Monday, February 13, 2006

Open Source GIS on Linux

So I'm halfway into installing a desktop GIS on my home Linux machine. I started using PCLinuxOS as my main operating system at home a couple months ago, and am really enjoying it. It's the first Linux distribution I've tried that worked with all my hardware on the first try. There's quite a bit of software available on the repositories for free - almost anything you'd want for everyday home use, as well as a lot business apps.

My goal for now is to get Quantum GIS running and reading data from PostGIS. Since neither one is available in the PCLinuxOS repositories, I'll be installing both from source. My other option would be to find a linux distro that offers GIS functionality right out of the box, but most of those distros don't seem very up to date. Anyways, I'm looking at this as a learning expererience.

PostGIS installed easily enough. All the dependecies I needed were in the repositories, so it was just a matter of using Synaptic to install PostgreSQL and then following the instructions on the PostGIS website to install from source.

Quantum GIS has been a different story. One of its dependencies was not in the repositories, so I had to first install that from source. I had a little trouble with that, but got some quick help from one of the developers via the mailing list. Unfortunately, I had further troubles when it came time to install the actual QGIS package. In short, I can do ./configure, but when I try to make, I get a segmentation error. I've posted a question on the support forum, but so far no responses.

In related news, Mike at MJR42 is blogging about his own attempts to set up a similar GIS on Red Hat Linux. The main difference with his is that it will be GRASS and QGIS rather than PostGIS and QGIS. I'll keep watching his blog to see what happens.

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