation. Incompatible with dynamic linking, due to risks of ABI changes.
  • XXH_PRIVATE_API : Make all functions static, directly accessible through #include xxhash.h, for inlining. Do not compile xxhash.c as a separate module in this case.
  • XXH_NO_LONG_LONG : removes support for XXH64, useful for targets without 64-bit support.


Calling xxhash 64-bit variant from a C program :

#include "xxhash.h"

unsigned long long calcul_hash(const void* buffer, size_t length)
    unsigned long long const seed = 0;   /* or any other value */
    unsigned long long const hash = XXH64(buffer, length, seed);
    return hash;

Using streaming variant is more involved, but makes it possible to provide data in multiple rounds :

#include "stdlib.h"   /* abort() */
#include "xxhash.h"

unsigned long long calcul_hash_streaming(someCustomType handler)
    XXH64_state_t* const state = XXH64_createState();
    if (state==NULL) abort();

    size_t const bufferSize = SOME_VALUE;
    void* const buffer = malloc(bufferSize);
    if (buffer==NULL) abort();

    unsigned long long const seed = 0;   /* or any other value */
    XXH_errorcode const resetResult = XXH64_reset(state, seed);
    if (resetResult == XXH_ERROR) abort();

    while ( /* any condition */ ) {
        size_t const length = get_more_data(buffer, bufferSize, handler);   /* undescribed */
        XXH_errorcode const addResult = XXH64_update(state, buffer, length);
        if (addResult == XXH_ERROR) abort();

    unsigned long long const hash = XXH64_digest(state);


    return hash;

Other programming languages

Beyond the C reference version, xxHash is also available on many programming languages, thanks to great contributors. They are listed here.

Branch Policy

  • The "master" branch is considered stable, at all times.
  • The "dev" branch is the one where all contributions must be merged before being promoted to master.
    • If you plan to propose a patch, please commit into the "dev" branch, or its own feature branch. Direct commit to "master" are not permitted.