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Project description


h5serv is a web service that implements a REST-based web service for HDF5 data stores as described in the paper:


Quick Install

Install Python (2.7 or later) and the following packages:

  • NumPy 1.10.4 or later

  • h5py 2.5 or later

  • tornado 4.0.2 or later

  • watchdog 0.8.3 or later

  • requests 2.3 or later (for client tests)

Clone the hdf5-json project: git clone . Next, cd to the hdf5-json folder and run: python install.

Clone this project: git clone

Running the Server

Start the server: cd h5serv/server; python

By default the server will listen on port 5000. The port and and several other defaults can be modified with command line options. For example to use port 8888 run: python --port=8888.

See test cases for examples of interacting with the server. Run: python from the test directory to run through the entire test suite.

Also, the interface (at least as far as read requests) can be explored in a browser. Go to: A JSON browser plugin will be helpful for formatting responses from the server to be more human readable.

See h5serv/docs/Installation.rst for step by step install instructions.

Running with Docker

To run h5serv as a docker container you just need to install Docker (no Python, h5py, etc. needed).

  • Install docker:

  • Run the h5serv image: docker run -p 5000:5000 -d -v <mydata>:/data hdfgroup/h5serv where <mydata> is the folder path that contains any HDF5 files you want to made available through the h5serv REST API. Since requests to the server can modify (or delete!) content, you probably want to create a new folder and copy files to it.

  • Go to in your browser to verify the server is up and running (replace with the IP address of the system or VM that is running the container).

Writing Client Applications

As a REST service, clients be developed using almost any programming language. The test programs under: h5serv/test/integ illustrate some of the methods for peforming different operations using Python.

The related project: provides a (mostly) h5py-compatible interface to the server for Python clients.


h5serv does not modify anything in the system outside the directory where it was installed, so just remove the install directory and all contents to uninstall.

Reporting bugs (and general feedback)

Create new issues at for any problems you find.

For general questions/feedback, please use the list (

Project details

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