eXTReMe Tracker
Sep 122016

Updated 2017.03.28

  • Freesurfer 6.0 is now a stable release and there are couple of additional dependencies that weren’t required in the beta release of freesurfer. I have changed the post to reflect the list of libraries that need to be installed.

There is good news for those who use neuroimaging tools such as AFNI, FSL and FreeSurfer on their Windows machines. The limitation is that they can only be run on Windows 10 with anniversary update. Does it use a Virtual Machine? No. It runs “natively” on Windows 10, so you can save, print, resize or hide any interface just like a Windows program.

Freeview running in Windows 10

Freesurfer on Windows 10

Before I get into how to install FreeSurfer, I must thank the author at K-Lab for the post on “How to run FSL on Windows 10“. That post describes how to install BASH on Windows 10 in the first few steps. Sadly it is not available for Windows 7/8. It uses Ubuntu 14.04 LTS which will be supported by Canonical until 2019. We hope by then Windows would incorporate the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as the default distribution.

I’ll repeat a few things (steps 1-5) that Lin4Neuro wrote on how to get BASH and X-server on Windows 10.

  1. Install Linux BASH shell on Windows 10:
    There is detailed tutorial with screenshots on how to do this at the following site.
    How to Install and Use the Linux Bash Shell on Windows 10
  2. Install the updates:
    Before adding any tools, you should first download and install the updates for Ubuntu. Run the following commands at the terminal

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade
  3. Install the X server:
    With bash you can run applications on a command line but in order to run any GUIs for neuroimaging tools you’ll need a X-server for windows. The most popular software for this is Xming. You can download and install it with default settings.
    Xming X server for Windows
  4. Running X server:
    Run Xming by searching it from start menu. When it is loaded you should see this when you go to show hidden icons button at the bottom right corner of your desktop.
  5. In order for X server to work with BASH run the following command at the terminal
    echo "export DISPLAY=localhost:0.0" >> ~/.bashrc

    This will add the environment variable for display to the .bashrc file.

  6. Downloading Freesurfer (Release 6.0):
    You can obtain your copy of Freesurfer from their web page. To download FreeSurfer type this command at the terminal:


    Hint: You can copy the link with your mouse and when you right-click at the terminal, it will be automatically pasted so you don’t have to type it in manually.
    This is a large file (~4.6GB) so it may take some time to download it based on your network speed.

  7.  It is customary to install it at /usr/local/ so let’s extract it to that directory.
    sudo tar -xzf freesurfer-Linux-centos6_x86_64-stable-pub-v6.0.0.tar.gz -C /usr/local/

    You will require your admin password (for Ubuntu, not Windows) to extract it to /usr/local. Again, this step can take few minutes since we are extracting a file that’s several gigabytes in size. Once extracted, we’ll have to change permissions on that folder.

    sudo chmod -R 755 /usr/local/freesurfer

    This allows you to edit or create files in that folder.

  8. Obtain the FreeSurfer license:
    In order to run the FreeSurfer applications you need to register and obtain a license from their website.
    FreeSurfer Registration
    Once you have the license emailed to you, copy the contents between the lines that read “cut here” and create a license.txt file.

    sudo nano /usr/local/freesurfer/license.txt

    Paste the contents with right-click
    Press ctrl+X to exit
    Press y to accept and save it as license.txt
    Hit Enter

  9. Add FreeSurfer path to .bashrc:
    echo "export FREESURFER_HOME=/usr/local/freesurfer" >> ~/.bashrc
    echo "source \$FREESURFER_HOME/SetUpFreeSurfer.sh" >> ~/.bashrc
  10. Dependencies: libjpeg.so.62, libgomp1, etc.
    Generally there are a few dependencies including the tcsh shell that aren’t included by default in the ubuntu distribution.  But they can be installed using:

    sudo apt-get install build-essential libjpeg62 libxss1 libgomp1 tcsh

    There may be some other dependencies that may be needed as time goes on. The best way to get the needed ones is to type in sudo apt-get install <partial-name-of-needed-file> and then hit tab to see if it recognizes and autocompletes the name of that dependency. It will work in most cases.

