FreeSurfer Download and Install

Latest Version 7 Release is 7.4.1 (June 2023)

Public links to the Freesurfer v7 release downloads and installation instructions are on the release 7 downloads page 7.X_releases. Please note that Linux RPM/DEB and MacOS installer packages are available. We also provide a step-by-step installation demo video for MacOS.

If you have not yet upgraded to Freesurfer version 7, you can read about and compare versions 7 and 6 in the ReleaseNotes.

Martinos users should visit InternalFreeSurferDistributions for instructions on how to use pre-installed FreeSurfer distributions.

Freesurfer is also available pre-installed in a VM (virtual machine) image hosted by the open source Virtual Box application from Oracle systems. Virtual Box VM's run on most any Windows, Mac and Linux machine powered by Intel processors. The Virtual Box image can be downloaded from Freesurfer 7.X releases and instructions to setup the VM are under Freesurfer VirtualBox. For a less portable, i.e., Windows only, virtual setup see the instructions to install and run Freesurfer on Ubuntu Linux using the Windows Subsystem for Linux Freesurfer WSL2. Please note WSL2 requires an additional install of a 3rd party X-server on the Windows host in order to view images in applications such as Freeview (not necessary when running Virtual Box).

Previous Version 6 Release (Jan 2017)

Freesurfer v6 release downloads and installation instructions are here.

Important Note: When processing a group of subjects for your study, it is essential to process all your subjects with the same version of FreeSurfer, on the same OS platform and vendor, and for safety, even the same version of the OS. While we continue to work to ensure that results match across platforms, there are none-the-less system-level libraries that are OS dependent. An exception to this rule is that you may view and edit files across any platform or version, and run some post-processing tools (outside the recon-all stream) if you check with us first (for instance you may run the longitudinal processing with newer versions).

Other Versions

Development Version: Daily builds of the FreeSurfer development branch can be downloaded from here.

Older Releases: Previous releases of FreeSurfer can be downloaded from here.

Freeview: For instructions on how to update Freeview, FreeSurfer's visualization app, visit the following page: Updating Freeview.


A license key must be obtained to make the FreeSurfer tools operational. Obtaining a license is free and comes in the form of a license.txt file. Once you obtain the license.txt key file, copy it to your FreeSurfer installation directory. This is also the location defined by the FREESURFER_HOME environment variable.

Follow this link to obtain a license key.

Additional Resources

Try our tutorials

Sign up for a FreeSurfer course

Join the FreeSurfer mailing list, ask a question, or view the archives

openneuro_badge.svg A free and open platform that can be used to run FreeSurfer. For more information, click here.

DownloadAndInstall (last edited 2023-09-05 00:27:03 by buildqa)