Compiling on macOS using Homebrew

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What is homebrew and why use it

To quote from their website:

Homebrew is the missing package manager for OS X:

  • easy to install
  • does not need administrator privileges
  • installs packages to their own directory and then symlinks their files into /usr/local

For further information to install it and how to use it, see the Homebrew website and the Wiki.

The formulas to install programs are called recipes and they make it possible to install several version of the same program (as well as HEAD of different Version Control Systems) at the same time which can then be symlinked. This makes it perfect for the purpose of installing the master branch of GRASS GIS for testing purposes.

GRASS GIS 7.8 and later

There is an osgeo4mac which contains recipes for GRASS GIS 7.x and other GIS tools - highly recommendable tap!


To later get the GUI working, run

     pip3 install wxpython


Just run

     brew tap osgeo/osgeo4mac

and then

     brew install osgeo-grass

Easy, isn't it?

You can also install via URL:

     brew install


  • by running (change '7x' to the current version, e.g. 78)
     brew test -v grass-78

you can run GRASS GIS tests but they are not implemented as they should be - work in progress.

Starting it:

     grass78 --gui


OSGEO4mac has also a formalar to install the GRASS GIS 7 LTS.

Follow the procedure as described in section GRASS GIS 7.6+ but use

   brew install grass7-lts

GRASS GIS 7.0.x for El Capitan without disabling SIP

The new homebrew recipe for GRASS 7.0 does install on El Capitan with SIP enabled! This is thanks to Larry Shaffer. See

The recipe is part of the Homebrew-osgeo4mac tap, see

for info on how to use them.