  11. Final check:
    Check that the Xming server is running and it says Xming Server:0.0 when you hover the mouse on the Xming icon in the lower right hand corner. Type bash at the terminal. You should see the following:

    -------- freesurfer-Linux-centos6_x86_6.0 --------
    Setting up environment for FreeSurfer/FS-FAST (and FSL)
    FREESURFER_HOME   /usr/local/freesurfer
    FSFAST_HOME       /usr/local/freesurfer/fsfast
    SUBJECTS_DIR      /usr/local/freesurfer/subjects
    MNI_DIR           /usr/local/freesurfer/mni
  12. Test your installation:
    Check if everything works by going through some of the examples listed on the FreeSurfer website.
    FreeSurfer examples
    If everything has been installed correctly you should be able to run command line functions and open GUIs just like on a Mac or Linux machine.
    tksurfer_win10If you have any questions about the installation, please post a comment. If you have questions about FreeSurfer please visit the FreeSurfer user community mail archives.
Dec 222014

The purpose is to to convert a 3-dimensional image file which contains X,Y and the dimensions containing RGB values to a 2D image file in grayscale. It can be done in linux command line using imagemagick.

convert <img_in> -set colorspace Gray -separate -average <img_out>

The resulting image is a 2D image generated by averaging the R,G,B arrays.

Oct 232014

To compute a transpose of an input file, i.e. converting columns to rows and rows to column using bash, you can accomplish that using awk and while loop.

cols=`cat $1 | head -1 | wc -w`;
for i in $(seq 1 $cols);
awk -v "n=$i" '{print $n}' $1 | tr '\n' ' ';  # variable column output
printf "\n";

This example uses a variable to output a specific column from the input.

awk -v "n=$variable" '{print $n} ' input.txt

Will pass the variable to n and the nth column gets printed from input file.

Jan 112013

To get the stock quotes for NYSE listings create some file named stockval and add it to your PATH.

Then gedit the file with the text:


p=`printf "curl -s 'http://download.finance.yahoo.com/d/quotes.csv?s=$1&f=l1'"`
price=`eval $p`;
echo $price












Make that file executable

chmod +x stockval

Close out, and open a terminal. If you have the path correctly configured, execute the stockval command using the company symbol as an argument and it returns the stock price on the line below.

stockval goog

732.15 << output
Oct 292012

As it turns out the if statement in bash isn’t as friendly towards floating point variables as it is for integer and string variables.

First of all the -gt and -lt switches don’t work.Even the unary operators >,<, etc. don’t work. The only way is to do a comparison between the floating point variables using bc and using the logical outout as a comparison string.

a=11.5; b=11.3
compare_result=`echo "$a >$b" | bc`
 if [ $compare_result -gt 0 ]; then
 echo $a
echo $b


May 092012

If you are going for a complete reinstall of OS and you need to get a list of packages you have at present, so that you can reinstall them after you have installed Linux from scratch, run the following:

sudo dpkg --get-selections | awk '{ ORS=" "; print $1; }' > packagelist.txt

This saves the everything to packagelist.txt. Mind blown!


Dec 282011

To monitor the instantaneous network usage, execute the ifstat command in bash. You may need to acquire it from a repository if you don’t have it already.

sudo apt-get install ifstat

To display usage on eth0, with a 5 second delay, just once:

ifstat -i eth0 5 1

You can change the number of seconds, and the number of times you want the output displayed. If you don’t specify the count, it will go on forever until you ctrl-c out of it.

So here is a script that displays the download rates in MB/s and upload rates in KB/s every 5 seconds until you hit ctrl-c.

while :
# Press ctrl-c to exit
x=`ifstat -i eth0 5 1 | tail -1 | tr '\t' ' '`;  #tail -1 takes the DL and UL speeds in KB/S
x1=`echo $x | cut -d ' ' -f1`; x2=`echo $x | cut -d ' ' -f2`;
x1=$(echo "scale=3; $x1/1024" | bc); # Convert DL rate to MB/S
printf "D: %0.3f MB/s\t U: %0.3f KB/s\n" "$x1" "$x2"
May 112011

Running scripts in serial order on a multi-core machine will take quite a bit of time. If the tasks are repetitive, the command can be run under GNU Parallel.

You can install it on RPM or Debian based distribution from the GNU Parallel repository. Install the binary that fits your flavour of Linux. Please note that even though the latest release of GNU Parallel has a flavour of Linux associated with it, it runs on most of the older AND newer distributions. For instance I was able to install the April 21st 2011 release of amd_64 RPM on a RHEL5 machine, and it ran just fine for that 8 core machine.

After installation you can try it out on a sample directory by running:

ls -d */ | sed ‘s/\///g’ | parallel zip -r -q {}.zip {}

This will recursively zip all the directories within a given folder, in parallel. By default, it will use up the maximum number of cores, but you can check the man pages of parallel to check how to employ N number of processors to run the task in parallel.

ls *.jpg | parallel convert {} -resize 75% -quality 80% {}

If you have imagemagick installed, you could save a whole bunch of space by converting some of the high-res images to a slightly lower resolution. The above example will resize the images to 75% of their original size with 80% quality. The original images will be overwritten by the resize and downsampled ones. While this is running, you can fire up htop in another terminal window to watch all the processors working in parallel.