Column Chunks

Column chunks are composed of pages written back to back. The pages share a common header and readers can skip over pages they are not interested in. The data for the page follows the header and can be compressed and/or encoded. The compression and encoding is specified in the page metadata.

A column chunk might be partly or completely dictionary encoded. It means that dictionary indexes are saved in the data pages instead of the actual values. The actual values are stored in the dictionary page. See details in The dictionary page must be placed at the first position of the column chunk. At most one dictionary page can be placed in a column chunk.

Additionally, files can contain an optional column index to allow readers to skip pages more efficiently. See for details and the reasoning behind adding these to the format.

Last modified January 14, 2024: Sync site with format release v2.10.0 (7cf58a9)