HDF5 is a unique technology suite that makes possible the management of extremely large and complex data collections.

The HDF5 technology suite includes:

  • A versatile data model that can represent very complex data objects and a wide variety of metadata.
  • A completely portable file format with no limit on the number or size of data objects in the collection.
  • A software library that runs on a range of computational platforms, from laptops to massively parallel systems, and implements a high-level API with C, C++, Fortran 90, and Java interfaces.
  • A rich set of integrated performance features that allow for access time and storage space optimizations.
  • Tools and applications for managing, manipulating, viewing, and analyzing the data in the collection.

The HDF5 data model, file format, API, library, and tools are open and distributed without charge.

Building on its 20-year history, The HDF Group offers personalized consulting, training, design, software development, and support services to help clients take full advantage of HDF5 capabilities in addressing their unique data management challenges. (see: HDFGroup.

Versions and Availability

Module Names for hdf5 on smic
Machine Version Module Name
smic 1.8.12 hdf5/1.8.12/INTEL-140-MVAPICH2-2.0
smic 1.8.17 hdf5/1.8.17/INTEL-140-MVAPICH2-2.0
▶ **FIX-ME** FAQ?


HDF5 is provided as an application programming interface (API) library, so it must be included during an application build process. This can be done with the typical compiler options (-l, -L) using explicit library names and directories, or through the use of wrapper scripts in the place of the usual compiler commands (recommended). Serial or parallel program can be compiled using these wrappers:

  • h5c++ - The C++ compiler wrapper.
  • h5pcc - The C compiler wrapper.
  • h5pfc - The Fortran compiler wrapper.

The actual compilers, and possibly MPI libraries, are selected based on the version of HDF5 selected by the softenv key. For instance, the key:


would have the wrappers for the 1.8.10 version of HDF5 use the GCC 4.4.6 compiler and the OpenMPI 1.6.2 library.


Last modified: November 11 2014 16:58:42.