chdman – CHD (Compressed Hunks of Data) File Manager

chdman can be used to create, convert, check the integrity of and extract data from media images in CHD (Compressed Hunks of Data) format.

The basic usage is chdman <command> <option>...

Common options

The options available depend on the command, but the following options are used by multiple commands:

--input <file> / -i <file>

Specify the input file. This option is required for most commands. The input file formats supported depend on the command

--inputparent <chdfile> / -ip <chdfile>

Specify the parent CHD file for the input file. This option is supported for most commands that operate on CHD format input files. This option must be used if the input file is a delta CHD, storing only the hunks that differ from its parent CHD,

--inputstartbyte <offset> / -isb <offset>

Specify the offset to the data in the input file in bytes. This is useful for creating CHD format files from input files that contain a header before the start of the data, or for extracting partial content from a CHD format file. May not be specified in combination with the --inputstarthunk/-ish option.

--inputstarthunk <offset> / -ish <offset>

Specify the offset to the data in the input file in hunks. May not be specified in combination with the --inputstartbyte/-isb option.

--inputbytes <length> / -ib <length>

Specify the amount of input data to use in bytes, starting from the offset to the data in the input file. This is useful for creating CHD format files from input files that contain additional content after the data, or for extracting partial content from a CHD format file. May not be specified in combination with the --inputhunks/-ih option.

--inputhunks <length> / -ih <length>

Specify the amount of input data to use in hunks, starting from the offset to the data in the input file. May not be specified in combination with the --inputbytes/-ib option.

--output <file> / -o <file>

Specify the output file name. This option is required for commands that produce output files. The output file formats supported depend on the command.

--outputparent <chdfile> / -op <chdfile>

Specify the parent CHD file for the output file. This option is supported for commands that produce CHD format output files. Using this option produces a delta CHD, storing only the hunks that differ from its parent CHD. The parent CHD should be the same media type and size, with the same hunk size.

--compression none|<type>[,<type>]... / -c none|<type>[,<type>]...

Specify compression algorithms to use. This option is supported for commands that produce CHD format output files. Specify none to disable compression, or specify up to four comma-separated compression algorithms. See compression algorithms for supported compression algorithms. Compression must be disable to create writable media image files.

--hunksize <bytes> / -hs <bytes>

Specifies the hunk size in bytes. This option is supported for commands that produce CHD format output files. The hunk size must be no smaller than 16 bytes and no larger than 1048576 bytes (1 MiB). The hunk size must be a multiple of the sector size or unit size of the media. Larger hunk sizes may give better compression ratios, but reduce performance for small random reads as an entire hunk needs to be read and decompressed at a time.

--force / -f

Overwrite output files if they already exist. This option is supported for commands that produce output files.

--verbose / -v

Enable verbose output. This prints more detailed information for some commands.

--numprocessors <count> / -np <count>

Limit the maximum number of concurrent threads used for data compression. This option is supported for commands that produce CHD format output files.

Commands

info

Display information about a CHD format file. Information includes:

  • CHD format version and compression algorithms used.

  • Compressed and uncompressed sizes and overall compression ratio.

  • Hunk size, unit size and number of hunks in the file.

  • SHA1 digests of the data and metadata.

Common options supported:

  • --input <file> / -i <file> (required)

  • --verbose / -v

verify

Verify the integrity of a CHD format file. The input file must be a read-only CHD format file (the integrity of writable CHD files cannot be verified). Note that this command modifies its input file if the --fix/-f option is specified.

Common options supported:

  • --input <file> / -i <file> (required)

  • --inputparent <chdfile> / -ip <chdfile>

Additional options:

  • --fix / -f

createraw

Create a CHD format file from a raw media image.

Common options supported:

  • --input <file> / -i <file> (required)

  • --inputstartbyte <offset> / -isb <offset>

  • --inputstarthunk <offset> / -ish <offset>

  • --inputbytes <length> / -ib <length>

  • --inputhunks <length> / -ih <length>

  • --output <file> / -o <file> (required)

  • --outputparent <chdfile> / -op <chdfile>

  • --compression none|<type>[,<type>]... / -c none|<type>[,<type>]...

  • --hunksize <bytes> / -hs <bytes>

  • --force / -f

  • --numprocessors <count> / -np <count>

Additional options:

--unitsize <bytes> / -us <bytes> (required)

The unit size for the output CHD file in bytes. This is the smallest unit of data that can be addressed within the CHD file. It should match the sector size or page size of the source media. The hunk size must be a whole multiple of the unit size. The unit size must be specified if no parent CHD file for the output is supplied. If a parent CHD file for the output is supplied, the unit size must match the unit size of the parent CHD file.

