GRASS Quick Start
Installation Instructions

WARNING: These instructions pertain to the 4.x release of GRASS. Users are urged to consult the complete installation guide for more detailed instructions.

The install/compile process for GRASS 5.x is much more easy comparing to GRASS 4.x. GRASS 5.x is compiled using configure and make install. Refer to the GRASS 5 Installation files in the source for specific instructions.

$GIS/src - This directory contains scripts and files used to compile GRASS. By running scripts and changing lists of programs you generate GRASS binaries for your system.

You may mount a disk containing GRASS source on different types of machines and compile without making source code copies. You follow the following instructions for each machine.

WARNING: These instructions presume that you have familiarity with UNIX, C, make, and shell scripting. Murphy's law visits GRASS regularly and your expertise in these matters will be the best defense against Mr. Murphy.

WARNING: These instructions and scripts have been used to compile GRASS on various machines. Please mail results of using this information for compiling GRASS 4.x on your platforms and operating system to:

Start in the grass4.x_src directory. Then move into the src/CMD directory and start there.


    GISGEN      script which will compile GRASS

    MAKELINKS   script used after GISGEN to establish the user executable
    VERSION     current version number and date of the GRASS release

    generic/    system independent files need by gmake
                  gmake     shell script which does compilations
                  make.def  make variables
                  make.tail some additional make rules

    head/       gmake header file(s) for this site.  Header files are
                  created by running the utils/setup command.

    lists/      lists of programs to be compiled
                  GRASS     standard GRASS programs
                  local     site specific GRASS programs
                  ...       architecture dependent GRASS programs

    next_step/  files used by GISGEN to keep track of how far along
                it is in the compilation. Used to restart
                GISGEN (after a failure) where it left off.

    utils/      contains the 'setup' script and all support scripts
                and files needed by 'setup'


 (1) Generate files that contain location and machine specific make

 (2) Edit files containing lists of location and machine specific
     programs to be compiled (generally printer, digitizer, and graphics

 (3) Run GRASS compilation script

 (4) Run GRASS program linking script

 (5) Edit device driver configuratin files

 (6) Compile GRASS contributed, alpha programs.

 (7) Compile GRASS related and hybrid programs.


(1) Generate make support files

Each machine and location needs to have GRASS compiled in ways that specify different:

The shell script utils/setup assists you in define many of the make options and definitions that will become part of every compile-time generated makefile (about 350). It also creates your shell script for compiling individual GRASS programs - gmake4.2.

Run "utils/setup" and answer the questions.

The makefile portions are placed in the head/ under a name which you specify/approve in the utils/setup process. The executable shell script which directs compilation is placed in (by default) /usr/local/bin.

Examine the just created file in head/ to make sure things are ok. A brief description for each defined variable follows:

  ARCH            = Key name identifying the architecture of the machine
                    on which you are compiling GRASS.
  GISBASE         = Directory into which compiled GRASS will be contained
  UNIX_BIN        = Local directory where the GRASS entry program and gmake
                    will be contained
  DEFAULT_DATABASE= Directory where local GRASS data bases are contained
  DEFAULT_LOCATION= GRASS data base that users get as the first default
  COMPILE_FLAGS   = Compilation flags
  LDFLAGS         = Load flags
  TERMLIB         = System library containing low-level cursor movement
  CURSES          = System library that supports screen cursor control
  MATHLIB         = System math library
  LIBRULE         = Method for archiving and randomizing libraries
  USE_TERMIO      = Flag to use the termio library if available
  USE_MTIO        = Flag to use the mtio library if available
  CAN_CLEAR       = Flag indicating that the terminal screen can be cleared
  DIGITFLAGS      = Flags to set owner and priority of the v.digit program

(2) Edit files containing lists of location and machine specified programs

The directory lists/ contains files that list directories that will be compiled. Directory names are relative to the GRASS src directory. The file lists/GRASS lists all basic GRASS programs that get compiled at every site. The file lists/local and lists/$ARCH.

