Installing RSGISLib on Windows through a Virtual Machine

Although some efforts have been made to create windows versions of the software in the stack we use, the main platform we’re using and developing on is Linux (or OS X). Therefore, the advice we normally give people wanting to use RSGISLib or SPDLib on Windows is to install Linux in a virtual machine and use this.

Below are the steps needed to get everything working on a virtual machine. All these steps assume a 64-bit version of Windows (as you’ll need to install a 64-bit version of Linux). There is lots on information on the internet which provides more detail on the specifics of setting up a virtual machine and installing Linux, so I’ve just provided an overview of these.

  1. Download and install VirtualBox
  2. Download the free VirtualBox from and install it.

  3. Download a Linux installation image
  4. There are a number of Linux distributions available. The recommenced distribution is Ubuntu, which is available to download from If you’re computer has limited RAM (less than 4 GB), you might want to consider a more lightweight version such as lubunbu

    Whichever distribution you chose make sure you download a 64-bit desktop CD / DVD image. Note: you don’t actually have to burn the image to a CD, the iso file is fine.

  5. Set up a new virtual machine
  6. The VirtualBox documentation has a good step-by-step guide to setting up a virtual machine ( and there is lots of documentation available on the internet. Important considerations are to allocate enough space for the virtual machine hard drive, if you select a dynamically allocated hard drive it won’t use the full capacity at once but will be able to grow as you need it. Also give the virtual machine as much RAM as you can spare.

  7. Install Linux
  8. When you first start the virtual machine you will be prompted to install an operating system, select the Linux .iso file you have downloaded and it should boot off this.

    The installation procedure will depend on the Linux distribution you have. Instructions for Ubuntu are here. At some point in the installation it might warn you about erasing all data on the disk, don’t worry about this it’s only the virtual disk you have just created.

  9. Install guest additions
  10. Once Linux has been installed you need to install the ‘Guest additions’, to do this select Devices, ‘Install Guest Additions CD Image’ from the VirtualBox menu, then follow the prompts within Linux.

  11. Setup for copying data
  12. The easiest way to copy data to and from the machine is to enable drag and drop. Once the machine is turned on go to Devices, Drag and Drop, and select ‘Bidirectional’. This will allow you to drag and drop files to the virtual machine. You can also set up a shared folder, there are some details on this here.

  13. Install the software stack
  14. As detailed in earlier posts, we make Linux binaries of the software we develop available through conda. To get everything installed, follow the steps below within the virtual machine:

    • Install conda
    • Download the latest version from here, grab the 64-bit Python 3.5 installer. Once the file has downloaded open a terminal window (in ubuntu, click on the icon in the top left and start typing ‘Terminal’, click on the application which pops up).

      Within a terminal window type the following:

      cd ~/Downloads
      bash Miniconda3-*
    • Install software from binstar
    • Open a new terminal window and type the following:

      # Install anaconda client
      conda install anaconda-client
      # Install software to separate environment
      conda install anaconda-client
      conda env create au-eoed/au-osgeo-lnx
      # Activate environment
      source activate au-osgeo-lnx
      # Use environment for all new terminals (optional)
      echo source activate au-osgeo-lnx >> ~/.bashrc
    • Test
    • Open a new terminal window, you should be able to type:


      To open TuiView

As you’ll be interacting with the software from the command line, you will need to learn some commands. The Software Carpentry shell course ( is a good starting point. The Linux Command Line book is also recommended.

7 thoughts on “Installing RSGISLib on Windows through a Virtual Machine

  1. Ciaran Robb

    Hi, great library. My installation has behaved oddly. When I use the shepard segmentation routine it now returns error: Requested GDAL driver does not exists..
    First time I used it, it was fine. Can you shed any light on how I may resolve this?
    Best Regards


    1. danclewley Post author

      Hi Ivan,

      No there isn’t (and it isn’t something we see ourselves having time to look at anytime soon).
      However, as everything is available through conda you could probably modify a Dockerfile for a conda install and pull RSGISLib in through this.

      Let us know on if you look into this


  2. Benjamin

    Well, I just made a clean Docker image based on ubuntu with RSGISLIB. If you’re interested in getting it, we could make a blog post together.

    1. danclewley Post author

      Hi, I would be interested in this. You might want to post something on the RSGISLib mailing list as I’m sure this would be of interest to a number of people there.


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