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h5import - Imports data into an existing or new HDF5 file.


h5import infile -d dim_list [ -p pathname ] [ -t input_class ] [ -s input_size ] [infile
...] -o outfile

h5import infile -dims dim_list [ -path pathname ] [ -type input_class ] [ -size input_size
] [infile ...] -outfile outfile

h5import infile -c config_file [infile ...] -outfile outfile

h5import -h

h5import -help


h5import converts data from one or more ASCII or binary files, infile, into the same
number of HDF5 datasets in the existing or new HDF5 file, outfile. Data conversion is
performed in accordance with the user-specified type and storage properties specified in

The primary objective of h5import is to import floating point or integer data. The
utility's design allows for future versions that accept ASCII text files and store the
contents as a compact array of one-dimensional strings, but that capability is not
implemented in HDF5 Release 1.6.

Input data and options

Input data can be provided in one of the follwing forms:

* As an ASCII, or plain-text, file containing either floating point or integer data

* As a binary file containing either 32-bit or 64-bit native floating point data

* As a binary file containing native integer data, signed or unsigned and 8-bit,
16-bit, 32-bit, or 64-bit.

* As an ASCII, or plain-text, file containing text data. (This feature is not
implemented in HDF5 Release 1.6.)

Each input file, infile, contains a single n-dimensional array of values of one of the
above types expressed in the order of fastest-changing dimensions first.

Floating point data in an ASCII input file must be expressed in the fixed floating form
(e.g., 323.56) h5import is designed to accept scientific notation (e.g., 3.23E+02) in an
ASCII, but that is not implemented in HDF5 release 1.6.

Each input file can be associated with options specifying the datatype and storage
properties. These options can be specified either as command line arguments or in a
configuration file. Note that exactly one of these approaches must be used with a single
input file.

Command line arguments, best used with simple input files, can be used to specify the
class, size, dimensions of the input data and a path identifying the output dataset.

The recommended means of specifying input data options is in a configuration file; this is
also the only means of specifying advanced storage features. See further discussion in
"The configuration file" below.

The only required option for input data is dimension sizes; defaults are available for all

h5import will accept up to 30 input files in a single call. Other considerations, such as
the maximum length of a command line, may impose a more stringent limitation.

Output data and options:

The name of the output file is specified following the -o or -output option in outfile.
The data from each input file is stored as a separate dataset in this output file. outfile
may be an existing file. If it does not yet exist, h5import will create it.

Output dataset information and storage properties can be specified only by means of a
configuration file.

Dataset path
If the groups in the path leading to the dataset do not exist, h5import will create
them. If no group is specified, the dataset will be created as a member of the
root group. If no dataset name is specified, the default name is dataset1 for the
first input dataset, dataset2 for the second input dataset, dataset3 for the third
input dataset, etc. h5import does not overwrite a pre-existing dataset of the
specified or default name. When an existing dataset of a confilcting name is
encountered, h5import quits with an error; the current input file and any
subsequent input files are not processed.

Output type
Datatype parameters for output data

Output data class
Signed or unsigned integer or floating point

Output data size
8-, 16-, 32-, or 64-bit integer 32- or 64-bit floating point

Output architecture
IEEE, STD, NATIVE (Default), Other architectures are included in the h5import
design but are not implemented in this release.

Output byte order
Little- or big-endian. Relevant only if output architecture is IEEE, UNIX, or STD;
fixed for other architectures.

Dataset layout and storage properties
Denote how raw data is to be organized on the disk. If none of the following are
specified, the default configuration is contiguous layout and with no compression.

Layout Contiguous (Default), Chunked

External storage
Allows raw data to be stored in a non-HDF5 file or in an external HDF5 file.
Requires contiguous layout.

Sets the type of compression and the level to which the dataset must be compressed.
Requires chunked layout.

Allows the dimensions of the dataset increase over time and/or to be unlimited.
Requires chunked layout.

Compressed and extendible
Requires chunked layout.

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