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Registers a user-defined link class or changes behavior of an existing class. 




herr_t H5Lregister( const H5L_class_t * link_class )

const H5L_class_t *link_class    IN: Pointer to a buffer containing the struct describing the user-defined link class


H5Lregister registers a class of user-defined links, or changes the behavior of an existing class.

link_class is a pointer to a buffer containing a copy of the H5L_class_t struct. This struct is defined in H5Lpublic.h as follows:

  typedef struct H5L_class_t {
      int version;                    /* Version number of this struct  */
      H5L_type_t class_id;            /* Link class identifier          */
      const char *comment;            /* Comment for debugging          */
      H5L_create_func_t create_func;  /* Callback during link creation  */
      H5L_move_func_t move_func;      /* Callback after moving link     */
      H5L_copy_func_t copy_func;      /* Callback after copying link    */
      H5L_traverse_func_t trav_func;  /* The main traversal function    */
      H5L_delete_func_t del_func;     /* Callback for link deletion     */
      H5L_query_func_t query_func;    /* Callback for queries           */
  } H5L_class_t;      


The class definition passed with link_class must include at least the following:

  • An H5L_class_t version (which should be H5L_LINK_CLASS_T_VERS)
  • A link class identifier, class_id
  • A traversal function, trav_func

Remaining struct members are optional and may be passed as NULL.

The link class passed in class_id must be in the user-definable range between H5L_TYPE_UD_MIN and H5L_TYPE_UD_MAX (see the “Link Class Identifiers...” table below) and will override any existing link class with that identifier.

As distributed, valid values of class_id used in HDF5 include the following (defined in H5Lpublic.h):

H5L_TYPE_HARDHard link
H5L_TYPE_SOFTSoft link
H5L_TYPE_EXTERNAL    External link

The hard and soft link class identifiers cannot be modified or reassigned, but the external link class is implemented as an example in the user-definable link class identifier range. H5Lregister is used to register additional link classes. It could also be used to modify the behavior of the external link class, though that is not recommended.


The following table summarizes existing link types and values and the reserved and user-definable link class identifier value ranges.


Link Class Identifiers or Value Ranges, Descriptions, and Class Names
Link class identifier or Value rangeDescriptionLink class or other labl
0  to  63Reserved range 
64  to  255User-definable range 
64 Minimum user-defined valueH5L_TYPE_UD_MIN 
64 External linkH5L_TYPE_EXTERNAL 
255 Maximum user-defined valueH5L_TYPE_UD_MAX 
255 Maximum valueH5L_TYPE_MAX 


Note that HDF5 internally registers user-defined link classes only by the numeric value of the link class identifier. An application, on the other hand, will generally use a name for a user-defined class, if for no other purpose than as a variable name. Assume, for example, that a complex link type is registered with the link class identifier 73 and that the code includes the following assignment: 

     H5L_TYPE_COMPLEX_A = 73 
The application can refer to the link class with a term, H5L_TYPE_COMPLEX_A, that conveys meaning to a human reviewing the code, while HDF5 recognizes it by the more cryptic numeric identifier, 73.

Important details and considerations include the following:

  • If you plan to distribute files or software with a user-defined link class, please contact the Help Desk at The HDF Group to help prevent collisions between class_id values. See below.
  • As distributed with HDF5, the external link class is implemented as an example of a user-defined link class with H5L_LINK_EXTERNAL equal to H5L_LINK_UD_MINclass_id in the H5L_class_t struct must not equal H5L_LINK_UD_MIN unless you intend to overwrite or modify the behavior of external links.
  • H5Lregister can be used only with link class identifiers in the user-definable range (see table above).
  • The hard and soft links defined by the HDF5 Library, H5L_TYPE_HARD and H5L_TYPE_SOFT, reside in the reserved range below H5L_TYPE_UD_MIN and cannot be redefined or modified.
  • H5Lis_registered can be used to determine whether a desired link class identifier is available. 
    Note that this function will tell you only whether the link class identifier has been registered with the installed copy of HDF5; it cannot tell you whether the link class has been registered with The HDF Group. 
  • H5L_TYPE_MAX is the maximum allowed value for a link type identifier.
  • H5L_TYPE_UD_MAX equals H5L_TYPE_MAX.
  • H5L_TYPE_ERROR indicates that an error has occurred.

Registration with The HDF Group:

There are sometimes reasons to take a broader approach to registering a user-defined link class than just invoking H5Lregister. For example:

  • A user-defined link class is intended for use across an organization, among collaborators, or across a community of users.
  • An application or library overlying HDF5 invokes a user-defined link class that must be shipped with the software.
  • Files are distributed that make use of a user-defined link class.
  • Or simply, a specific user-defined link class is thought to be widely useful.

In such cases, you are encouraged to register that link class with The HDF Group’s Helpdesk (contact). The HDF Group maintains a registry of known user-defined link classes and tracks the selected link class identifiers. This registry is intended to reduce the risk of collisions between class_id values and to help coordinate the use of specialized link classes.


Returns a non-negative value if successful; otherwise returns a negative value.


examples / h5_subset.c [32:42]  1.10/master  HDFFV/hdf5
main (void)
    hsize_t     dims[2], dimsm[2];   
    int         data[DIM0][DIM1];           /* data to write */
    int         sdata[DIM0_SUB][DIM1_SUB];  /* subset to write */
    int         rdata[DIM0][DIM1];          /* buffer for read */
    hid_t       file_id, dataset_id;        /* handles */
    hid_t       dataspace_id, memspace_id; 


     USE HDF5 ! This module contains all necessary modules


     CHARACTER(LEN=11), PARAMETER :: filename = "compound.h5" ! File name
     CHARACTER(LEN=8), PARAMETER :: dsetname = "Compound"     ! Dataset name
     INTEGER, PARAMETER :: dimsize = 6 ! Size of the dataset

     INTEGER(HID_T) :: file_id       ! File identifier

c++ / examples / create.cpp [33:43]  1.10/master  HDFFV/hdf5
int main (void)
    * Data initialization.
   int i, j;
   int data[NX][NY];          // buffer for data to write
   for (j = 0; j < NX; j++)
      for (i = 0; i < NY; i++)

public class H5Ex_D_Chunk {
    private static String FILENAME = "H5Ex_D_Chunk.h5";
    private static String DATASETNAME = "DS1";
    private static final int DIM_X = 6;
    private static final int DIM_Y = 8;
    private static final int CHUNK_X = 4;
    private static final int CHUNK_Y = 4;
    private static final int RANK = 2;
    private static final int NDIMS = 2;

Release    C
1.8.0Function introduced in this release.

--- Last Modified: November 14, 2017 | 09:39 AM