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 and is now typically called 'HDF4' to distinguish it from the later 'HDF5' package.

HDF files written with older versions can be read with the current 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 will be. For more information on backward and forward compatibility for HDF see the HDF data compatibility table.

How to User HDF4

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

module load hdf
h4cc ... 
h4fc ... 


Availability at NERSC

  • Cori: hdf/4.2.11
  • Edison: hdf/4.2.8