Compile and Install Ubuntu

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Revision as of 15:28, 29 December 2012 by NikosA (talk | contribs) (<source lang="bash">, minor wording changes)
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Very Important notes

  • Pre-compiled packages and backports are available from UbuntuGIS via their ppa.launchpad repositories. This is by far the simplest and fastest solution. Please prefer it over the manual way described below.
  • To build an updated version of GRASS or support libraries unmodified, in most cases it will be easier to use an automated build tool such as pbuilder, debuild or cowbuilder. See the debian/ directory in the source code for details.
  • Some things change fast and therefore it is expected that the instructions might fail. Please inform the grass-user list in case something just does not work (like for example non-available dependecies/packages from the repositories) or update the wiki respectively.
  • GRASS version 6.5 exists for development purposes for testing features to-be backported to version 6.4. As such it may include unstable code and is not intended for end-users.
  • An alternate method is to use the DebianGIS packaging scripts, which enable a lot of this to happen automatically (see debian/README.debian in the GRASS Subversion source code repository). Specifically, this command will get you 90% of the way there:
sudo apt-get build-dep grass


  • Installation of a compiled code can be done by using the tool checkinstall (i.e., sudo checkinstall instead of sudo make install) which makes removal of packages easier. If checkinstall fails to deliver please note a related bug: 78455 and 599163. Useful information on the use of checkinstall: Compiling things on Ubuntu the Easy Way.
  • In multi-core processors compilation performance can be boosted with -j switches (e.g. make -j2 or make -j3 or make -j4) which specify the number of jobs (commands) to run simultaneously.


  • for Ubuntu Quantal Quetzal (12.10)
  • update the system from the repositories
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
  • install SQLite, SVN and dependencies for compiling PROJ, GEOS, GDAL/OGR, GRASS, GDAL-GRASS-PLUGIN; the following action will also install various dependencies (listed in the command line as The following extra packages will be installed:...):
sudo apt-get install \
 build-essential \
 make flex bison gcc libgcc1 g++ cmake ccache \
 python python-dev python-qt4 python-qt4-dev \
 python-opengl \
 python-wxversion python-wxtools python-wxgtk2.8 \
 python-dateutil libgsl0-dev python-numpy \
 wx2.8-headers wx-common libwxgtk2.8-dev libwxgtk2.8-dbg \
 libwxbase2.8-dev  libwxbase2.8-dbg \
 libncurses5-dev \
 zlib1g-dev gettext \
 libtiff-dev libpnglite-dev \
 tcl8.5-dev tk8.5-dev \
 libcairo2 libcairo2-dev \
 sqlite3 libsqlite3-dev \
 libpq-dev \
 libreadline6 libreadline6-dev libfreetype6-dev \
 txt2tags \
 libfftw3-3 libfftw3-dev \
 libqt4-core libqt4-dbg libqt4-dev libqt4-gui libqt4-sql libqt4-qt3support \
 lsb-qt4 qt4-designer qt4-dev-tools qt4-doc qt4-qtconfig \
 libapt-pkg-perl resolvconf \
 libjasper-dev \
 ruby \
 subversion \
 ffmpeg ffmpeg2theora \
 libffmpegthumbnailer-dev \
 libavcodec-dev \
 libxmu-dev \
 libavformat-dev libswscale-dev \
 checkinstall \
 libglu1-mesa-dev libxmu-dev
  • for mysql support, installing libmysqlclient-dev is required
sudo apt-get install libmysqlclient-dev
  • for Ubuntu Precise Pangolin (12.04), change the following dependencies:
libpnglite-dev --> libpngwriter-dev
libtiff5-dev --> libtiff4-dev
  • for Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat (10.10) or later, change the following dependencies:
libpngwriter-dev --> libpngwriter0-dev
libcairo-dev --> libcairo2-dev
fftw3 --> libfftw3-3
fftw3-dev --> libfftw3-dev
  • for Ubuntu Lucid Lynx (10.04) or later, also install:
sudo apt-get install libhdf4-alt-dev libhdf4-0-alt
  • for earlier Ubuntu versions, also install:
sudo apt-get install libhdf4g-dev libhdf4g-run
  • create a directory as a simple user where all source code is going to be stored (in this example a directory called src under /usr/local is used)
sudo mkdir /usr/local/src
  • grant rwx (read-write-execute) permissions for our userid/ groupid on the directory (replace words userid and groupid with real userid):
sudo chown userid:groupid /usr/local/src
sudo chmod ug+rwx /usr/local/src

Using pre-compiled dev Packages for PROJ.4, GEOS and GDAL


Install the dev package (possibly without support for datumgrid):

sudo apt-get install libproj-dev
  • In the call to ./configure for GRASS, replace --with-proj-share=/usr/local/share/proj/ by --with-proj-share=/usr/share/proj/


Install the dev package:

sudo apt-get install libgeos-dev
  • In the call to ./configure for GRASS, replace --with-geos=/usr/local/bin/geos-config by --with-geos=/usr/bin/geos-config


Install the dev package (possibly without support for datumgrid):

sudo apt-get install libgdal-dev
  • Install also the required extra packages (note the message: The following extra packages will be installed:)
  • Look out for packages to be removed by this operation -- this is most likely caused by incompatible package versions. Fix these problems in advance using commands like the following:
    sudo apt-get install <package>=<required.version>