    $ARCH is the architecture name you approved while running the
    utils/setup script.  You can determine this by running:
        gmake4.2 -sh | grep ARCH
There man not be a lists/$ARCH file, but you are free to create it to add names of programs you want compiled specifically for this architecture. It is an architecture-specific list which allows NFS linked source code to compile one set of programs for one machine, and another set for another machine. All machines that share the same source code via NFS mounts will compile the directories listed in lists/local.

All lists may contain comment lines - indicated by a # as the first character in the line. The lists/local file contains lists of all digitizer, graphics, and paint (hard-copy map) drivers. All machine specific devices are commented out - you must uncomment those that are particular to your site or architecture. You are encouraged to move the graphics driver items to the appropriate lists/$ARCH file.

(3) Run GRASS compilation program

The script GISGEN drives the compilation process. If all goes well you will be able to simply enter the command GISGEN and wait. The entire compilation process takes from about 1/2 hour on the faster workstations to about 8 hours on the slower workstations.

GISGEN collects all of the directory names to be compiled from lists/GRASS lists/$ARCH and lists/local and begins running gmake4.2 in each directory. Screen output is a collection of messages from GISGEN and from the UNIX make program. Failure at any step will halt compilation. On failure you might do one of the following things:

  1 - Fix a compilation problem by modifying code in the directory that
      failed.  After modification, return to this directory and rerun
      GISGEN.  Compilation will pick up at the failed directory and continue
      down the list of directories if successful.

  2 - Restart GISGEN.  If the failure requires modifications to code already
      compiled, or the compilation options you set in step 1, you must 
      remove next_step/$ARCH (or next_step/next_step if ar architecture name 
      was not specified in step 2.  You may then rerun GISGEN.

  3 - Skip the failed directory.  In this case you must seek through the 
      files list/GRASS lists/$ARCH and lists/local to determine the directory
      name that follows the failed directory name.  The failed name is in
      next_step/$ARCH and must be replaced in that file with the next name.
      After editing, rerun GISGEN

When complete GISGEN will put the word DONE into the next_step file and will print the phrase "DONE generating GIS binary code" to the screen.

(4) Run GRASS program linking script

The GISGEN directs a compilation process that stashes the GRASS programs away in directories unavailable to the user community. Most user commands are actually links to a single program called "front.end". Links to this program must be made for every actual GRASS program. This is done AFTER GISGEN is finished. To make (or re-make) links for all user programs run the script MAKELINKS.

(5) Edit device driver configuratin files

Your compiled system may any combination of several graphics, paint, and digitizer drivers. Refer to the GRASS installation instructions for details.

NOTE: If you have trouble compiling your graphics driver, go to the directory $GIS/src/display/devices and compile the proper drivers manually using gmake4.2.

(6) Compile GRASS contributed, alpha programs.

GRASS programs come in three flavors:

MAIN - The programs are those compiled in step 3. They have stood the test of time and are generally reliable programs.

ALPHA - Alpha programs are intended to be included with the MAIN programs in the next release.

CONTRIB - Sites generate lots of special purpose programs in GRASS to get some job done, but do not polish the effort sufficiently to even be considered alpha code can be distributed in this category.

ALPHA programs are found in the directory src.alpha. You, the installer may visit these programs and compile any that you desire. In directories that contain Gmakefile files, simply run: gmake4.2

CONTRIB programs are in the directory src.contrib. The state of these programs are varied. Some programs may compile with gmake4.2; others are suitable as a starting point for programmers who will be writing new software.

(7) Compile GRASS related and hybrid programs.

The GRASS user community has discovered that there are several public-domain programs that are very useful in conjunction with GRASS. These are found in the directory src.related. Compile these programs based on instructions (or lack of instructions) in the individual directories.

Hybrid programs are those that mix the capabilities of GRASS with the capabilities of one or more of the "related" programs. These are found in the directory. They require successful compilation of the "related" programs and generally compile using the gmake4.2 and the included Gmakefile files.

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