QGIS Plugin

WhiteboxTools functionality can also be accessed conveniently through the popular open-source geospatial software QGIS. QGIS developer Alexander Bruy maintains a plugin for the toolbox called WhiteboxTools For Processing.

The Whitebox for QGIS plugin works QGIS v3 but cannot be installed on the earlier v2 series. The minimum QGIS version supported by the plugins is currently 3.18.0. If you are using an older version of QGIS, you will need to update before the following procedure for installation will work.

The WhiteboxTools QGIS plugin toolbox

Installation of the Plugin

  1. From the Plugins menu, select Manage and Install Plugins....
  2. Select the Settings tab and press the Add button.
  3. In the Repository details dialog box, enter something logical, such as Alex Bruy Plugins in the Name textbox.
  4. In the URL textbox, enter https://plugins.bruy.me/plugins/plugins.xml and press OK.

The WhiteboxTools QGIS plugin toolbox installation

  1. Select the All tab and enter the word 'whitebox' in the search box. Whitebox for Processing should appear the search listing. Select and check this toolbox and press the Install button.

The WhiteboxTools QGIS plugin toolbox installation

Note that the QGIS plugin does not come with a copy of the WhiteboxTools executable and so you will still need to download WhiteboxTools from the Whitebox download page.

  1. Once you've downloaded WhiteboxTools and decompressed (unzipped) the folder, select Options from under the Settings menu in QGIS.

  2. Select the Processing tab and the Providers list item. You should find the WhiteboxTools entry there. Select the down arrow, and check the Activate and Log commands output checkboxes. Lastly, enter full file name of the WhiteboxTools executable file contained within the decompressed WhiteboxTools folder that you downloaded previously (see note above). If you are using a Mac or Linux computer, note that this may require you to 1) select a file contained in the folder that is not the executable (QGIS seems to exclude files without extensions, which the WhiteboxTools executable is on MacOS and Linux) then delete the file extension (see below). You will also need to leave the textbox by selecting any other feature on the dialog box before pressing the OK button.

The WhiteboxTools QGIS plugin toolbox installation

You should now see the Whitebox toolbox within the Processing Toolbox at the right-hand side of the QGIS interface, as in the screenshots above.

Updating the Plugin Tools

Because the QGIS WhiteboxTools frontend is maintained solely by the generosity of volunteers (namely Alex Bruy), it is sometimes the case that it is not up-to-date with respect to the number and parameterization of tools in the latest version of the WhiteboxTools backend, or the WhiteboxTools extension products. Nevertheless, there is a process by which you can manually update the tool descriptions to be in sync with the latest version of WhiteboxTools. See here for instructions on how to update the QGIS frontend to include all of the tools that are available in the most current version of the WhiteboxTools backend, including any tools that are part of a WhiteboxTools extension product.