GRASS migration hints

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There is a lot of help on the web, this wiki and in the user manual. However, a lot of people are available on the mailing lists and at other places.

Guides and tips for migration

Migrating from ESRI products

Migrating from older versions of GRASS GIS

GIS "The GRASS way"

When migrating to GRASS GIS, it is useful to review its design and values. Here are the highlights.


  • Support for all major platforms including Linux, Mac OS X and MS Windows
  • All code POSIX C and generic UNIX compatible
  • GRASS GIS works not only on powerful desktops but also on low-end laptops all the way down to devices such as Raspberry Pi.
  • GRASS GIS also works on servers, clusters for scientific computing, and on other supper computer or cloud setups
  • 64bit and 32bit versions


  • GRASS GIS Performance
  • 64bit version offers even better performance and capacity on all platforms including MS Windows

All in one

  • With GRASS GIS you are getting full selection of analysis including but not limited to hydrology, terrain analysis, network analysis and image processing. No installing or purchasing of additional tools or plugins.
  • GRASS GIS aims to process all kinds of geospatial data in a unified way including vectors, rasters, images, 3D rasters and their time series.


  • GRASS GIS is made up of modular tools specifically designed for easy scriptability in any number of common scripting languages, see for example GRASS and Shell
  • Interface for direct hooks into higher scripting languages especially Python but also R and Bash/Shell, see GRASS and Python and
  • GRASS GIS can run without any GUI when the full path to the mapset is provided in the command line parameters. If "GRASS_BATCH_JOB=/path/to/" environmental variable is set GRASS 6+ will run the script as a batch job and exit when it is complete. Same applies to --exec parameter in GRASS 7.1+. See also grass7 command manual and GRASS and Shell.


Collaboration with external software is highly encouraged.


  • All users are free to run the GRASS GIS for any purpose, study how it works, copy it and redistribute it, and even change it.
  • Freedoms ensured by GNU General Public License (GPL)
  • Rocchini, D., Neteler, M., 2012. Let the four freedoms paradigm apply to ecology. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 27, 310–311., (full text)

External links: Software Comparisons

Some information may be outdated. Note the year of individual resources.