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A program to create deterministic zip files.

Project description


A tool to generate consistent zip files.

This tool was specifically built to prevent zip file changes from triggering AWS Lambda function updates when running terraform apply. Before this change, every re-build of the zipfile would result in a different zip even if its contents had not changed.


This tool currently only runs on python3.7 in order to use deflate compression level 9.


pip install deterministic_zip

Creating a deterministic_zip

Run the following, and verify that your zip produces the same sha256 hash:

echo "The first file." > first
echo "The second file." > second
deterministic_zip first second

If you have \n line endings the result should be:


If you have \r\n line endings (Windows) the result should be:


How does it work?

Great question! There are three tricks to building a deterministic zip.

  1. Files must be added to the zip in the same order. Directory iteration order may vary across machines, resulting in different zips. deterministic_zip sorts all files before adding them to the zip archive.

  2. Files in the zip must have consistent timestamps. If I share a directory to another machine, the timestamps of individual files may differ, depsite identical content. To achieve timestamp consistency, deterministic_zip sets the timestamp of all added files to 2019-01-01 00:00:00. Please note that this does not affect the timestamp of the source files.

  3. Files in the zip must have consistent permissions. File permissions look like -rw-r--r-- for a file that is readable by all users, and only writable by the user who owns the file. Similarly executable files might have permissions that look like: -rwxr-xr-x or -rwx------. deterministic_zip sets the permission of all files to either -r--r--r--, or -r-xr-xr-x. The latter is only used of the user running deterministic_zip has execute access on the file.

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