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File space management strategies can be set via H5P_SET_FILE_SPACE_STRATEGY to manage the unused space in a file and to set a minimum free space threshold.

While a file is open, HDF5 tracks and re-uses the unused space in the file according to the strategy used. If using a strategy that uses the free space manager, then free space can be tracked across file opens by use of the "persist" flag. Otherwise, when the file is closed, the space is lost.