This page describes how to update Freeview within a FreeSurfer installation of version 6 or greater. A backup should be made of your freeview binary (or directory) before it is replaced.

Please note the development versions of Freeview will contain the most up to date features but lacks the rigorous testing done before a major release. Therefore, it is imperative that you back up your existing version before replacing it with the development version.


  1. Download and untar the dev freesurfer distribution into a temporary directory (this can be done in any directory).
    mkdir freesurfer.tmp && cd freesurfer.tmp
    curl -o fsdev.tar.gz
    tar -xzvf fsdev.tar.gz
  2. IMPORTANT: make sure that FREESURFER_HOME is properly set to the original freesurfer install you'd like to update, and copy the new freeview binary and qt libraries over. This may require sudo access:

    rm -rf ${FREESURFER_HOME}/lib/qt ${FREESURFER_HOME}/lib/vtk
    cp -r freesurfer/lib/qt ${FREESURFER_HOME}/lib/qt
    cp -r freesurfer/lib/vtk ${FREESURFER_HOME}/lib/vtk
    cp freesurfer/bin/freeview freesurfer/bin/qt.conf ${FREESURFER_HOME}/bin/
  3. Remove the temporary directory:
    cd .. && rm -rf freesurfer.tmp
  4. You should now have the new application, which can opened by typing freeview on the command line:



  1. Go into your $FREESURFER_HOME and create a backup of your existing freeview app (this may require sudo access):

  2. Download the dev, standalone freeview tarball from here

  3. Untar freeview within your $FREESURFER_HOME (this may require sudo):

    tar -xzvf /path/to/freesurfer-darwin-macOS-dev-freeview.tar.gz
  4. IMPORTANT: If you are replacing freeview in a freesurfer release LESS than 7.0, then you must also remove the line "source $FREESURFER_HOME/sources.csh" from the $FREESURFER_HOME/bin/freeview script

UpdateFreeview (last edited 2021-05-19 14:42:33 by AndrewHoopes)