PDAL contains consists of a single application, called pdal. Operations are run by invoking the pdal application along with a command name:

$ pdal info myfile.las
$ pdal translate input.las output.las
$ pdal pipeline --stdin < myxml.xml

Help for each command can be retrieved via the --help switch. The --drivers and --options switches can tell you more about particular drivers and their options:

$ pdal info --help
$ pdal translate --drivers
$ pdal pipeline --options writers.las

All commands support the following options:

--developer-debug   Enable developer debug (don't trap exceptions).
--label             A string to use as a process label.
--driver            Name of driver to use to override that inferred from file type.

Additional driver-specific options may be specified by using a namespace-prefixed option name. For example, it is possible to set the LAS day of year at translation time with the following option:

$ pdal translate \
    --writers.las.creation_doy="42" \
    input.las \


Driver-specific options can be identified using the pdal <command> --help invocation.