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Welcome to the HDF5 Tutorial provided by the HDF User Support Group.

HDF5 is a file format and library for storing scientific data. It was designed and implemented to meet growing and ever-changing scientific data-storage and data-handling needs, to take advantage of the power and features of today's computing systems, and to address the deficiencies of HDF4.x. HDF5 has a powerful and flexible data model, supports files larger than 2 GB (the limit of HDF4.x files), and supports parallel I/O. Thread-safety is designed and is to be implemented in the near future. For a short overview of the HDF5 data model, library, and tools, see the slide presentation at the following URL:

This tutorial covers the basic HDF5 data objects and file structure, the HDF5 programming model, and the API functions necessary for creating and modifying data objects. It also introduces the available HDF5 tools for accessing HDF5 files.

The examples used in this tutorial, along with a Makefile to compile them, can be found in ./examples/. To use the Makefile, you may have to edit it and update the compiler and compiler options, as well as the path for the HDF5 binary distribution. The Java examples can be found in a subdirectory of the ./examples/ directory called java/. The java/ directory contains a Makefile and shell scripts for running the java programs.

Please check the References for pointers to other examples of HDF5 Programs.

We hope that the step-by-step examples and instructions will give you a quick start with HDF5.

Please send your comments and suggestions to hdfhelp@ncsa.uiuc.edu.

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Last Modified: November 9, 2001