AFF4 -The Advanced Forensics File Format

The Advanced Forensics File format 4 was originally designed and published in “Extending the advanced forensic format to accommodate multiple data sources, logical evidence, arbitrary information and forensic workflow” M.I. Cohen, Simson Garfinkel and Bradley Schatz, digital investigation 6 (2009) S57–S68.

The format is an open source format used for the storage of digital evidence and data.

The original paper was released with an earlier implementation written in python. This project is a complete open source re-implementation for a general purpose AFF4 library.

What is currently supported.

Not all features described in the paper are currently supported. The following features are currently supported:

  1. Writing and Reading ZipFile style volumes.
  2. Writing and Reading AFF4 Image streams using the deflate or snappy compressor.
  3. Writing and reading RDF metadata using both YAML and Turtle.
  4. Logical file acquisition.
  5. Map streams.

What is not yet supported:

  1. Encrypted AFF4 volumes.
  2. Persistent data store.
  3. HTTP backed streams.
  4. Splitting an AFF4 Image across multiple volumes.
  5. Support for signed statements or Bill of Materials.


The AFF4 imaging technology is utilized in the Pmem suite of memory acquisition tools from version 2.0 upwards. This means that the Pmem imagers are standard AFF4 imagers so they can also be used to acquire disks and logical files as well.

For now please download the Pmem imagers for all supported OS platforms in order to test and evaluate the AFF4 imaging technology.


This is not an official Google product (experimental or otherwise), it is just code that happens to be owned by Google.