Sereal - Fast, compact, powerful binary (de-)serialization


Sereal - Fast, compact, powerful binary (de-)serialization


  use Sereal qw(encode_sereal decode_sereal
  # Note: For performance reasons, you should prefer the OO interface,
  #       or sereal_(en|de)code_with_object over the stateless
  #       encode_sereal/decode_sereal functions.
  #       See the Sereal::Performance documentation for details.


Sereal is an efficient, compact-output, binary and feature-rich serialization protocol. The Perl encoder is implemented as the Sereal::Encoder module, the Perl decoder correspondingly as Sereal::Decoder. They are distributed separately to allow for safe upgrading without downtime. (Hint: Upgrade the decoder everywhere first, then the encoder.)

This Sereal module is a very thin wrapper around both Sereal::Encoder and Sereal::Decoder. It depends on both and loads both. So if you have a user of both encoder and decoder, it is enough to depend on a particular version of Sereal and you'll get the most recent released versions of Sereal::Encoder and Sereal::Decoder whose version is smaller than or equal to the version of Sereal you depend on.

The protocol specification and many other bits of documentation can be found in the github repository. Right now, the specification is at, there is a discussion of the design objectives in, and the output of our benchmarks can be seen at


It is recommended to use the object-oriented interface of Sereal::Encoder and Sereal::Decoder if you care about performance. For detailed performance considerations, see Sereal::Performance.

You can optionally import five functions from Sereal. encode_sereal is the same function as Sereal::Encoder's encode_sereal function. decode_sereal and looks_like_sereal are the same as Sereal::Decoder's functions of the same names. Finally, you can import the advanced functional interface sereal_encode_with_object and sereal_decode_with_object. Again, see Sereal::Performance for information about those.

After loading the Sereal module, both Sereal::Encoder and Sereal::Decoder are guaranteed to be loaded, so you can use their object-oriented interface.


Returns a Sereal::Encoder with the given options. This encoder will be shared by other calls to this function.


Returns a Sereal::Decoder with the given options. This encoder will be shared by other calls to this function.


Write a sereal packet to $FILENAME. See Sereal::Encoder::write_to_file().


Read a sereal packet from a file. See Sereal::Decoder::read_from_file().


For reporting bugs, please use the github bug tracker at

For support and discussion of Sereal, there are two Google Groups:

Announcements around Sereal (extremely low volume):!forum/sereal-announce

Sereal development list:!forum/sereal-dev


Steffen Mueller <>


This module was originally developed for With approval from, this module was generalized and published on CPAN, for which the authors would like to express their gratitude.


This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


Copyright (C) 2012, 2013, 2014 by Steffen Mueller