I'm trying to convert some MrSID files to GeoTiff format. They are mostly over 20GB each. It seems the best way to do this is to use gdal_translate with the MrSID drivers. Unfortunately, I can't find anything past about 2013 describing how to install them on Ubuntu. All answers seem to lead back to this question: How to make gdal_translate support MrSID driver however the question is related to converting to MrSID (not FROM MrSID). There are several tutorials from a long time ago but most are 7+ years old and no longer work:


I've tried building GDAL from source but am having trouble getting it to recognize all required libraries:

https://trac.osgeo.org/gdal/wiki/MrSID https://trac.osgeo.org/gdal/wiki/BuildingOnUnix

I also have some concern with this as I don't want to break the package-installed version of GDAL on my system used by QGIS and several other programs.

There are several tutorials using QGIS, however I can't find any new than about 10 years old. I know people have to work with the MrSID format and anything newer involves the same installation of the driver in GDAL. Short of using Windows, is there any solution out for converting MrSID to other formats?


1 Answer 1


I also tried to build gdal to support mrsid driver, but it failed. So the alternative solution for me was to use mrsiddecode from Extensis and the regular gdal binaries (2.4.x) for Ubuntu. The tool mrsiddecode is part of the MrSid SDK from Extensis and can be downloaded from here: https://www.extensis.com/support/developers

  1. Use the binary called mrsiddecode to convert *.sid to *.tif

  2. Use gdal_translate to compress the geoTIFF file

  3. Use gdaladdo to add overviews

For 2 and 3 see http://blog.cleverelephant.ca/2015/02/geotiff-compression-for-dummies.html

The commands I used to convert *.sid to use as *.tif with geoserver was:

Create the geotiff

mrsiddecode -i input.sid -o output.tif -of tifg -wf

Compress, notice the -a_srs parameter. Change it to your EPSG

gdal_translate -a_srs EPSG:25832 -co COMPRESS=JPEG -co PHOTOMETRIC=YCBCR -co TILED=YES output.tif outputcomp.tif

Add overviews

gdaladdo --config COMPRESS_OVERVIEW JPEG --config PHOTOMETRIC_OVERVIEW YCBCR --config INTERLEAVE_OVERVIEW PIXEL -r average outputcomp.tif 2 4 8 16

You will have to change the EPSG:25832 to the EPSG of the *.sid

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