If the --hunksize or -hs option is not supplied, the default will be:

  • The hunk size of the parent CHD file if a parent CHD file for the output is supplied.

  • The smallest whole multiple of the unit size not larger than 4 KiB if the unit size is not larger than 4 KiB (4096 bytes).

  • The unit size if it is larger than 4 KiB (4096 bytes).

If the --compression or -c option is not supplied, it defaults to lzma,zlib,huff,flac.

createhd

Create a CHD format hard disk image file.

Common options supported:

  • --input <file> / -i <file>

  • --inputstartbyte <offset> / -isb <offset>

  • --inputstarthunk <offset> / -ish <offset>

  • --inputbytes <length> / -ib <length>

  • --inputhunks <length> / -ih <length>

  • --output <file> / -o <file> (required)

  • --outputparent <chdfile> / -op <chdfile>

  • --compression none|<type>[,<type>]... / -c none|<type>[,<type>]...

  • --hunksize <bytes> / -hs <bytes> (required)

  • --force / -f

  • --numprocessors <count> / -np <count>

Additional options:

  • --sectorsize <bytes> / -ss <bytes>

  • --size <bytes> / -s <bytes>

  • --chs <cylinders>,<heads>,<sectors> / -chs <cylinders>,<heads>,<sectors>

  • --template <template> / -tp <template>

Creates a blank (zero-filled) hard disk image if no input file is supplied. The input start/length (--inputstartbyte/-isb, --inputstarthunk/-ish, --inputbytes/-ib and --inputhunks/-ih options) cannot be used if no input file is supplied.

If the --hunksize or -hs option is not supplied, the default will be:

  • The hunk size of the parent CHD file if a parent CHD file for the output is supplied.

  • The smallest whole multiple of the sector size not larger than 4 KiB if the sector size is not larger than 4 KiB (4096 bytes).

  • The sector size if it is larger than 4 KiB (4096 bytes).

If the --compression or -c option is not supplied, it defaults to lzma,zlib,huff,flac if an input file is supplied, or none if no input file is supplied.

createcd

Create a CHD format CD-ROM image file.

Common options supported:

  • --input <file> / -i <file> (required)

  • --output <file> / -o <file> (required)

  • --outputparent <chdfile> / -op <chdfile>

  • --compression none|<type>[,<type>]... / -c none|<type>[,<type>]...

  • --hunksize <bytes> / -hs <bytes> (required)

  • --force / -f

  • --numprocessors <count> / -np <count>

If the --hunksize or -hs option is not supplied, the default will be the hunk size of the parent CHD if a parent CHD file for the output is supplied, or eight sectors per hunk (18,816 bytes) otherwise.

If the --compression or -c option is not supplied, it defaults to cdlz,cdzl,cdfl.

createdvd

Create a CHD format DVD-ROM image file.

Common options supported:

  • --input <file> / -i <file> (required)

  • --inputstartbyte <offset> / -isb <offset>

  • --inputstarthunk <offset> / -ish <offset>

  • --inputbytes <length> / -ib <length>

  • --inputhunks <length> / -ih <length>

  • --output <file> / -o <file> (required)

  • --outputparent <chdfile> / -op <chdfile>

  • --compression none|<type>[,<type>]... / -c none|<type>[,<type>]...

  • --hunksize <bytes> / -hs <bytes> (required)

  • --force / -f

  • --numprocessors <count> / -np <count>

If the --hunksize or -hs option is not supplied, the default will be the hunk size of the parent CHD if a parent CHD file for the output is supplied, or two sectors per hunk (4096 bytes) otherwise.

If the --compression or -c option is not supplied, it defaults to lzma,zlib,huff,flac.

createld

Create a CHD format LaserDisc image file.

Common options supported:

  • --input <file> / -i <file> (required)

  • --output <file> / -o <file> (required)

  • --outputparent <chdfile> / -op <chdfile>

  • --compression none|<type>[,<type>]... / -c none|<type>[,<type>]...

  • --hunksize <bytes> / -hs <bytes> (required)

  • --force / -f

  • --numprocessors <count> / -np <count>

Additional options:

  • --inputstartframe <offset> / -isf <offset>

  • --inputframes <length> / -if <length>

If the --compression or -c option is not supplied, it defaults to avhu.

extractraw

Extract data from a CHD format raw media image.

Common options supported:

  • --input <file> / -i <file> (required)

  • --inputparent <chdfile> / -ip <chdfile>

  • --inputstartbyte <offset> / -isb <offset>

  • --inputstarthunk <offset> / -ish <offset>

  • --inputbytes <length> / -ib <length>

  • --inputhunks <length> / -ih <length>

  • --output <file> / -o <file> (required)

  • --force / -f

extracthd

Extract data from a CHD format hard disk image.

