How-to build DSI Studio for Ubuntu 16.04 or later

DSI Studio is an open-source diffusion MRI analysis tool. We need to compile the software for Linux.
Note for Compile is found here, but it is a liitle bit out-of-date.
I could successfully finish compile the DSI Studio for Ubuntu 16.04 and later. Below is what I did.

  • 21-May-2020 Now DSI studio needs Qt 5.12.x for compile. I added the explanation how to setup Qt 5.12.

  1. Install gcc-5 and g++-5
  2. We need gcc-5 and g++-5 for compilation.

    sudo apt install g++-5
  3. Install necessary files for compile
  4. We also need to install the following;

    sudo apt-get install git libboost-all-dev zlib1g zlib1g-dev

  5. Get Qt 5.12.8
  6. As of 21 May 2020, DSI Studio can be compiled only under Qt5.12. We get the installer of Qt 5.12.8 from the link below.

  7. make the Qt5 installer executable and run installer as root priviledge
  8. The download file cannot be executed, so we change the permission, then run the installer as root.

    chmod +x
    sudo ./
    • You need to sign-up (or sign-in if you already have a Qt account) to proceed.
    • Install folder would be /opt/Qt5.12.8
    • You need to “Select All” to install qmake of Qt5.12.8
  9. Prepare a working directory
  10. Prepare a working directory. We save files in this directory.

    mkdir dsistudio
  11. Get the Windows version of DSI Studio
  12. Download the Windows version of DSI Studio from this link and save it under working directory (dsistudio).
    Filename should be “”

  13. Get the source code from GitHub
  14. Now we get the source code of DSI Studio from Github. We also need “frankyeh-TIPL-xxxxxx(revision number).zip” to be downloaded. After unzipping, rename the folder as “tipl”, and move under src. (N.B. tipl used to be “image”, but it seems Frank changed the source. 16-Aug-2018)

    cd dsistudio
    git clone -b master git:// src
    mv frankyeh-TIPL-xxxxxxx tipl
    mv tipl src
  15. Compile
  16. Prepare a directory for build and compile. The point is that we need to use qmake under Qt5.12.8. I chose to specify fullpath because I don’t have to tweak system environments. After executing qmake, we just run make to compile.

    mkdir build
    cd build
    /opt/Qt5.12.8/5.12.8/gcc_64/bin/qmake ../src

    If it goes well, you should find dsi_studio under build directory.
    You may remove unnecessary files with make clean.

    make clean
  17. Packaging
  18. Windows version zip file has atlas and other files included. We make use of it.
    DLL files are for Windows, so we delete all of them.

    cd .. # Now you should be in the "dsistudio" directory
    cd dsi_studio_64
    find . -name '*.dll' -exec rm {} \;
    rmdir iconengines imageformats platforms styles 
    rm dsi_studio.exe vc_redist.x64.exe
    cp ../build/dsi_studio .
  19. Run DSI Studio
  20. Now you can run DSI Studio from the terminal.


    If everything works, the command brings up DSI Studio.

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28 thoughts on “How-to build DSI Studio for Ubuntu 16.04 or later

  1. Hi

    My name is Sumiko. Thank you so much for the instruction, I have been successful to build dsi_studio on my new Dell workstation Precision 7920.
    Everything works fine till I try to open the fib.gz file. dsi_studio faults with error:
    load fib
    Segmentation fault (core dumped)

    My Ubuntu version is 18.04, OpenGL is 4.6.0, the graphic card is NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000, graphic card driver version is 410.78.

    Any ideas about this problem?

    Thank you in advance. Sumiko

    • Dear Sumiko,

      Thank you for the question.
      Right now I have no clue about this problem.
      It might be better to ask Frank, the developer of DSI studio about this problem.

      Best regrads,


  2. Hi,

    Thank you so much for the instruction.

    I followed the instruction and built dsi_studio successfully. Everything worked well until I run the “Step 3: Fiber tracking”. I am able to generate *.src.gz and *.fib.gz files. When I load the fiber file in step 3, dsi_studio are fault with core dump segmentation error.

