I need some help with the installation of QGIS using OSGeo4W. I am using windows 7 and I want to install a 64 bit ltr release with all relevant dependencies and plugins.

I choose to install qgis with OSGeo4w to be able to update more conveniently, but I run into problems with the installation. So I do not want to use the standalone installer any more.

I choose the advanced install option in the first step to be able to install the ltr release. In the "select packeges" step under "desktop" there are a qgis-ltr option and a qgis-ltr-full option. I understood that I would need to select the qgis-ltr-full option to get all the relevant dependencies.However, my problem is that the installer shows that qgis-ltr-full is on version 2.8.2-1 while qgis-ltr is on version 2.8.9-1.

What do I need to choose here?

I do want the latest update of the ltr with all the bugfixes, but I also do not want to pick all the dependencies and plugins by hand.

Do I need to install both? Do I get the latest ltr version that way with all dependencies? Or do I end up with two separate qgis installations when I choose both?

I did google for an answer but couldn't find any.

3 Answers 3


qgis-ltr-full is a metapackage. I don't know exactly what packages it selects, but I believe it might select things like qgis-globe-plugin and qgis-grass-plugin in addition to qgis-ltr. You will not end up with two QGIS installations. You will notice that the installation size for qgis-ltr-full is 1 KB. That's because it's just a metapackage, not the package itself.

Selecting qgis-full is not necessary to make sure that dependencies are met. After selecting packages, the next step in the OSGeo4W installer will be to confirm the installation of unmet dependencies, which you should agree to (checked by default).

As an aside, QGIS 2.14 is listed on the QGIS website as an "LTR Candidate". It will be the candidate until the next point release (2.16), at which point it will get promoted to LTR. I would strongly consider installing qgis package, which is at version 2.14.2, instead of qgis-ltr. (If you choose QGIS in the Express Desktop Install, this is what you'll end up with.)

See info on available versions and future plans here:

  • 1
    The LTR version is an older version that is intended to be updated with backports from the current release. 2.8 was the first candidate, and 2.14 will be the next one. If the developers would have dropped 2.8 with the release of 2.14, there wold be only one version of qgis. So they keep 2.8 as LTR until 2.16 is released, then 2.14 will be the LTR for some time.
    – AndreJ
    May 11, 2016 at 5:51
  • @AndreJ thanks for the info, will update my answer to reflect that. The convention is a little opaque. Ubuntu for example calls their release an LTS when it is released, rather than waiting for the next release to promote it, so I didn't quite understand what LTR Candidate meant. May 11, 2016 at 15:56

To be really useful, this answer should be read including its comments below, considering them thoroughly before taking any actions.

I'm late to the party, but here's what worked for me in order to install the OSGeo4W version of LTR 3.10.3:

Download the OSGeo4W64 install package, but use the Advanced Install option instead of the Express Desktop. Continue from there with the default settings until reaching the Select Packages window. Here, turn on these options:


  • qgis:(selecting always the latest QGIS release, for if you select the second-to-latest QGIS release, it will be installed along with the latest one because of "qgis-full")
  • qgis-full:(this metapackage calls for the installation of the latest QGIS release, and all other packages it needs)
  • qgis-ltr:(selecting always the latest QGIS-LTR release, for if you select the second-to-latest QGIS-LTR release, it will be installed along with the latest one because of "qgis-ltr-full")
  • qgis-ltr-full:(this metapackage calls for the installation of the latest QGIS-LTR release, and all other packages it needs)

Then finish the install with the default options.

This way you'll end up with the latest QGIS release and the latest QGIS-LTR release installed.

  • 1
    Doing this you would end up with two versions of QGIS installed. You only need to choose qgis-ltr and the OSGeo4W installer will handle the rest. Mar 2, 2020 at 10:49
  • Ah, you may be correct. It appears that my install instructions above have allowed not only 3.10.3 (my intended version), but also 3.12 (which I don't need at the moment). I will uninstall OSGeo4W and reinstall with your advice, and report back.
    – Stu Smith
    Mar 2, 2020 at 16:22
  • 1
    I'm back after uninstalling OSGeo4W, then reinstalling with just qgis-ltr. When I now start 3.10.3, I get errors that certain plugins aren't loading correctly. Sigh... When I uninstall (again!) and go back to the install options that I list in my answer, 3.10.3 LTR works correctly. I'm not an expert with QGIS installations, and I don't understand what the various options are doing; but I've somehow landed on an approach that works for me. I appreciate your input, @HeikkiVesanto!
    – Stu Smith
    Mar 2, 2020 at 17:19
  • 1
    I agree on these settings to install both the most recent (not nightly) and LTR version of qgis with additional funcionality by chosing the -full versions. Additionally I manually add the gdal-filegdb driver (at first install) as this is not part of the -full metapackage and lets you write data to .gdb. After the first install you can rerun the setup by Advanced Install to update everything without needing to make any changes. This works for me.
    – JeeHaa
    Mar 4, 2020 at 9:16
  • 2
    @jendrik I agree about installing the filegdb drivers! I have noticed that there are two separate filegdb-related drivers in the Lib section when doing an advanced install. I don't understand the difference between the two, but I select both just to be cautious. In any event, adding those two drivers allows me to read AND write FGDBs, which I constantly require. I'm aware that the Express Desktop install includes FGDB read capability; I just wish that write capability was also the default.
    – Stu Smith
    Mar 5, 2020 at 0:22

I would say not to worry about the version differences between the qgis / qgis-full and qgis-ltr and qgis-ltr-full install options.

Differences between version numbers after the comma of the qgis desktop option and -full metapackages still persist (MainNumber.SubVersion.PositionWhereItDiffers) but don't seem to be important in my experience.

And as Lee explained the -full options only are metapackages which trigger the selection of many usefull packages/libraries for you. So it won't change the version installation of your desktop software.

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