Common options supported:

  • --input <file> / -i <file> (required)

  • --inputparent <chdfile> / -ip <chdfile>

  • --inputstartbyte <offset> / -isb <offset>

  • --inputstarthunk <offset> / -ish <offset>

  • --inputbytes <length> / -ib <length>

  • --inputhunks <length> / -ih <length>

  • --output <file> / -o <file> (required)

  • --force / -f

extractcd

Extract data from a CHD format CD-ROM image.

Common options supported:

  • --input <file> / -i <file> (required)

  • --inputparent <chdfile> / -ip <chdfile>

  • --output <file> / -o <file> (required)

  • --force / -f

Additional options:

  • --outputbin <file> / -ob <file>

extractdvd

Extract data from a CHD format DVD-ROM image.

Common options supported:

  • --input <file> / -i <file> (required)

  • --inputparent <chdfile> / -ip <chdfile>

  • --inputstartbyte <offset> / -isb <offset>

  • --inputstarthunk <offset> / -ish <offset>

  • --inputbytes <length> / -ib <length>

  • --inputhunks <length> / -ih <length>

  • --output <file> / -o <file> (required)

  • --force / -f

extractld

Extract data from a CHD format DVD-ROM image.

Common options supported:

  • --input <file> / -i <file> (required)

  • --inputparent <chdfile> / -ip <chdfile>

  • --output <file> / -o <file> (required)

  • --force / -f

Additional options:

  • --inputstartframe <offset> / -isf <offset>

  • --inputframes <length> / -if <length>

addmeta

Add a metadata item to a CHD format file. Note that this command modifies its input file.

Common options supported:

  • --input <file> / -i <file> (required)

Additional options:

  • --tag <tag> / -t <tag> (required)

  • --index <index> / -ix <index>

  • --valuetext <text> / -vt <text>

  • --valuefile <file> / -vf <file>

  • --nochecksum / -nocs

delmeta

Delete a metadata item from a CHD format file. Note that this command modifies its input file.

Common options supported:

  • --input <file> / -i <file> (required)

Additional options:

  • --tag <tag> / -t <tag> (required)

  • --index <index> / -ix <index>

dumpmeta

Extract metadata items from a CHD format file to the standard output or to a file.

Common options supported:

  • --input <file> / -i <file> (required)

  • --output <file> / -o <file>

  • --force / -f

Additional options:

  • --tag <tag> / -t <tag> (required)

  • --index <index> / -ix <index>

listtemplates

List available hard disk templates. This command does not accept any options.

Compression algorithms

The following compression algorithms are supported:

zlib – zlib deflate

Compresses data using the zlib deflate algorithm.

zstd – Zstandard

Compresses data using the Zstandard algorithm. This gives very good compression and decompression performance with better compression ratios than zlib deflate, but older software may not support CHD files that use Zstandard compression.

lzma – Lempel-Ziv-Markov chain algorithm

Compresses data using the Lempel-Ziv-Markov-chain algorithm (LZMA). This gives high compression ratios at the cost of poor compression and decompression performance.

huff – Huffman coding

Compresses data using 8-bit Huffman entropy coding.

flac – Free Lossless Audio Codec

Compresses data as two-channel (stereo) 16-bit 44.1 kHz PCM audio using the Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC). This gives good compression ratios if the media contains 16-bit PCM audio data.

cdzl – zlib deflate for CD-ROM data

Compresses audio data and subchannel data from CD-ROM sectors separately using the zlib deflate algorithm.

cdzs – Zstandard for CD-ROM data

Compresses audio data and subchannel data from CD-ROM sectors separately using the Zstandard algorithm. This gives very good compression and decompression performance with better compression ratios than zlib deflate, but older software may not support CHD files that use Zstandard compression.

cdlz - Lempel-Ziv-Markov chain algorithm/zlib deflate for CD-ROM data

Compresses audio data and subchannel data from CD-ROM sectors separately using the Lempel-Ziv-Markov chain algorithm (LZMA) for audio data and the zlib deflate algorithm for subchannel data. This gives high compression ratios at the cost of poor compression and decompression performance.

cdfl – Free Lossless Audio Codec/zlib deflate for CD-ROM data

Compresses audio data and subchannel data from CD-ROM sectors separately using the Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) for audio data and the zlib deflate algorithm for subchannel data. This gives good compression ratios for audio CD tracks.

avhu – Huffman coding for audio-visual data

This is a specialised compression algorithm for audio-visual (A/V) data. It should only be used for LaserDisc CHD files.