Crate marble

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Marble is a low-level object store that can be used to build your own storage engines and databases on top of.

At a high-level, it supports atomic batch writes and single-object reads. Garbage collection is manual. All operations are blocking. Nothing is cached in-memory except for zstd dictionaries and file handles to all storage files. Objects may be sharded upon GC by providing a custom Config::partition_function. Partitioning is not performed on the write batch when it is initially written, because the write batch must be stored in a single file for it to be atomic. But when future calls to Marble::maintenance defragment the storage files by rewriting objects that are still live, it will use this function to assign the rewritten objects into a particular partition.

You should think of Marble as the heap that you flush your write-ahead logs into periodically. It will create a new file for each write batch, and this might actually expand to more files after garbage collection if the batch is significantly larger than the Config::target_file_size.

Marble does not create any threads or call Marble::maintenance automatically under any conditions. You should probably create a background thread that calls this periodically.

Pretty much the only “fancy” thing that Marble does is that it can be configured to create a zstd dictionary that is tuned specifically to your write batches. This is disabled by default and can be configured by setting the Config::zstd_compression_level to something other than None (the level is passed directly to zstd during compression). Compression is bypassed if batches have fewer than 8 items or the average item length is less than or equal to 8.


let marble = marble::open("heap").unwrap();

// Write new data keyed by a `u64` object ID.
// Batches contain insertions and deletions
// based on whether the value is a Some or None.
    (0_u64, Some(&[32_u8] as &[u8])),
    (4_u64, None),

// read it back
assert_eq!(, Some(vec![32].into_boxed_slice()));
assert_eq!(, None);
assert_eq!(, None);

// after a few more batches that may have caused fragmentation
// by overwriting previous objects, perform maintenance which
// will defragment the object store based on `Config` settings.
let objects_defragmented = marble.maintenance().unwrap();

// print out system statistics

which prints out something like

marble.stats() = Stats {
    live_objects: 1048576,
    stored_objects: 1181100,
    dead_objects: 132524,
    live_percent: 88,
    files: 11,

If you want to customize the settings passed to Marble, you may specify your own Config:

let config = marble::Config {
    path: "my_path".into(),
    zstd_compression_level: Some(7),
    fsync_each_batch: true,
    target_file_size: 64 * 1024 * 1024,
    file_compaction_percent: 50,

let marble =;

A custom GC sharding function may be provided for partitioning objects based on the object ID and size. This may be useful if your higher-level system allocates certain ranges of object IDs for certain types of objects that you would like to group together in the hope of grouping items together that have similar fragmentation properties (similar expected lifespan etc…). This will only shard objects when they are defragmented through the Marble::maintenance method, because each new write batch must be written together in one file to retain write batch atomicity in the face of crashes.

// This function shards objects into partitions
// similarly to a slab allocator that groups objects
// into size buckets based on powers of two.
fn shard_by_size(object_id: u64, object_size: usize) -> u8 {
    let next_po2 = object_size.next_power_of_two();

let config = marble::Config {
    path: "my_sharded_path".into(),
    partition_function: shard_by_size,

let marble =;


  • Configuration for configuring Marble.
  • Garbage-collecting object store. A nice solution to back a pagecache, for people building their own databases.
  • Statistics for file contents, to base decisions around calls to maintenance.


  • Shard based on rough size ranges corresponding to SSD page and block sizes
  • Open the system with default configuration at the provided path.