A python package to read CDF files without needing to install the CDF NASA library.

Last Built: Oct 18, 2023 | Version: 1.2.3 | Source: github | Archive: zenodo.


cdflib requires python 3 and numpy. To install run

python3 -m pip install cdflib

What is cdflib?

cdflib is an effort to replicate the CDF libraries using a pure python implementation. This means users do not need to install the CDF NASA libraries.

The only module you need to install is numpy, but there are a few things you can do with astropy and xarray.

While this originally started as a way to read PDS-archive compliant CDF files, thanks to many contributors, it has grown to be able to handle every type of CDF file.

What can cdflib do?

  • Ability to read variables and attributes from CDF files (see CDF Reader Class)

  • Writes CDF version 3 files (see CDF Writer Class)

  • Can convert between CDF time types (EPOCH/EPOCH16/TT2000) to other common time formats (see CDF Time Conversions)

  • Can convert CDF files into XArray Dataset objects and vice versa, attempting to maintain ISTP compliance (see Working with XArray)


While we try to simplify things in this documentation, the full API description of each module can be found in the API Reference section