6. Semi-Automatic OS

The Semi-Automatic OS is a lightweight virtual machine for the land cover classification of remote sensing images. It includes the Semi-Automatic Classification Plugin (SCP) for QGIS, already configured along with all the required dependencies, and installed through the official SCP repository ( https://semiautomaticgit.github.io/SemiAutomaticClassificationPlugin/repository.xml ) which provides always the latest version of SCP.


Semi-Automatic OS desktop

The Semi-Automatic OS is based on Debian , and it is designed to require very little hardware resources. It uses LXDE and Openbox as main desktop environment. This virtual machine can be useful for testing the Semi-Automatic Classification Plugin, or when the installation of the required programs in the host system is problematic.
The Semi-Automatic OS is available as a 32 bit and 64 bit virtual machine that can be run in the open source VirtualBox, or any other virtualization program. The following is a guide for the installation of the Semi-Automatic OS in the open source program of virtualization VirtualBox.

6.1. Installation in VirtualBox

  1. Download VirtualBox open source software (select a proper version depending on your OS) and install it; at the end of the installation restart the system;

  2. Download the Semi-Automatic OS virtual machine (about 800 MB) from here (32 bit or 64 bit);

  3. Extract the virtual machine content in a directory (it requires about 3 GB of disk space); the file is compressed in 7z format (if needed, download the open source extraction software from http://www.7-zip.org/);

  4. Run VirtualBox and create a new Debian virtual machine;

    1. Click the New button;

    2. Type a name for the virtual machine (for instance Semi-Automatic OS); select Linux and Debian (32 or 64 bit) as Type and Version respectively; click Next;

    3. Set the memory size; the more is the better, but this parameter should not exceed a half of the host system RAM (for instance if the host system has 1 GB of RAM, type 512 MB); click Next;

    4. In the Hard drive settings select Use an existing virtual hard drive file and select the downloaded file SemiAutomaticOS.vmdk; click Create;

  5. Start the Semi-Automatic OS by clicking the Start button;

  6. It is recommended to install the virtualbox-guest-utils in the virtual machine, from the Menu > Preferences > Synaptic Package Manager; it allows for a better integration of the Semi-Automatic OS in the host system, such as: the resize of the system window, or the folder sharing.

The Semi-Automatic OS includes a sample dataset of Landsat image (available from the U.S. Geological Survey) and a Sentinel-2 image (© Copernicus Sentinel data 2016) which are the input for the two basic tutorials.


Semi-Automatic OS is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, version 3 of the License. Semi-Automatic OS is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. See http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.