Installation Guide

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For compilation of GRASS source code, see Compile and Install

This page explains the installation of GRASS binaries.

GRASS requires a workstation running some flavor of UNIX conforming to POSIX standards like Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, IRIX, or BSD. It is also possible to run GRASS in MS Windows by using UNIX translation software such as Cygwin or natively with MinGW. Ideally, you should have at least 500 Mb for data and 128 Mb RAM. The source code package needs around 30 MB uncompressed. The resulting binaries may need between 20 MB and 180 MB depending on your platform. During a full compilation you may need temporarily up to 150MB including the source code.

The Software Download Section of the main GRASS web site contains the latest binaries and source code for all supported platforms. That site also has general directions for installing GRASS manually. However, installation is slightly different on each operating system. Here you can find user-contributed pointers for installing GRASS on specific platforms. In particular, many operating systems have package management utilities that can greatly simplify GRASS installation.


  • winGRASS/Cygwin packages are provided here (requires Cygwin unix emulator, see there).
  • QGIS including native winGRASS packages are provided here (no Cygwin needed).



A binary version of GRASS is available from the apt repository. As root type:

 apt-get install grass grass-doc

This is the easiest way to install GRASS on Debian. If you choose to install a binary version manually from the main web site, be sure to follow the instructions for making symlinks found as a note to the [6.4 weekly snapshot] release.


There is also the wonderful DebianGIS project which has a more recent GRASS version with its related packages. Read here for more details

Compiling GRASS from source on Debian

Packages needed for (nearly) complete GRASS installation from source code:

flex, bison, libreadline5-dev | libreadline-dev, libncurses5-dev, lesstif2-dev, debhelper (>= 5), dpatch, 
libtiff4-dev, tcl-dev (>= 8.4) | tcl8.4-dev, tk-dev (>= 8.4) | tk8.4-dev, libfftw3-dev|fftw3-dev, libxmu-dev, libglu1-mesa-dev | libglu1-xorg-dev, 
libfreetype6-dev, autoconf2.13, autotools-dev, libgdal1-dev (>=1.4.0) | libgdal1-1.3.2-dev, proj (>= 4.4.7), libjpeg62-dev, 
libpng12-dev, libpq-dev, unixodbc-dev, doxygen, fakeroot, libmysqlclient15-dev, graphviz, libsqlite3-dev

Compile GRASS and package it (debian/testing)

 grass6$ fakeroot debian/rules binary


Fedoraproject provides RPM-packages for stable releases prepared to install on Fedora systems.


  • Mandriva itself provides PROJ/GDAL/GRASS RPMs. Older versions they are in the "backports" section.


  • OpenSuSE provides GRASS and related RPM-packages.


GRASS Binaries are available from apt/synaptic. From a terminal type:

 sudo apt-get install grass grass-doc

or alternatively, search for and install these packages from Synaptic. This is the easy way to get GRASS on your system. Even if you choose to install binaries from another source, you may want to install this version just so that all (most) dependencies are installed as painlessly as possible.

To get the latest version of GRASS on Ubuntu, compile the code from source. See the Compile and Install section for a shell script that makes this easy.


Slackware 12 packages for GRASS binary distributions and additional libraries are available from The Italian Slackware Community (release version) and here (SVN version).

Mac OS X

Precompiled Mac OSX packages can be found here and here.