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Hierarchical Data Format library. Serial and MPI parallel version.

HDF5 (Hierarchical Data Format) is a general purpose library and file format for storing scientific data. HDF5 can store two primary objects: datasets and groups. A dataset is essentially a multidimensional array of data elements, and a group is a structure for organizing objects in an HDF5 file. Using these two basic objects, one can create and store almost any kind of scientific data structure, such as images, arrays of vectors, and structured and unstructured grids. You can also mix and match them in HDF5 files according to your needs.

Versions 1.8.11 and 1.8.13 of HDF5 library are available on our clusters, compiled for Intel MPI and OpenMPI using Intel and gnu compilers. These are available via modules:

Version Parallelization module C linker options C++ linker options Fortran linker options
HDF5 icc serial pthread hdf5/1.8.11 $HDF5_INC $HDF5_SHLIB $HDF5_INC $HDF5_CPP_LIB $HDF5_INC $HDF5_F90_LIB
HDF5 icc parallel MPI pthread, IntelMPI hdf5-parallel/1.8.11 $HDF5_INC $HDF5_SHLIB Not supported $HDF5_INC $HDF5_F90_LIB
HDF5 icc serial pthread hdf5/1.8.13 $HDF5_INC $HDF5_SHLIB $HDF5_INC $HDF5_CPP_LIB $HDF5_INC $HDF5_F90_LIB
HDF5 icc parallel MPI pthread, IntelMPI hdf5-parallel/1.8.13 $HDF5_INC $HDF5_SHLIB Not supported $HDF5_INC $HDF5_F90_LIB
HDF5 gcc parallel MPI pthread, OpenMPI 1.6.5, gcc 4.8.1 hdf5-parallel/1.8.11-gcc $HDF5_INC $HDF5_SHLIB Not supported $HDF5_INC $HDF5_F90_LIB
HDF5 gcc parallel MPI pthread, OpenMPI 1.6.5, gcc 4.8.1 hdf5-parallel/1.8.13-gcc $HDF5_INC $HDF5_SHLIB Not supported $HDF5_INC $HDF5_F90_LIB
HDF5 gcc parallel MPI pthread, OpenMPI 1.8.1, gcc 4.9.0 hdf5-parallel/1.8.13-gcc49 $HDF5_INC $HDF5_SHLIB Not supported $HDF5_INC $HDF5_F90_LIB
$ ml hdf5-parallel

The module sets up environment variables required for linking and running HDF5 enabled applications. Make sure that the choice of the HDF5 module is consistent with your choice of the MPI library. Mixing MPI of different implementations may have unpredictable results.


GCC version of HDF5 1.8.11 has serious performance issues, since it is compiled with the -O0 optimization flag. This version is provided only for testing of code compiled only by GCC and IS not recommended for production computations. For more information, see:

All GCC versions of HDF5 1.8.13 are not affected by the bug, are compiled with the -O3 optimization and are recommended for production computations.


    #include "hdf5.h"
    #define FILE "dset.h5"

    int main() {

       hid_t       file_id, dataset_id, dataspace_id;  /* identifiers */
       hsize_t     dims[2];
       herr_t      status;
       int         i, j, dset_data[4][6];

       /* Create a new file using default properties. */
       file_id = H5Fcreate(FILE, H5F_ACC_TRUNC, H5P_DEFAULT, H5P_DEFAULT);

       /* Create the data space for the dataset. */
       dims[0] = 4;
       dims[1] = 6;
       dataspace_id = H5Screate_simple(2, dims, NULL);

       /* Initialize the dataset. */
       for (i = 0; i < 4; i++)
          for (j = 0; j < 6; j++)
             dset_data[i][j] = i * 6 + j + 1;

       /* Create the dataset. */
       dataset_id = H5Dcreate2(file_id, "/dset", H5T_STD_I32BE, dataspace_id,
                              H5P_DEFAULT, H5P_DEFAULT, H5P_DEFAULT);

       /* Write the dataset. */
       status = H5Dwrite(dataset_id, H5T_NATIVE_INT, H5S_ALL, H5S_ALL, H5P_DEFAULT,

       status = H5Dread(dataset_id, H5T_NATIVE_INT, H5S_ALL, H5S_ALL, H5P_DEFAULT,

       /* End access to the dataset and release resources used by it. */
       status = H5Dclose(dataset_id);

       /* Terminate access to the data space. */
       status = H5Sclose(dataspace_id);

       /* Close the file. */
       status = H5Fclose(file_id);

Load modules and compile:

$ ml intel
$ ml hdf5-parallel
$ mpicc hdf5test.c -o hdf5test.x -Wl,-rpath=$LIBRARY_PATH $HDF5_INC $HDF5_SHLIB

Run the example as Intel MPI program.

For further information, see the website.