The pipeline command is used to execute Pipeline JSON. The pipeline is run in stream mode if possible. See Reading with PDAL or Pipeline for more information.

$ pdal pipeline <input>
--input, -i               Input filename
--pipeline-serialization  Output file for pipeline serialization
--validate                Validate but do not process the pipeline.
    Also reports whether a pipeline can be streamed.
--progress                Name of file or FIFO to which stages should write
    progress information. The file/FIFO must exist. PDAL will not create the
    progress file.
--stdin, -s               Read pipeline from standard input
--metadata                Metadata filename
--nostream                Don't run in stream mode, even if technically


The pipeline command can accept command-line option substitutions and they replace existing options that are specified in the input JSON pipeline. If multiple stages of the same name exist in the pipeline, all stages would be overridden. For example, to set the output and input LAS files for a pipeline that does a translation, the filename for the reader and the writer can be overridden:

$ pdal pipeline translate.json --writers.las.filename=output.laz \

Option substitution can also refer to the tag of an individual stage. This can be done by using the syntax –stage.<tagname>.<option>. This allows options to be set on individual stages, even if there are multiple stages of the same type. For example, if a pipeline contained two LAS readers with tags las1 and las2 respectively, the following command would allow assignment of different filenames to each stage:

    "pipeline" : [
            "tag" : "las1",
            "type" : "readers.las"
            "tag" : "las2",
            "type" : "readers.las"

$ pdal pipeline translate.json --writers.las.filename=output.laz \
    --stage.las1.filename=file1.las --stage.las2.filename=file2.las

Options specified by tag names override options specified by stage types.