I have recently installed QGIS 2.0 in my computer which has Ubuntu 13.04 and when I try to use an .ecw file it says:

Error, .ecw is not a supported raster data source.

I am new in Linux and in QGIS, so could you help me and explain what could I do step by step?


By default QGIS doesn't support .ecw format (Compressed Satellite Imagery).For ECW support you need to download ecw plugin for QGIS for mac and to do it on Ubuntu you can follow instructions on http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/qgis-user/2010-May/008647.html

  • I have a problem... QGIS 2.0 installs gdal 1.9, not the 1.7.2 like it says in the instructions link – Eugenio Carnero Oct 8 '13 at 12:03

Here's a nice post from faunalia describing a step-by-step guide on how to add ECW support in windows (for gdal-1.9.2):


If you've added the ubuntugis-unstable repository you can add ecw support by installing the corresponding library:

$ sudo apt-get install libgdal-ecw

To add the ubuntugis repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntugis/ubuntugis-unstable

(don't forget to $apt-get update to refresh your lists)

Qgis uses gdal library to read/write rasters. To see if gdal can read/write in any format run the following:

$ gdalinfo --formats | sort

(you pipe the output to the sort command, which sorts the out put in alphabetical order)

The reason qgis cannot read ecw by default, as said by Giovanni Manghi is:

ECW libraries are not open source software and cannot be freely distributed. You need to add manually the ecw support in your local copy of gdal. On ubuntu do this

: https://gis.stackexchange.com/a/27398/6711

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