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Setting up VTK and ITK environments for Ubuntu

Visualization Toolkit which is known as VTK is an open source software system for image processing, visualization and 3D computer graphics which is also vastly used in biomedical image processing and visualization. VTK is mainly consists of C++ class library and several interpreted interface layers. ITK is Insight Segmentation and Registration toolkit which is also open source and a cross platform which provides an extensive software tools for image analysis. In this article I am going to share my experience on how to install VTK and ITK environments on Ubuntu.

Install CMake

As first step you need to download and install CMAKE in your computer. Cmake can download from following URL,


Extract the downloaded file. Then go to the extracted folder using Terminal.


Next type


on terminal.


After running configuration type


in the terminal, after its make process type

sudo make install



If you typed

make install

instead of

sudo make install

at the end of the process it will show an error of writing permission to the disk.  After this process installation of CMake is complete.

Install VTK

Download VTK and VTK data from VTK web page.



Then extract vtk and vtk data files.

Goto vtk folder using Terminal and type

ccmake .


After processing it will prompt a configuration option, press ‘c‘ to configure.


In some cases VTK data root may not be detected by the installer, then manually set the VTK data source as the extracted folder of VTK_data as below.vtk_3

Edit its settings as required and press c, if generate option (g) is not present press c again.


Press g to generate.




, this process will take some considerable time (maybe hours).


Finally type

sudo make install

for complete the installation.

Install ITK

This process is also similar to installing VTK. Following are the steps for installing ITK on Ubuntu.

Download ITK files from ITK web site.

Extract all ITK files.

Create folder named ITK.

Go to ITK folder from Terminal.


ccmake . /home/thilina/vtk_itk/InsightToolkit-4.3.1 (location where ITK file extracted)

Press c to configure the ITK setup. After configuration process press c again.

Press g to generate and exit from configuration window.



for make process. Then type

sudo make install

For final step of installation. Then ITK installation is complete.

Hope you got a brief step by step idea on how to install VTK and ITK on Ubuntu Environment. Thank you very much for reading.

2013 February 9 - Posted by | Biomedical, C++, Image Processing, ITK, Ubuntu, VTK | , , , ,


  1. Thank you! Helped me a lot!!

    Comment by Bruna S.M. | 2013 June 10 | Reply

  2. clear, easy to read and it helped me 🙂 thanks

    Comment by alba | 2013 June 20 | Reply

  3. Why would I still get a “The program ‘ccmake’ is currently not installed.” after “sudo make install” process?

    Comment by Jerry | 2013 September 17 | Reply

  4. thanks a lot !

    Comment by mysunshineself | 2013 September 28 | Reply

  5. Yes, this is really good article. I have installed VTK 5.8.0 on Mint 16 according to this guide. Thanks.

    Comment by Siwei | 2014 October 23 | Reply

  6. But I wonder how to start. Could you give me some instructions on how to plot a DEM data in VTK?

    Comment by Siwei | 2014 October 23 | Reply

  7. Thank you very much ….you helped me in tons …. I successfully installed ITK…

    Comment by Poornachandra Sandur | 2016 November 27 | Reply

  8. Thank you very much for the help!

    Comment by Anna | 2019 June 13 | Reply

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