Ubuntu Packaging

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News / Announcements

We need voluteers and support. Please see: Actions needing helping hands!


  • GRASS packages are provided by different repositories.
  • They are mostly distinguished by their level of up-to-dateness in respect to the GRASS source code.

Overview and Sources

An overview is given in the following table:

Repository Type Update Frequency Status Current version Source Details Link
Official Ubuntu Repositories universe Only updated before each Ubuntu release Stable at time of import 6.4.2-2 Imported from Debian repositories Overview
UbuntuGIS stable Upon request Stable at time of packaging 6.4.2 <ubuntu at lists.osgeo.org> ubuntugis-stable
UbuntuGIS unstable Upon request Unstable at time of packaging 6.4.2~x <ubuntu at lists.osgeo.org> ubuntugis-unstable
UbuntuGIS testing Upon request Very unstable at time of packaging 6.4.3-1~x
<ubuntu at lists.osgeo.org> ubuntugis-testing
GRASS PPA stable Daily upon change of GRASS source code Most recent fixes and backports to stable series 6.4.2+2 Imported from GRASS SVN of releasebranch_6_4 GRASS Packages: Stable Series
GRASS PPA unstable Daily upon change of GRASS source code Very unstable but latest development code 7.0.x Imported from GRASS SVN of releasebranch_7_0 GRASS Packages: Development Series
Official Debian Repositories stable/testing/unstable Follows official GRASS releases Upstream source of Ubuntu (and derivatives) packages 6.4.2-2 The DebianGIS Team (mainly Frankie and Hamish) http://packages.debian.org/grass DebianGIS

GRASS on Launchpad (LP)


  • GRASS team
    • Individuals which are dedicated to work on GRASS packaging for Ubuntu
    • Any user and developer is free and welcome to join!
    • New active members are needed!
    • Umbrella organisation for activities around GRASS on Launchpad
    • Administers the GRASS GIS Project
  • GRASS GIS Project
  • other future projects could be
    • Automatic packaging of AddOns
    • Further integration of GRASS in Ubuntu
    • Link to Live-CD projects such as OSGeo-Live

Others (UbuntuGIS)

Source Code

The source code is managed in a structure corresponding to the above organisation

GRASS Packaging

Offical Ubuntu Packages

These are based on the DebianGIS packages by Frankie and Hamish, packaging rules stored in DebianGIS's git repo -- see the debian/README.debian file in the GRASS source code for details. The official Ubuntu packages are automatically rebuilt from the current Debian packages every six months. If a newer version shows up in the Debian archives before the upcoming Ubuntu release is frozen, it is possible to file a request for the Ubuntu maintainers to re-pull the newer version from Debian (if you can get their attention).

Please base all downstream builds on these packaging rules, with appropriate version number changes to the top entry of the debian/changelog file to add "ubuntu", +svn rev, and whatever else special identifier is needed to show the package's heritage and difference from the official ones.

Please pass up and bug fixes and wish to bugs.debian.org against the grass source package. Thanks.

UbuntuGIS Packages

To be added.

GRASS PPA Packages


  1. GRASS source code is regularly imported upon change by LP (destination: see above)
  2. If source has changed, the package is build by
    1. nesting the debian package files (e.g. from lp:~grass/grass/grass64_release_debian for the 6.4.x stable series) in the original source (e.g. lp:~grass/grass/releasebranch_6_4 for the 6.4.x stable series)
    2. run the build process on LP for the chosen Ubuntu releases according to the instructions in the debian files (e.g. ~grass/grass/grass64_release_debian)
    3. Upload the package to the respective archive / PPA (e.g. GRASS Packages: Stable Series for 6.4.x stable series)

What do to on errors in the packaging process

  • If a package build fails, its most likely that there were changes in the upstream GRASS SVN
  • Then the debian files outlined above must be adapted:
    • branch the code of the debian files Bazaar (bzr) repository from launchpad
    • make the necessary changes locally
    • prepare the source running the recipe locally using
      • bzr dailydeb
      • bzr build
    • tests the build process on your machine using
      • pbuilder (recommended), or
      • dpkg-buildpackage (etc.)

Actions where help is needed

Outstanding tasks are:

  • Sync to the latest DebianGIS build rules
  • Check the correct update & daily builds for GRASS 6.4.x
  • Check if the upgrade to the next Ubuntu release (14.10) does not affect the packages
  • make the GRASS 7.0.x package failsave so that it can be activated for daily builds

Report bugs and issues

  • Report bugs only related to packages installed from the GRASS PPA on he Launchpad bug tracker.
  • Bugs related to GRASS functionality shall be reported directly to GRASS trac

Interested contributors, please come in here and give something back to the GRASS community!

See also