The MINC file format and toolbox was originally conceived, written and released by Peter Neelin in 1992 due to the frustrations of dealing with multiple file formats from varying scanners and research groups. In the ensuing years many associated tools (image registration, normalisation, visualisation, etc.) were written and have also been released. The original MINC file format and tools were based upon the NetCDF data format but problems were being encountered with multi-gigabyte datasets, as such a large rewrite of the library was undertaken in 2003 in which the data format was changed to HDF in order to support large files and other new features, resulting in MINC2. Development work on MINC1 was halted at version 1.5.1 in 2006. The current MINC2 library and tools are maintained by a group of developers in various image research labs around the world.

Another development effort, called the MINC toolkit, lead by Dr Vladimir Fonov, based solely on the MINC2 library (which can read MINC1 data). If you are new to MINC, then we suggest that you start here but keep in mind that this package is bleeding edge. The package was officially released on April 23 2012. This toolkit contains most of the commonly used MINC tools in one precompiled 64-bit binary package of Debian, Ubuntu and Mac OS X. Also contains interactive tools like register and Display, and some advanced tools such as patch-based segmentation, denoising and brain masking.

Getting Started

All BIC software source releases are stored on packages.bic.mni.mcgill.ca/ in the tgz directory. Prebuilt binaries are also available for a number of operating systems with various levels of support. 


All MINC documentation is stored on wikibooks such that anyone can contribute. This wikibook like all documentation is always in development, but contains the latest information and documentation.


The MINC package itself and most of the associated tools are licensed under a modified BSD license. The MINC license is shown below but be aware that some packages are released under differing licences such as the GPL. Check the COPYING file in the chosen package for details.

Copyright 1993-2014
McConnell Brain Imaging Centre
Montreal Neurological Institute
McGill University

Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice appear in all copies. The author and McGill University make no representations about the suitability of this software for any purpose.  It is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.



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