New release: Semi-Automatic OS v. 4

I have released a new version of the Semi-Automatic OS v. 4, a free virtual machine based on Debian Linux, for the land cover classification of remote sensing images. It includes the Semi-Automatic Classification Plugin and QGIS, already configured along with all the required dependencies (OGR, GDAL, Numpy, SciPy, and Matplotlib).

The main features are:

  • based on Debian 8;
  • available as 32 bit and 64 bit;
  • includes QGIS 2.8.2;
  • includes the Semi-Automatic Classification Plugin v. 4.3.4;
  • includes the PDF version of the User Manual of the Semi-Automatic Classification Plugin and a sample dataset of Landsat images (available from the U.S. Geological Survey).

The Semi-Automatic OS is available as a virtual machine that can be run in the open source VirtualBox, or any other virtualization program. and it is designed to require very little hardware resources.
It uses LXDE and Openbox as main desktop environment. This virtual machine can be useful for testing the Semi-Automatic Classification Plugin, or when the installation of the required programs in the host system is problematic.

The following is a guide for the installation of the Semi-Automatic OS in the open source program of virtualization VirtualBox.

The main installation steps are:
  1. Download VirtualBox open source software from here (select a proper version depending on your OS) and install it; at the end of the installation restart the system;
  2. Download the virtual machine (about 600 MB) from here (32 bit or 64 bit);
  3. Extract the downloaded virtual machine content in a directory (it requires about 3 GB of disk space); the file is compressed in 7z format (if needed, download the open source extraction software from;
  4. Run VirtualBox and create a new Debian virtual machine;
    • Click the New button;
    • Type a name for the virtual machine (for instance Semi-Automatic OS); select Linux and Debian (32 or 64 bit) as Type and Version respectively; click Next;

    • Set the memory size; the more is the better, but this parameter should not exceed a half of he host system RAM (for instance if the host system has 1 GB of RAM, type 512 MB); click Next;

    • In the Hard drive settings select Use an existing virtual hard drive file and select the downloaded file SemiAutomaticOS.vmdk; click Create;

  5. Start the Semi-Automatic OS by clicking the Start button;
  6. It is recommended to install the virtualbox-guest-utils in the virtual machine, from the Menu > Preferences > Synaptic Package Manager; it allows for a better integration of the Semi-Automatic OS in the host system, such as: the resize of the system window, or the folder sharing.