I am trying to add ECW support into Geoserver 2.1.1 (also tried 1.7.7) but no luck so far.

Does anyone have a step by step guide to add the ECW support ? (the one

However, my understanding is that Geoserver 2.1.1 uses imageio-ext that uses gdal-1.4.5

I am now lost between gdal version, geoserver version, imageio-ext version etc etc

This is what my gdal_native dir looks like https://i.sstatic.net/yEFpp.png (where libecwj2.dll is copied from http://trac.osgeo.org/gdal/attachment/ticket/2200/libecwj2.zip)

  • 1
    Just a thought: Have you considered moving away from ECW? This format will continue to cause you trouble with any open source GIS.
    – underdark
    Commented Jul 21, 2011 at 7:50

3 Answers 3


From my post in http://osgeo-org.1803224.n2.nabble.com/Installing-Geoserver-2-1-1-with-ECW-support-td6606101.html

Geoserver 2.1.1 with ECW (v3.3) support

  1. Download Geoserver 2.1.1 from http://downloads.sourceforge.net/geoserver/geoserver-2.1.1-bin.zip 1a. extract to c:\bin\geoserver

  2. Download imageio 1.1.1 installer from http://java.net/projects/imageio-ext/downloads/download/Releases/ImageIO-Ext/1.1.x/1.1.1/windowsInstaller/windows32-imageio-ext-installer-gdal-mrsid-ecw-1.1.1.zip 2b. Install it to c:\imageio 2c. Remove c:\bin\geoserver\webapps\geoserver\WEB-INF\lib\imageio-ext-1.0.8 2d. Copy c:\imageio\lib*.* to c:\bin\geoserver\webapps\geoserver\WEB-INF\lib (imageio installer will also copy gdal dll, ecw sdk dll to your java\bin directory)

3.Add Environment variables for GDAL_DATA c:\imageio\gdaldata GDAL_DRIVER_PATH c:\imageio\gdalplugin

4.Start geoserver

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    Hi! Many thanks for your answer! The link at the point 2 doesn't work, could you please provide and update of it?
    – Glori P.
    Commented Jan 30, 2020 at 10:57

I would start off with an observation, you need to have a valid license of the ECW sdk in order to server ECW data via GeoServer.

That is said, yeah, Geoserver 2.1.1 uses imageio-ext 1.08 that uses gdal-1.4.5 (as modified by GeoSolutions).

If you check on the ImageIO-Ext site, you should find the relevant native libraries.

Let me point this out clearly again, you need to have a valid ECW license before you move forward.

Regards, Simone.

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    I disagree with the comment by user simone.giannecchini if he means that purchasing a license is needed. Currently I am using MapServer + GDAL to serve ECW data in a production system, legally and without any purchase. Download Earth Resource Mapping's ECW JPEG 2000 SDK - goo.gl/ZgmT0 - and read the file License.txt. There are three possible license agreements. One of them is "Use of the ECW JPEG 2000 SDK with Unlimited Decompressing and Limited Compressor (Less than 500MB) for use in any commercial or free application is governed by the 'ECW JPEG 2000 SDK FREE USE LICENSE AGREEMENT.'"
    – dariapra
    Commented Jul 21, 2011 at 11:49
  • @dariapra To insert links in comments, surround the link text with square brackets "[", "]" and follow that immediately by the URL enclosed in parentheses "(" ")", as shown in the 'help' link to the right of the textbox (which appears while you're writing the comment).
    – whuber
    Commented Jul 21, 2011 at 20:26
  • Thanks, I can get it working now, as per my answer below or osgeo-org.1803224.n2.nabble.com/…
    – Lydon Ch
    Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 3:19
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    @dariapra, thanks for your input, but reading the License.txt, under "ECW JPEG 2000 SDK FREE USE LICENSE AGREEMENT" section, there is a clause "You may not use Software Product for development or distribution of "Server Software"." as in this screenshot i.sstatic.net/8jqwP.png
    – Lydon Ch
    Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 3:35
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    @dariapra ER Mapper was purchase by Erdas (Hexagon) in 2007, since then the licensing policy has changed for ER Mapper intellectual property. Please see (erdas.com/products/ERDASECWJPEG2000SDK/Downloads.aspx)
    – sophia
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 5:42

check my repo:

  • i used original Docker Image docker.osgeo.org/geoserver:2.25.x,
  • and built GDAL 3.8.3 with ECW SDK 5.5.4


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