SARbian OS

The free and open SAR operating system.

Don’t spend your time installing software,
spend it processing data!

We’ve built a free plug’n‘play Operation System (based on Debian Linux) with all the freely and
openly available SAR processing software. No knowledge of installation steps needed, just download
and get started with SAR data processing.

SARbian is free for use in research, education or operational work.

SARbian is not affiliated with Debian. Debian is a registered trademark owned by Software in the Public Interest, Inc.

What is SARbian OS?

An easy-to-use Linux-based SAR processing operating system.

The idea behind SARbian roots in the difficulties with installing and compiling of free source SAR processing

software that many users experience. Especially if they are new to the world of data processing and use of open
software. SARbian is an attempt to make SAR data processing easier. Download, start SARbian, process SAR data.

SARbian OS includes only free and open SAR software. No need to worry about copyright infringements or expensive licenses. Just get started with SAR processing.

General SAR Processing

SAR polarimetry

SAR interferometry





How to get SARbian?

SARbian is free for anybody.
There are three different ways to acquire SARbian.

Download as .ISO-file

If you don’t care about system setups and specifications, this version of SARbian OS is just for you. There are only a few steps to get started:

  1. Download the iso file
  2. Create a live medium – burn the iso image on DVD or prepare a USB key (Alternatively, create a virtual machine)
  3. Boot the live system and choose ‘Live (amd64)‘ or ‘Live (amd64 failsafe)
    (Only choose install if you really, really want to permanently install SARbian on your hard disk)
  4. Start processing SAR data

 How to get the .iso running?

Download as Virtual Machine

If you want to run SARbian in a virtual machine, you can download the .OVA file.

  1. Download virtual machine file (.OVA)
  2. Extract the .ZIP file
  3. Import the .OVA file into your favourite virtualization software
    (make sure to check if the hardware configuration is suitable for your system)
  4. Launch the virtual machine
  5. Start processing SAR data

 How to open an .ova file?



  • Debian Version changed to 10.0
  • Software updates
    • SNAP 7.0
    • PolSARPro 6.0.1
    • RStudio 1.2.1335
    • pyroSAR
    • GMTSAR 5.7
    • Orfeo Toolbox 6.6.1
    • Julia 1.0.3
    • R-Packages: caret, cowplot, dplyr, foreach, ggplot2, openair, readxl, reshape2, scales
  • PyRAT not included in 2019.08, due to installation issues
  • Debian Version changed to 9.5
  • Software updates
    • SNAP 6.0.0
    • ASF MapReady
    • RStudio Desktop
    • pyroSAR
  • NEW SOFTWARE: python package ‘spatialist
  • new desktop background

Build your own SARbian iso file

If you are an experienced Linux user, you might want to see and adapt the build scripts. We provide the entire build on Github for you to explore.
  1. Read the developers manual and prepare your system for building
  2. Clone the repository from Github
  3. Run ‘sudo ./scripts/
  4. The created iso file is in the ‘sarbian-xfce‘ directory
  5. See step 2 and following under “Download the SARbian iso file”

 You would like to contribute? Make sure to check out our github repository.

About the developers

SARbian is an initiative of the SAR-EDU team @ Friedrich-Schiller University Jena.

SARbian was conceived and developed by the SAR-EDU team at Friedrich-Schiller University Jena.


SARbian OS was funded by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) as part of the project SAR-EDU, conducted at the Friedrich-Schiller University Jena.


User: saredu

Password: sarbian


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The system requirements are depending on the amount of data and the complexity of processing that will be conducted. We recommend the following system parameters to run SARbian smoothly:

  • Processors: 4 cores (64-bit)
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • GPU: 128 MB
  • Hard disc: 30 GB