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HDF4 Command-line Tools

Following is a list of the HDF utilities that are available. These tools come with the pre-compiled binary distribution for the platforms we support and can also be downloaded individually. See the Obtaining the HDF Software page for downloading.

Please refer to Chapter 15 in the HDF User's Guide for detailed information regarding the HDF4 utilities.

One of the most useful utilities is:

hdp - provides quick and general information about all objects in an HDF file

Other Utilities:

  • gif2hdf - converts GIF image into HDF GR image.
  • hdf24to8 - converts 24-bit raster images to hdf 8-bit images
  • h4cc - compiles an HDF4 C program
  • h4fc - compiles an HDF4 F90 program
  • h4redeploy - Updates paths in h4cc/h4fc after the HDF4 pre-compiled binaries have been installed in a new location
  • hdf2gif - converts HDF GR image into GIF image.
  • hdf2jpeg - converts hdf raster images to jpeg images
  • hdf8to24 - converts an 8-bit image into a 24-bit image
  • hdfcomp - re-compresses an 8-bit raster hdf file
  • hdfed - hdf file editor
  • hdfls - lists information about an HDF file at a low level
  • hdfimport - imports ASCII or binary data into HDF
  • hdfpack - compacts an hdf file
  • hdftopal - extracts a palette from an hdf file
  • hdftor8 - extracts 8-bit raster images and palettes from an hdf file
  • hdfunpac - unpacks an HDF file by exporting the scientific data elements (DFTAG_SD) to external object elements. This is a utility for external file handling for the parallel I/O interface on the CM5.
  • hdiff - compares two HDF files and reports the differences
  • hrepack - copies an HDF file to a new file with/without compression and/or chunking
  • jpeg2hdf - converts jpeg images to hdf raster images
  • ncdump - generates an ASCII representation of a netCDF file (for input to ncgen)
  • ncgen - converts a CDL description of a netCDF file into an HDF file
  • paltohdf - converts a raw palette to hdf
  • r8tohdf - converts 8-bit raster images to hdf
  • ristosds - converts a series of raster image hdf files into a single 3D sds hdf file.
  • vmake - creates vsets
  • vshow - dumps out vsets in an hdf file

HDF4 Tools by Category

Table of HDF4 tools by category

HDF Java Products (including HDFView)


HDF-Java wrappers and a Java-based tool for browsing and editing HDF4 and HDF5 files.

H4-H5 Conversion Software

Converting between HDF 4.x and HDF5

Other Tools of Interest

Software using HDF

--- Last Modified: April 03, 2018 | 09:58 AM