Manual and non-standard installation of LAStools and laslook

LAStools and laslook are best installed via the default installer. This blog entry shows additional installation options. The goal of all installation methods is to copy files from the installation media to the target location. It is always possible to complete this task through a manual copy or a batch script.

  • LAStools is a collection of program files. All files should be in the same installation directory (with structured subdirectories).
  • laslook is a windows program for executing LAStools. It needs to know where your LAStools files are stored. Some additional files are required.

LAStools file structure

LAStools is typically installed in “c:\lastools“, but can also be installed in other directories. The table below shows the data within a LAStools installation:

.\*.exeLAStool executeable; e.g. las2las.exe
.\*64.exe64 bit version of a LAStool executeable; e.g. las2las64.exe
.\serf\geoFiles to do a non-standard georeferencing or transformation
.\serf\blastFiles needed by the BLAST extension
.\serf\potree16potree installation; required for laspublish; version 16
.\serf\potree18potree installation; required for laspublish; version 18

laslook file structure

laslook has two targets for installation files: program files (PF) and user files (UF). By default, program files are located in the program files directory and user files are located in the public user directory. During setup, the program file directory can be set individually, and the user directory can be set from public to private. If an installation is carried out without admin rights, this can be done as a private installation.

File categoryTarget for public installation (Default)Target for private installation
Program files (PF)c:\program files\rapidlasso\laslookC:\Users\[user]\AppData\Local\Programs\rapidlasso\lasgui
User files (UF)C:\Users\Public\Documents\rapidlasso\laslookC:\Users\[user]\Documents\rapidlasso\laslook

For special installations, such as installation on a USB stick, the files can be also referenced elsewhere. All user files are first searched at location (PF). If they are not found, they are expected at (UF). This enables an “all-in-one-directory“ installation, for example on a USB stick. If a user file is stored in (PF,) the directory must be writable. Program settings can be adjusted via the user setup dialog. The user settings are saved in a file “laslook.ini“ under (UF). The location of the program databases (user database and program database) is also stored in “laslook.ini“. Below are the files of a full laslook installation and their default location:

laslook.exePFlaslook application
laslook.lngPFlanguage file
markdown.jhlPFformat settings for markdown files (e.g. READMES)
lastoolsinfo.jhlPFformat settings for file information (lasinfo output)
laslook.vsfPFgui design file
sqlite3.dllPFdatabase driver
LASzip64.dllPFLAS reader/writer
libeay32.dllPFopen SSL connection
openssl.exePFopen SSL connection
ssleay32.dllPFopen SSL connection
lastools.db3PF (+ini)LAStools documentation database
lasclassification.txtUFthe classification texts used to be easily changed by the user
laslook.db3UF (+ini)laslook user data database
layout_current.layUFjson of the current/last screen layout
layout_default.layUFjson of the default screen layout
layout_default.lay_backupUFbackup of default screen layout
rapidlasso.lazUFa small LAZ sample
LICENSE.txtUFlicense text


The local configuration “laslook.ini” is created in (UF) after the first boot to store user/application settings. Most configurations can be set via the setup dialog within the application. Some settings such as the location of the DB file can be only set manually using a text editor.

USB stick Installation

Typically, program files are stored in the programs folder, while user data is stored in the user’s folder. To enable portable installations, you can simply move all files from the programs folder and the public data folder to a local directory. If the program needs a user file, it first looks for it in the program folder: If the file is found there, this file is used. Simply run “laslook.exe” to start the program.

Unattended Setup

An unattended/silent setup can be performed simply by copying files or using command line switches from the setup program. We use “InnoSetup”. See their documentation how to perform a silent installation.

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