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ONT Research .fast5 read/write API.

Project description

Oxford Nanopore Technologies logo


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Python fast5 reading and writing functionality provided by ONT Research.

© 2018 Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd.


  • Read interface bulk .fast5 file for extracting reads, channel states, voltage, ...
  • Read/Write interface to single read files guaranteeing conformity.
  • Works on Linux, MacOS, and Windows.
  • Open source (Mozilla Public License 2.0).

Documentation can be found at


fast5_research is available from pypi can can be installed with pip:

pip install fast5_research


Full documentation can be found at the link above, below are two simple examples.

To read a file:

from fast5_research import Fast5


with Fast5(filename) as fh:
    raw = fh.get_read(raw=True)
    summary = fh.summary()
print('Raw is {} samples long.'.format(len(raw)))
print('Summary {}.'.format(summary))

Write a file, the library will check the given meta data, ensure that all required values are present, and covert all values to their defined types.

from uuid import uuid4
import numpy as np
from fast5_research import Fast5

mean, stdv, n = 40.0, 2.0, 10000
raw_data = np.random.laplace(mean, stdv/np.sqrt(2), int(dwell))

# example of how to digitize data
start, stop = int(min(raw_data - 1)), int(max(raw_data + 1))
rng = stop - start
digitisation = 8192.0
bins = np.arange(start, stop, rng / digitisation)
# np.int16 is required, the library will refuse to write anything other
raw_data = np.digitize(raw_data, bins).astype(np.int16)

# The following are required meta data
channel_id = {
    'digitisation': digitisation,
    'offset': 0,
    'range': rng,
    'sampling_rate': 4000,
    'channel_number': 1,
read_id = {
    'start_time': 0,
    'duration': len(raw_data),
    'read_number': 1,
    'start_mux': 1,
    'read_id': str(uuid4()),
    'scaling_used': 1,
    'median_before': 0,
tracking_id = {
    'exp_start_time': '1970-01-01T00:00:00Z',
    'run_id': str(uuid4()).replace('-',''),
    'flow_cell_id': 'FAH00000',
context_tags = {}

with Fast5.New(filename, 'w', tracking_id=tracking_id, context_tags=context_tags, channel_id=channel_id) as h:
    h.set_raw(raw_data, meta=read_id, read_number=1)


Licence and Copyright

© 2018 Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd.

medaka is distributed under the terms of the Mozilla Public License 2.0.

Research Release

Research releases are provided as technology demonstrators to provide early access to features or stimulate Community development of tools. Support for this software will be minimal and is only provided directly by the developers. Feature requests, improvements, and discussions are welcome and can be implemented by forking and pull requests. However much as we would like to rectify every issue and piece of feedback users may have, the developers may have limited resource for support of this software. Research releases may be unstable and subject to rapid iteration by Oxford Nanopore Technologies.

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