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Lin4Neuro: a customized Linux distribution ready for neuroimaging analysis

Kiyotaka Nemoto1*, Ippeita Dan2, Christopher Rorden3, Takashi Ohnishi4, Daisuke Tsuzuki5, Masako Okamoto6, Fumio Yamashita1 and Takashi Asada1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Ten-nodai Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8575, Japan

2 Functional Brain Science Lab., Center for Development of Advanced Medical Technology, Jichi Medical University, 3311-1 Yakushiji Shimotsuke, Tochigi, 329-0498, Japan

3 GeorgiaState/GeorgiaTech Center for Advanced Brain Imaging, Georgia Institute of Technology, 831 Marietta Street, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA

4 Department of Psychosomatic Research, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 4-1-1 Ogawa-Higashi Kodaira, Tokyo, 187-8553, Japan

5 Graduate School of System and Information Engineering, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Ten-nodai Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8575, Japan

6 Animal Global Health Program, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Verterinary Medicine, Inada-cho, Obihiro, Hokkaido, 080-8555, Japan

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BMC Medical Imaging 2011, 11:3  doi:10.1186/1471-2342-11-3

Published: 25 January 2011



A variety of neuroimaging software packages have been released from various laboratories worldwide, and many researchers use these packages in combination. Though most of these software packages are freely available, some people find them difficult to install and configure because they are mostly based on UNIX-like operating systems. We developed a live USB-bootable Linux package named "Lin4Neuro." This system includes popular neuroimaging analysis tools. The user interface is customized so that even Windows users can use it intuitively.


The boot time of this system was only around 40 seconds. We performed a benchmark test of inhomogeneity correction on 10 subjects of three-dimensional T1-weighted MRI scans. The processing speed of USB-booted Lin4Neuro was as fast as that of the package installed on the hard disk drive. We also installed Lin4Neuro on a virtualization software package that emulates the Linux environment on a Windows-based operation system. Although the processing speed was slower than that under other conditions, it remained comparable.


With Lin4Neuro in one's hand, one can access neuroimaging software packages easily, and immediately focus on analyzing data. Lin4Neuro can be a good primer for beginners of neuroimaging analysis or students who are interested in neuroimaging analysis. It also provides a practical means of sharing analysis environments across sites.