hdf5-rs 0.2.0

Thread-safe Rust bindings for the HDF5 library.
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Thread-safe Rust bindings and high-level wrappers for the HDF5 library API.

Requires HDF5 library of version 1.8.4 or later.



hdf5-rs is known to run on these platforms:

  • Linux (tested on Travis CI, HDF5 v1.8.4)
  • OS X (tested on Travis CI, HDF5 v1.8.16)
  • Windows (tested on AppVeyor, MSVC target, HDF5 v1.8.16, VS2015 x64)


hdf5-rs is tested for all three official release channels: stable, beta and nightly.


HDF5 version

Build scripts for both libhdf5-sys and hdf5-rs crates check the actual version of the HDF5 library that they are being linked against, and some functionality may be conditionally enabled or disabled at compile time. While this allows supporting multiple versions of HDF5 in a single codebase, this is something the library user should be aware of in case they choose to use the low level FFI bindings.

Linux, OS X

The build script of libhdf5-lib crate will try to use pkg-config if it's available to deduce HDF5 library location. This is sufficient for most standard setups.

There are also two environment variables that may be of use if the library location and/or name is unconventional:

  • HDF5_LIBDIR – added to library search path during the build step
  • HDF5_LIBNAME – library name (defaults to hdf5)

Note that cargo clean is requred before rebuilding if any of those variables are changed.


hdf5-rs fully supports MSVC toolchain, which allows using the official releases of HDF5 and is generally the recommended way to go. That being said, previous experiments have shown that all tests pass on the gnu target as well, one just needs to be careful with building the HDF5 binary itself and configuring the build environment.

Few things to note when building on Windows:

  • hdf5.dll should be available in the search path at build time and runtime (both gnu and msvc). This normally requires adding the bin folder of HDF5 installation to PATH. If using an official HDF5 release (msvc only), this will be done automatically by the installer.
  • If HDF5_LIBDIR or HDF5_LIBNAME change, cargo clean is required before rebuilding.
  • msvc: installed Visual Studio version should match the HDF5 binary (2013 or 2015). Note that it is not necessary to run vcvars scripts; Rust build system will take care of that.
  • In most cases, it is not necessary to manually set HDF5_LIBDIR as it would be inferred from the search path (both gnu and msvc). This also implies that the official releases should work out of the box.
  • When building for either target, make sure that there are no conflicts in the search path (e.g., some binaries from MinGW toolchain may shadow MSVS executables or vice versa).
  • The recommended platform for gnu target is TDM distribution of MinGW-GCC as it contains bintools for both 32-bit and 64-bit.
  • The recommended setup for msvc target is VS2015 x64 since that matches CI build configuration, however VS2013 and x86 should work equally well.


hdf5-rs is primarily distributed under the terms of both the MIT license and the Apache License (Version 2.0). See LICENSE-APACHE and LICENSE-MIT for details.