how to install LAStools toolbox in QGIS

The more complex installation instructions are only relevant for older QGIS versions. Starting with QGIS 2.10 or newer you can skip directly to step 4 and disregard most of step 6:

We had an ArcGIS LiDAR processing toolbox since April 2012 and now we have one for QGIS as well. It has been tested successfully with QGIS 1.8.0-Lisboa, 2.0.1-Dufour, 2.2.0-Valmiera, and 2.4.0-Chugiak. Download and install QGIS. For version 2.2.0-Valmiera and older follow all the steps. Do not delete or copy any files for the newest version 2.4.0-Chugiak but skip directly to step 4 and disregard most of step 6:

  1. If you already started QGIS then exit the application.
  2. Delete (or rename) the entire folder “C:\Program Files\QGIS Valmiera\apps\qgis\python\plugins\processing\lidar”.
    QGIS install (step 1)
  3. Put the “.\lidar” folder that is inside this ZIP file into its place. This ZIP file only works for QGIS 2.2.0-Valmiera. For QGIS 2.0.1-Dufour you need to use the contents of this ZIP file instead. And for QGIS 1.8.0-Lisboa use this ZIP file and delete the folder “C:\Users\Martin\.qgis\python\plugins\sextante\lidar” instead.
  4. Get the most recent version of LAStools by downloading the 36 MB “” file.
  5. Drag and drop (or extract) the “.\LAStools” folder from inside the ‘‘ file such that there is no space in the path (e.g. bad: “C:\Program Files\LAStools”, good: “D:\software\LAStools”).
  6. Start QGIS. If there is a Python script error carefully repeat steps 1 to 3.
  7. Turn on the “Processing Toolbox” as shown below.
    turning on the "Processing Toolbox"
  8. Switch the processing toolbox from “Simplified Interface” to “Advanced Interface” as shown below.
    Switching the processing toolbox from "Simplified Interface" to "Advanced Interface"
  9. Open the “Options and configuration” sub menu of “Processing” as shown below.
    Opening the "Options and configuration" sub menu of "Processing"
  10. Check the “Activate” button for “Providers->Tools for LiDAR data” and fill in the path to your local LAStools folder as shown below. Type or copy & paste the path to LAStools (as the browse popup is broken). Press <strong>ENTER</strong> after entering the path so the field is greyed out again <em>before</em> clicking <strong>OK</strong>.
    Checking the "Activate" button for "Providers->Tools for LiDAR data" and filling in the path to the local LAStools folder.
  11. Now you should see the “Tools for LiDAR data” in the toolbox and all the LAStools as shown below.
    Seeing the "Tools for LiDAR data" in the toolbox and all the LAStools
  12. Start lasground via double click and fill in the settings as shown below.
    Starting lasground via double click and filling in the settings
  13. Look at the file you just created by running lasview from the toolbox. Yay!
  14. Create this with two quick calls to las2dem and las2iso … sooo easy.
    Result after running las2dem and las2iso on fusa.laz sample

Kudos to Victor Olaya for creating this whole framework and providing me with example scripts for a simple LAStools toolbox that I just had to modify … (-:

92 thoughts on “how to install LAStools toolbox in QGIS

    • I think I figured it out after reading the post that you linked to earlier today. I had Grass folders and R folder with incorrect paths. The tools are now showing up in the toolbox!

    • The previous comments (like those from the stackexchange discussion linked earlier) should help you to solve all issues. I am not aware of any new problem particular to QGIS 2.18.3.

  1. Hi, I’ve done everything the way you did, but I have not resolved the problem with this mistake, but I’m glad you helped. The point cloud data was produced in Agisoft.

    ‘ascii’ codec can’t encode character u’\u0131′ in position 46: ordinal not in range(128) See log for more details

  2. Hi
    i have Qgis 2.18.0 and when i try to active lidar on processing options this error apears:

    Wrong value for parameter “Pasta Msys”:

    Specified path does not exist:

    Thks guys

    p.s. I have portuguese windows.

    • I agree with you partner, I have version 2.18.9 and I have the same problem and followed the steps indicated.

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