Quick Navigator

Search Site

Unix VPS
A - Starter
B - Basic
C - Preferred
D - Commercial
MPS - Dedicated
Previous VPSs
* Sign Up! *

Contact Us
Online Help
Domain Status
Man Pages

Virtual Servers

Topology Map

Server Agreement
Year 2038

USA Flag



Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  DUMP2DCM (1)


dump2dcm - Convert ASCII dump to DICOM file



dump2dcm [options] dumpfile-in dcmfile-out


The dump2dcm utility converts an ASCII dump file to a DICOM file. The dump file has the same format as the output of dcmdump. Thus it is possible to capture the output of dcmdump into a file, modify some attributes and create a new DICOM file.


dumpfile-in dump input filename

dcmfile-out DICOM output filename


    general options

-h --help print this help text and exit

--version print version information and exit

--arguments print expanded command line arguments

-q --quiet quiet mode, print no warnings and errors

-v --verbose verbose mode, print processing details

-d --debug debug mode, print debug information

-ll --log-level [l]evel: string constant (fatal, error, warn, info, debug, trace) use level l for the logger

-lc --log-config [f]ilename: string use config file f for the logger

    input options

input file format:

+f --read-meta-info read meta information if present (default)

-f --ignore-meta-info ignore file meta information

other input options:

+l --line [m]ax-length: integer maximum line length m (default: 4096)

    processing options

unique identifiers:

+Ug --generate-new-uids generate new Study/Series/SOP Instance UID

-Uo --dont-overwrite-uids do not overwrite existing UIDs (default)

+Uo --overwrite-uids overwrite existing UIDs

    output options

output file format:

+F --write-file write file format (default)

-F --write-dataset write data set without file meta information

+Fu --update-meta-info update particular file meta information

output transfer syntax:

+t= --write-xfer-same write with same TS as input (default)

+te --write-xfer-little write with explicit VR little endian

+tb --write-xfer-big write with explicit VR big endian TS

+ti --write-xfer-implicit write with implicit VR little endian TS

+td --write-xfer-deflated write with deflated explicit VR little endian TS

error handling:

-E --stop-on-error do not write if dump is damaged (default)

+E --ignore-errors attempt to write even if dump is damaged

post-1993 value representations:

+u --enable-new-vr enable support for new VRs (UN/UT) (default)

-u --disable-new-vr disable support for new VRs, convert to OB

group length encoding:

+g= --group-length-recalc recalculate group lengths if present (default)

+g --group-length-create always write with group length elements

-g --group-length-remove always write without group length elements

length encoding in sequences and items:

+e --length-explicit write with explicit lengths (default)

-e --length-undefined write with undefined lengths

data set trailing padding (not with --write-dataset):

-p= --padding-retain do not change padding (default if not --write-dataset)

-p --padding-off no padding (implicit if --write-dataset)

+p --padding-create [f]ile-pad [i]tem-pad: integer align file on multiple of f bytes and items on multiple of i bytes

deflate compression level (only with --write-xfer-deflated):

+cl --compression-level [l]evel: integer (default: 6) 0=uncompressed, 1=fastest, 9=best compression


    Dump File Description

The input file can be an output of dcmdump (default indented format only). One element (tag, VR, value) must be written into one line separated by arbitrary spaces or tab characters. A ’#’ begins a comment that ends at the line end. Empty lines are allowed.

The individual parts of a line have the following syntax:

Tag: (gggg,eeee) with gggg and eeee are 4 character hexadecimal values representing group and element tag. Spaces and tabs can be anywhere in a tag specification. VR: Value Representation must be written as 2 characters as in Part 6 of the DICOM standard. No spaces or tabs are allowed between the two characters. If the VR can be determined from the tag, this part of a line is optional. Value: There are several rules for writing values: 1. US, SS, SL, UL, FD, FL are written as decimal strings that can be read by scanf(). 2. AT is written as ’(gggg,eeee)’ with additional spaces stripped off automatically and gggg and eeee being decimal strings that can be read by scanf(). 3. OB and OW values are written as byte or word hexadecimal values separated by ’#146; character. Alternatively, OB or OW values can be read from a separate file by writing the filename prefixed by a ’=’ character (e.g. ’=largepix.dat’). The contents of the file will be read as is. OW data is expected to be little endian ordered and will be swapped if necessary. No checks will be made to ensure that the amount of data is reasonable in terms of other attributes such as Rows or Columns. In case of compressed pixel data, the line should start with ’(7fe0,0010) OB (PixelSequence’ in order to distinguish from uncompressed pixel data. 4. UI is written as ’=Name’ in data dictionary or as unique identifier string (see 6.), e.g. ’[1.2.840.....]’. 5. Strings without () <> [] spaces, tabs and # can be written directly. 6. Other strings must be surrounded by ’[’ and ’]’. No bracket structure is passed. The value ends at the last ’]’ in the line. Anything after the ’]’ is interpreted as comment. 7. ’(’ and ’<’ are interpreted special and may not be used when writing an input file by hand as beginning characters of a string. Multiple Value are separated by ’#146;. The lines need not be sorted into ascending tag order. References in DICOM Directories are not supported. Semantic errors are not detected.


(0008,0020) DA [19921012] # 8, 1 StudyDate (0008,0016) UI =MRImageStorage # 26, 1 SOPClassUID (0002,0012) UI [] (0020,0032) DS [0.0\0.0] # 8, 2 ImagePositionPatient (0028,0009) AT (3004,000c) # 4, 1 FrameIncrementPointer (0028,0010) US 256 # 4, 1 Rows (0002,0001) OB 01\00


Please note that dump2dcm currently does not fully support DICOMDIR files. Specifically, the value of the various offset data elements is not updated automatically by this tool.


The level of logging output of the various command line tools and underlying libraries can be specified by the user. By default, only errors and warnings are written to the standard error stream. Using option --verbose also informational messages like processing details are reported. Option --debug can be used to get more details on the internal activity, e.g. for debugging purposes. Other logging levels can be selected using option --log-level. In --quiet mode only fatal errors are reported. In such very severe error events, the application will usually terminate. For more details on the different logging levels, see documentation of module ’oflog’.

In case the logging output should be written to file (optionally with logfile rotation), to syslog (Unix) or the event log (Windows) option --log-config can be used. This configuration file also allows for directing only certain messages to a particular output stream and for filtering certain messages based on the module or application where they are generated. An example configuration file is provided in <etcdir>/logger.cfg).


All command line tools use the following notation for parameters: square brackets enclose optional values (0-1), three trailing dots indicate that multiple values are allowed (1-n), a combination of both means 0 to n values.

Command line options are distinguished from parameters by a leading ’+’ or ’-’ sign, respectively. Usually, order and position of command line options are arbitrary (i.e. they can appear anywhere). However, if options are mutually exclusive the rightmost appearance is used. This behaviour conforms to the standard evaluation rules of common Unix shells.

In addition, one or more command files can be specified using an ’@’ sign as a prefix to the filename (e.g. @command.txt). Such a command argument is replaced by the content of the corresponding text file (multiple whitespaces are treated as a single separator unless they appear between two quotation marks) prior to any further evaluation. Please note that a command file cannot contain another command file. This simple but effective approach allows to summarize common combinations of options/parameters and avoids longish and confusing command lines (an example is provided in file <datadir>/dumppat.txt).


The dump2dcm utility will attempt to load DICOM data dictionaries specified in the DCMDICTPATH environment variable. By default, i.e. if the DCMDICTPATH environment variable is not set, the file <datadir>/dicom.dic will be loaded unless the dictionary is built into the application (default for Windows).

The default behaviour should be preferred and the DCMDICTPATH environment variable only used when alternative data dictionaries are required. The DCMDICTPATH environment variable has the same format as the Unix shell PATH variable in that a colon (’:’) separates entries. On Windows systems, a semicolon (’;’) is used as a separator. The data dictionary code will attempt to load each file specified in the DCMDICTPATH environment variable. It is an error if no data dictionary can be loaded.




Copyright (C) 1996-2010 by OFFIS e.V., Escherweg 2, 26121 Oldenburg, Germany.

Search for    or go to Top of page |  Section 1 |  Main Index

Version 3.6.0 DUMP2DCM (1) 6 Jan 2011

Powered by GSP Visit the GSP FreeBSD Man Page Interface.
Output converted with manServer 1.07.