Last Verified: 2023-12-19


The SM Tools are a set of tools developed to create and edit streaming movie files (sm). The sm movies support tiled images, multiple level of detail, and several types of intra-frame (but not inter-frame) image compression. The streaming movie format is suitable for large high-resolution movies being displayed on cluster displays.

NOTE Playback of the sm format is no longer supported since the update to TOSS 3 and the deprecation of Blockbuster. The SM Tools are still supported to convert existing sm files into other formats.

For easy conversion of sm files to a set of standard file formats, please see the easysmconverter script included with the SM Tools.


Machines and Versions

See LC visualization software page.


The tools are accessible via modules. Type module load smtools to add them to your PATH.

The actual installation directories are in /usr/tce/packages/smtools


The module load smtools command will setup your PATH and any other needed environment variables.


The following are just some of the most commonly used SM Tools:

img2sm: Merge images into an sm movie.
sm2img: Extract individual images from an sm movie.
ps2sm: Convert a PostScript of a PDF file into an sm movie.
sm2mpg: Convert an sm movie into an MPEG movie.
sm2qt: Convert an sm movie into a quicktime movie.
smcat: Create an sm movie from a set of input sm files.
smevo: Create a CEI EVO movie file from an sm movie and vice versa.
smtest: Test the integrity and performance of an sm movie file.
sminfo: Print vital statistics about an sm movie.

Usage information for many of these commands is available by typing the name of the command without arguments.

For information regarding the use of our easysmconverter script, simply type easysmconverter -h.


Once the module has been loaded, man pages are available for most of the commands provided by smtools.

You can also type man sm for more information on the streaming movie file format.

Help is available from the LC Hotline:, (925) 422-4531.


Local workstation installations for the SM Tools are not supported.