    Any suggestion? For your referal, my Utunbu version is Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and qt version is 5.12.8. Any advice would be great appreciated.
    Thank you,


  3. Thank you for the instruction.

    I tried to install DSIsutio on Ubuntu 18.04 with the latest tipl files, but faced the error:

    Makefile:5193: recipe for target ‘group_connectometry.o’ failed
    make: *** [group_connectometry.o] Error 1

    • Hi,

      I revised the article and added an explanation how to use Qt 5.12 for compilation of DSI Studio.

      Hope this helps,

  4. Thank you for this great article.

    I am trying to install DSI-studio on my Ubuntu 18.04 system and running into an error after step 7:

    $ qmake ../src
    Project ERROR: Unknown module(s) in QT: charts

    How could I work around it?

    I would appreciate any help you may provide.


    • Dear Luis,

      Sorry, your comment on 20 March was recognized as spam, and I just noticed your comment.

      I myself use Ubuntu core + XFCE, so please give me a few days to look for the workaround in (standard) Ubuntu.

      For the time being, my compiled version may work.
      If you are interested, please download the following link and see how it works.

      Best regards,


      • Dear Luis

        I found the workaround.

        Please install libqt5charts5-dev

        sudo apt install libqt5charts5-dev

        However, I had compilation error after that.
        I will look for the workaround for this problem.



        • Dear Kiyotaka,

          Thank you for the quick response. I appreciate you looking into this compile error on Ubuntu 18.04.

          I tried step 7 after installing libqt5charts5-dev and I still got the charts error:

          $ qmake ../src
          Project ERROR: Unknown module(s) in QT: charts

          I would look into your compiled version in the meanwhile.

          Thank you,


          • Dear Luis,

            Hmm… In my circumstance with original Ubuntu 18.04, installing libqt5charts5-dev solved the problem…
            I will look for another workaround. It may take some time.
            Please check the compiled version for the time being.



          • Dear Luis,

            It took for a while, but I finally found out how to compile DSI studio with Qt5.12.
            I updated the article, so please give it a try.

            Best regards,


  5. Hello,

    I am doing a fresh install of DSI and have not been able to get it to compile without an error. The error that I currently have and cannot figure out is as follows:

    Makefile:4936: recipe for target ‘connectometry_db.o’ failed
    make: *** [connectometry_db.o] Error 1

    There was no other information regarding why this failed.

    I am running Ubuntu 16.04

    Any information would be helpful

  6. Hi,

    When I check gcc version, it returned:

    gcc (Ubuntu 5.4.0-6ubuntu1~16.04.9) 5.4.0 20160609
    g++ (Ubuntu 5.4.0-6ubuntu1~16.04.9) 5.4.0 20160609

    So I skipped step 1. and step 2.

    But ‘make’ returned this error:

