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WinGRASS 6.5 Project Web Page

GRASS Windows-Native Project

Note: Alternatively to the package available here, you can also download daily winGRASS binary snapshots.

Table of Contents


GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System) is a free, open source Geographical Information System (GIS) capable of handling raster, topological vector, image processing, and graphic data.

GRASS is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

Visit the GRASS GIS main web site at

Release Notes

WinGRASS is a project of the GRASS Development Team with the goal of creating a native Microsoft Windows version of the GRASS software. For the past two and a half decades GRASS has primarily been written for and run on high powered UNIX workstations. Refitting the software's approximately one million lines of source code to run smoothly on Windows has been no mean feat and has taken a few years of development effort.

WinGRASS is still an experimental project, hence it can't be considered a complete and fully working release of GRASS for Windows. Some features are missing (see Missing Modules section in this document), some known bugs still need to be fixed (see Known Issues section), and other features may not work yet. Nevertheless, we are getting closer and are quite proud of the progress that has been made. It is our goal that the 6.5 release be a usable and useful tool for all GIS users regardless of their chosen computer platform.

See also

The current release of WinGRASS, based on GRASS 6.5, has been built on Windows Vista in the MinGW environment. The program builds on the following open source softwares and libraries (assistance for building many of these has been provided by the OSGeo4W and GnuWin projects):

  • MSYS (1.0.11-3)
  • Bison (2.1)
  • Flex (2.5.4a-1)
  • Curl (7.15.1-2)
  • Expat (2.0.1)
  • Regex (2.7)
  • FFTW (3.2)
  • PDCurses (3.3)
  • Freetype-mingw (2.3.7)
  • Zlib (1.2.3)
  • GDAL (1.5.4-2)*
  • PROJ.4 (4.7.0)
  • Libgeotiff (1.2.5-2)
  • Libpng (1.2.34)
  • Libtiff (4.0.0dev-9)**
  • Libjpeg (6b-5)
  • AVCE00 (2.0.0)
  • GPSBabel (1.3.6)
  • PostgreSQL (8.2.3)
  • SQLite (3.3.8)
  • PyOpenGL (3.0.0b8)
  • Python-numpy (2.5-1.1.0)
  • Python-win32 (2.12)
  • wxPython (
  • Tcl/Tk (tcltk-8.5.6)
  • Iconv (1.9.1)
  • Gettext (0.14.4)
  • Libintl (0.14.4)
  • Xerces-C (2.7.0)
  • msvcrt (1.0.1-2)
  • Libxml2 (2.6.23)
  • bc (1.06)

The current package contains a complete build (libraries and executables) of all the items listed above, except for PostgreSQL, for which the package provides only the main dynamic library due to the large size of its full install.

All the above softwares and libraries have been built from sources with the exception of:

The WinGRASS Installer has been made using the OpenSource NSIS (Nullsoft Scriptable Install System) software, available at:

Installing GRASS

To install GRASS, launch 'WinGRASS-6.5.SVN-r45072-1-extended-Setup.exe' and simply follow the step by step instructions.

If installed into a directory that has spaces in either its name or the path of directories leading up to it, some functionalities of GRASS might be hampered. We would highly appreciate if you tried and reported any problems, so that we can fix them. However, if you want to avoid any such issues, we recommend that you choose a simple installation path without spaces, such as C:\GRASS.

Launching GRASS

There are three main options for launching GRASS: the new wxPython GUI, the older Tcl/Tk based GUI, and in a DOS console. The following descriptions refer to the GRASS Group in the Windows Start Menu:

Click on this icon (in the GRASS Start Group or on the Desktop) to launch GRASS with the new wxPython GUI.

Click on the GRASS msys icon (in the GRASS Start Group or on the Desktop) to launch GRASS with the new wxPython GUI and a companion UNIX-like terminal shell.

Click on this icon to launch GRASS in text mode on the Windows command line.

Click on the GRASS "Old GUI" icon to launch GRASS with the older Tcl/Tk GUI (GIS.m).
Click on this icon to open a MSYS console which will let you work within a UNIX-like shell environment.

Sample Data

As installation option you can also download and install the following GRASS sample data sets:

North Carolina Data Set

Used as sample data in the book "Open Source GIS: A GRASS GIS Approach", 3rd edition, this data set is a comprehensive collection of raster, vector and imagery data covering parts of North Carolina (NC), USA. It has been prepared from public data sources provided by North Carolina state and local government agencies and the Global Land Cover Facility (GLCF). The primary focus is on Wake County.
See also

South Dakota Data Set

Also known as the Spearfish data set, it contains raster, vector and point data for Spearfish County, South Dakota, USA (near Mount Rushmore). It is used in many of the module help page examples.
See also

The sample data files will be installed into a directory called "GIS DataBase", which will be created in your Windows user's Documents folder.

Getting Started

First time users should explore the first steps tutorial after installing. Currently this still refers to the old GIS.m Tcl/Tk GUI frontend, but most of it should translate to the new GUI.

Some brief instructions for starting the new wxPython GUI are given here, but to avoid getting too confused early on you should have a quick read through the GRASS quick introduction pages and the GRASS wiki site. The documents there will help explain a lot of the concepts and jargon you will need to know.

Missing Modules

The following modules are missing in the current WinGRASS release:

Known Issues

See the WinGRASS Known Issues page on the GRASS wiki site.

Uninstalling GRASS

To uninstall GRASS click on this icon in the GRASS Start Group menu and follow the instructions.

How to Submit Bugs

We would highly appreciate if you contributed to the WinGRASS project by submitting bug reports or informing us about them through the Windows GRASS Mailing List. Bugs only get fixed if we know about them! Please make sure to include information on which installer version you were using, what GUI you were using (wxpython, tcl/tk), and whether or not you used the msys option.

Build GRASS From Source

If you want to work on the latest development version of GRASS you must build it from the source code. This process has recently been greatly simplified for Windows environments, see for instructions.

GRASS Development Team

The GRASS Development Team is a multi-national group consisting of scientists and developers participating from various fields.

For more information, see

Credits and Contacts

The WinGRASS project has been created and is currently developed by the GRASS Development Team.

The WinGRASS self-contained binary package (including all the builds and the installer script) was originally developed by Marco Pasetti for GRASS 6.3.0, and is now maintained by Colin Nielsen and Helmut Kudrnovsky.

To contact us, send an e-mail to the appropriate mailing list.

Last change: $Date: 2011-03-16 05:33:05 -0700 (Wed, 16 Mar 2011) $
$Author: martinl $