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For convenience, the following commonly used Registered Filter Plugins have been packaged into the HDF5 Plugin software (available with each HDF5 release):  

BZIP2, JPEG, LZF, BLOSC, MAFISC, LZ4, Bitshuffle, and ZFP

The Registered Filter Plugins are (compression) filters that users have created and contributed, and which have been registered with The HDF Group.  These third-party filters extend HDF5 to support compression (and other filters) not included in the HDF5 library.

HDF5 provides the capability to employ dynamic plugins with dynamically loaded filters, as described in Dynamic Plugins in HDF5 on the Advanced Topics in HDF5 page.


The plugin software is released with each HDF5 software release. (See the Downloads page.)

To install the HDF5 Plugins simply download the binary for your platform and uncompress it.Then:

  • Execute the included script (for example,
  • Follow the prompts

The customary location for the plugins is in the directory containing the HDF5 libraries.

The plugins depend on the environment variable, HDF5_PLUGIN_PATH, and can be installed into any location.

On Linux, the installer should be executed in the location to install the plugin. The plugins will install into the location:           

<current dir>/HDF_Group/HDF5/1.N.N/lib/plugin

On Windows, the installer will default to the same location as the hdf5 installer:

C:/Program Files/HDF_Group/HDF5/1.N.N

and will be found in the /lib/plugin directory.

After installation, tests can be run if using CMake. See the README.txt in the h5pl-N.N.N directory for more information.


In order to use the plugins, please make sure the application you use is dynamically linked with*. This can be checked  using the ldd command on most POSIX systems and otool on macOS.

Testing the Examples

The compression library assumes that HDF5 is installed in the directory pointed to by the environment variable HDF5_HOME, e.g. HDF5_HOME=/usr/local/hdf5.

It can be installed in any location, as long as this variable is defined properly.

By default, HDF5 looks for plugins to be installed in $HDF5_HOME/lib/plugin. Be sure to copy the shared plugins libraries (*.so files) from this install to the $HDF5_HOME/lib/plugin folder.

Make sure that the HDF5_PLUGIN_PATH environment variable is set to the location of the plugins.

Copy the following directory from the share directory in the H5PL INSTALL location to your working directory:


Change your working directory to the HDFPLExamples/example/test folder.

Execute the script.


--- Last Modified: July 09, 2021 | 10:46 AM