Version 1.2.1, Copyright 2011-2016 Barry Wardell and Ian Hinder

The h5mma package provides improved support for reading HDF5 files in Mathematica. It is significantly faster, more memory efficient and crash resilient than the built-in HDF5 reading support.

Getting the package

Binary versions of the h5mma package can be downloaded from the project webpage.

The source is available from the project git repository:

git clone


  • Mathematica: h5mma requires Mathematica version 6 or newer. It may be possible to get it to work with older versions, but this is not supported.

  • HDF5: A version of the HDF5 library providing the version 1.8 API is required to build from source. The minimum supported version is 1.8.13. Binary versions of the package already include HDF5.


The most straightforward way to install h5mma is using the binary packages.

Once you have downloaded a binary package, extract it into the Mathematica Applications directory. To find the correct location of this directory on your system, run the following command in Mathematica:

FileNameJoin[{$UserBaseDirectory, "Applications"}]


The package may be loaded into Mathematica using the command:

<< h5mma`

The main command provided is ImportHDF5, which mimics the behavior of Import.


For example usage, see the h5mma.nb Mathematica notebook in the doc directory.


It should normally not be necessary to compile h5mma yourself. If you find you do need to do so, instructions can be found on the project wiki.

Known problems

Known bugs are recorded in the project bug tracker.


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2.1 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License along with this library; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA.

Binary releases include the HDF5 library. Copyright information for this library can be found in the file COPYING.HDF5.


  • Barry Wardell
  • Ian Hinder

Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics / Albert Einstein Institute Am Muehlenberg 1 14476 Potsdam Germany