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Description and Overview

Hierarchical Data Format is a set of file formats, libraries, and tools for storing and managing large scientific datasets. Originally developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, it is currently supported by the non-profit HDF Group.

HDF files written with older versions can be read with the default version. HDF is also forward compatible, at least in regards to the data. Metadata, such as attributes, may not be readable by previous releases, but the data should be. For more information on backward and forward compatibility see the HDF data compatibility table.

Using HDF

Load the appropriate modulefile and then you can use the HDF C or Fortran wrappers:

module load hdf
h4cc ... ...
h4fc ... ...


For a full description of this software, visit the HDF web site.  If you have questions about using this software at NERSC, contact the consultants via email:

Availability at NERSC

PackagePlatformCategoryVersionModuleInstall DateDate Made Default
HDF cori libraries/ I/O 4.2.11 hdf/4.2.11 2015-10-18
HDF datatran2 libraries/ I/O 1.8.13 hdf5/1.8.13 2015-09-30
HDF edison libraries/ I/O 4.2.8 hdf/4.2.8 2017-09-01 2017-09-01
HDF pdsf_sl6 libraries/ I/O 1.8.13 hdf5/1.8.13 2014-08-14 2014-08-14