Jump to sub-section GRASS-GIS below

Compile from source


  • within the directory /usr/local/src (create it if it does not exist) checkout proj from its Subversion repository:
svn co
mv /usr/local/src/proj/nad
cd /usr/local/src/proj/nad
  • decompress it
  • go to proj directory
cd /usr/local/src/proj
  • if required, clean previous configuration & compilation
make distclean
  • simple configure, compile and install
./configure  &&  make  &&  sudo make install
  • go to src directory
cd /usr/local/src


  • move to the "source-code" directory and decompress
cd /usr/local/src/
bunzip2 geos-3.3.5.tar.bz2
tar xvf  geos-3.3.5.tar
  • if required, clean previous configuration & compilation
make distclean
  • move to geos directory
cd geos-3.3.5
  • simple configure, compile and install
./configure  &&  make  &&  sudo make install
  • ensure that /usr/local/lib is added to /etc/ and run /sbin/ldconfig afterwards
sudo ldconfig


  • GDAL must be compiled without GRASS support
  • download current stable version
svn checkout gdal_stable
  • enter in directory gdal_stable
cd /usr/local/src/gdal_stable
  • optionally, update the source code
svn up
  • if required, clean previous configurations/compilations
make distclean
  • a simple configuration without any parameters will detect and support various installed librairies
  • skip to the compile and install step or check below another customised configuration example
CFLAGS="-g -Wall" LDFLAGS="-s" ./configure \
--with-png=internal \
--with-libtiff=internal \
--with-geotiff=internal \
--with-jpeg=internal \
--with-gif=internal \
--with-ecw=yes \
--with-expat=yes \
--with-expat-inc=/usr/include/ \
--with-expat-lib=/usr/lib \
--with-sqlite3=yes \
--with-geos=yes \
--with-python \
--with-libz=internal \
--with-netcdf \
--with-sqlite \
--with-threads=yes \
--without-grass  \
--without-ogdi \
--with-pg=/usr/bin/pg_config \
  • compile, install & ldconfig
make -j2  &&  sudo make install  &&  sudo ldconfig
  • alternatively, checkinstall can be used instead of make install. A deb package will be created and installed (which can be easily uninstalled)
make -j2  &&  sudo checkinstall  &&  sudo ldconfig


Before attempting to compile GRASS, read within the INSTALL file (located in GRASS' source code root directory) section (C) titled COMPILATION NOTES for 64bit platforms.

Getting GRASS' source code

  • get current state of the 6.4.x release branch version (stable)
svn co grass64_release

To download under development versions use:

  • for GRASS 6.5 (Note: GRASS version 6.5 is not intended for end-users! It exists for development purposes which should rather take place for GRASS 7.)
svn checkout grass6_devel
  • for GRASS 7
svn checkout grass_trunk
  • for subsequent updates execute:
svn up

Configure, Compile and Install

  • if required, clean previous configuration & compilation (not needed the first time)
make distclean
  • example configuration (which can/should be adjusted according to specific needs):
 ./configure \
 --enable-largefile=yes \
 --with-nls \
 --with-cxx \
 --with-proj-share=/usr/share/proj \
 --with-geos=/usr/bin/geos-config \
 --with-python=yes \
 --with-wxwidgets \
 --with-cairo \
 --with-tcltk-includes="/usr/include/tcl8.5/" \
 --with-opengl-libs=/usr/include/GL \
 --with-motif \
 --with-ffmpeg=yes --with-ffmpeg-includes="/usr/include/libavcodec /usr/include/libavformat /usr/include/libswscale" \
 --with-freetype=yes --with-freetype-includes="/usr/include/freetype2/" \
 --with-postgres=yes \
 --with-postgresql=yes --with-postgres-includes="/usr/include/postgresql" \
 --with-sqlite=yes \
 --with-mysql=yes --with-mysql-includes="/usr/include/mysql" \

Note: when not using PROJ 4 from repository, replace above related line with --with-proj-share=/usr/local/share/proj/ \ (and do so likewise for GEOS)

  • compile & install
make -j2  &&  sudo make install  &&  sudo ldconfig
  • alternatively, checkinstall can be used instead of make install. A deb package will be created and installed (which can be easily uninstalled)
make -j2  &&  sudo checkinstall  &&  sudo ldconfig


  • create /etc/ or add in /etc/ the GRASS library path, i.e. /usr/local/src/grass64_release/lib
  • optionally, clean previous configurations/compilations
make distclean
  • configure -- point to GRASS installation/binaries
./configure \
--prefix=/usr/local \
--with-gdal=/usr/local/bin/gdal-config \
--with-grass=/geo/osgeo/src/grass64_release/dist.x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu/ \
--with-autoload="/usr/local/lib/gdalplugins/" \
--with-ld-shared="g++ -shared"
  • for GRASS 6.5 replace the respective line above, depending on where the source code in question is stored, with something like
  • for GRASS 7
  • compile & install using checkinstall
make -j2  &&  sudo checkinstall

Post compilation/installation control

  • in case of errors in future compilation attempts, remember to remove program binaries and files created with the "configuration" from previous compilations with
make distclean
  • another common mistake is compiling a module against some GRASS version and then try to run it through another GRASS version. The solution is to recompile the affected module or, in case there are multiple GRASS installations, set up properly LD_LIBRARY_PATH paths.

Removal of GRASS

To get rid of a GRASS binaries installation, delete

  • /usr/local/grass-6.4.0svn (directory, binaries location)
  • /usr/local/bin/grass64 (file)
  • /usr/local/bin/gem64 (file)
  • /home/username/.grassrc6 (file)

If needed, remove also the source code:

  • /usr/local/src/grass_64svn (directory, source code location)

To remove grass (or any other package) installed by using checkinstall, e.g.

sudo dpkg -r grass64 # package name defined at installation is important