Sereal(3) 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.


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 <[email protected]>


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