    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/mainwindow.ui -o ui_mainwindow.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/tracking/tracking_window.ui -o ui_tracking_window.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/reconstruction/reconstruction_window.ui -o ui_reconstruction_window.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/dicom/dicom_parser.ui -o ui_dicom_parser.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/simulation.ui -o ui_simulation.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/view_image.ui -o ui_view_image.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/manual_alignment.ui -o ui_manual_alignment.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/tracking/tract_report.ui -o ui_tract_report.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/tracking/color_bar_dialog.ui -o ui_color_bar_dialog.h
    ../src/tracking/color_bar_dialog.ui: Warning: Z-order assignment: ” is not a valid widget.
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/tracking/connectivity_matrix_dialog.ui -o ui_connectivity_matrix_dialog.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/tracking/atlasdialog.ui -o ui_atlasdialog.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/dicom/motion_dialog.ui -o ui_motion_dialog.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/filebrowser.ui -o ui_filebrowser.h
    ../src/filebrowser.ui: Warning: The name ‘layoutWidget’ (QWidget) is already in use, defaulting to ‘layoutWidget1’.
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/connectometry/createdbdialog.ui -o ui_createdbdialog.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/connectometry/individual_connectometry.ui -o ui_individual_connectometry.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/connectometry/match_db.ui -o ui_match_db.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/connectometry/db_window.ui -o ui_db_window.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/connectometry/group_connectometry.ui -o ui_group_connectometry.h
    /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin/uic ../src/regtoolbox.ui -o ui_regtoolbox.h
    g++ -c -m64 -pipe -fpermissive -O2 -std=c++0x -Wall -W -D_REENTRANT -fPIC -DQT_NO_DEBUG -DQT_OPENGL_LIB -DQT_PRINTSUPPORT_LIB -DQT_WIDGETS_LIB -DQT_GUI_LIB -DQT_CORE_LIB -I../src -I. -I../src/libs -I../src/libs/dsi -I../src/libs/tracking -I../src/libs/mapping -isystem /usr/include/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5 -isystem /usr/include/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/QtOpenGL -isystem /usr/include/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/QtPrintSupport -isystem /usr/include/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/QtWidgets -isystem /usr/include/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/QtGui -isystem /usr/include/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/QtCore -I. -I. -I/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/mkspecs/linux-g++-64 -o main.o ../src/main.cpp
    In file included from ../src/mainwindow.h:6:0,
    from ../src/main.cpp:9:
    ../src/libs/vbc/vbc_database.h:5:25: fatal error: tipl/tipl.hpp: No such file or directory
    compilation terminated.
    Makefile:887: recipe for target ‘main.o’ failed
    make: *** [main.o] Error 1

    Thank you

    • Hi,

      I came across the similar error before. In my case, it was due to the wrong version of TILP-master.

      Please make sure you download the latest version of TILP-master.

      Other than that, please ask Frank Yeh, the developer of DSI studio.

  7. Hello,

    I have a new problem now. When I type ./dsistudio in the build directory. It shows up an Error window [Failed to load template file at]. Do you know how to solve this error message?

    • Dear Po-yu,

      Did you download windows version of DSI-Studio? Template files should be in there.

  8. Dear Frank and Kiyotoka,

    I am trying to compile DSI studio in my Ubuntu 16.04 but I encounter a problem on step 7 “qmake ../src”

    ~/dsistudio/build$ qmake ../src
    Could not find qmake configuration file linux-g++.
    Error processing project file: ../src/

    I tried to find the answers on the Internet but these answers do not work for me.

    Please guide me to install your software.


    • Dear Po-Yu,

      The error message indicates that you have problems with qmake.

      Could you tell me the result of the following command?

      $ qmake –version

      Best regards,


      • pkao@Formosa:~$ qmake -version
        QMake version 3.0
        Using Qt version 5.6.2 in /home/pkao/anaconda2/bin/lib

        • Dear Po-Yu,

          In my circumstance,

          $ qmake –version
          QMake version 3.0
          Using Qt version 5.5.1 in /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu

          In your circumstance, qmake in anaconda2 will be used, which causes problems.

          So easiest workaround might be to use the full path for qmake

          $ /usr/bin/qmake ../src

          If it doesn’t go well, please show me the result of followoing command

          $ which qmake

          Then I will be able to show you how to switch the different version of qmake in your circumstance.

          • Hi Kiyotaka,

            It works for me now. Thanks for your helping.


          • Dear Po-Yu,

            Glad to know that the workaround works for you.

            Best regards,

  9. Dear Frank and Kiyotoka,

    Thank you again Frank for the wonderful software, and thank you Kiyotoka for the installation instructions. I just compiled dsi_studio on my new Linux Mint 18.2 installation.
    The instructions were quite complete, except that I also needed to install the package libqt5opengl5-dev (error message: “qtOpenGL/QGLWidget: No such file or directory”).

    I thought I’d post this here to help the next person,

    Best regards,


    • Dear Steven,

      Thank you for the feedback! I updated the article according to your suggestion.

      Best regards,

  10. This is the developer of DSI Studio. Could I include you instruction on the DSI Studio website? I will acknowledge the source here. Thank you!

    • Dear Frank,

      Of course Yes! Thank you very much for developing such a wonderful software.
      I always build DSI-studio as I wrote in my post, so I hope it might help those who struggle building DSI studio for Ubuntu.

      Best regards,


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