I have tried without any success to install LASzip¹ ² (paper by Isenburg about LASzip) on Ubuntu 16.04.

The basic way gave me nothing relevant:

./configure && make & checkinstall

which seems to install some .a, .la, .so.6 and other .hpp files under /usr/local but no binaries (which are mandatory to install other "packages" like pdal)

I wonder if these tools were included in libLAS but it doesn't seem so: some of them does exist within libLAS and others not.

  • Are you looking for lastools? cs.unc.edu/~isenburg/lastools but read the license for usage limits: cs.unc.edu/~isenburg/lastools/download/LICENSE.txt
    – BradHards
    Jul 8, 2016 at 0:45
  • Not a proper answer to your question, but note that SAGA GIS and QGIS, which both run happily on Ubuntu, can handle LAS files and LiDAR processing too. Jul 8, 2016 at 1:03
  • As far as I know, the only way for QGIS to load and work on *.LAS files is with LAStools and they need Wine to work (they only exist as *.exe). I do not have the possibility to install Wine on this machine. And it's a mess ; there is a LASzip folder within the LAStools github repo and there is also a LASzip github repo... Which one to use ? Anyway, when compiling PDAL using CMake I alway end up with this message : -- The following RECOMMENDED packages have not been found: * LASzip Provides LASzip compression Jul 8, 2016 at 13:05
  • @s.k. Clone LASzip from Github and then checkout tag 2.0.2. PDAL does not work with 2.2.0, the latest version.
    – Richard
    Aug 12, 2016 at 22:00

1 Answer 1


PDAL requires version 2.0.2 of LASzip.

Version 2.2.0, which, at the time of writing, is what you're getting from any ZIP download for Github clone includes the following release note:

A number of changes were made to the header files and a new minor release was made instead of a simple point release as a precaution.

Therefore, what you want to do is:

git clone https://github.com/LASzip/LASzip.git
git tag #List tags
git checkout tags/2.0.2
sudo make install

After this things should work swimmingly, at least for PDAL.

Edit (2019-03-27):

It works as well with version 3.3.1 (as of 2019-03-27):

cd /opt
git clone https://github.com/LASzip/LASzip.git
mkdir LASzip/build && cd LASzip/build
cmake-gui ..

Configure and generate project using cmake-gui. Then:

sudo make install

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