QGIS Download and Installation: Mastering QGIS

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This section of the free chapter preview of Mastering QGIS covers downloading and installing QGIS.  Mastering QGIS is designed to bring users who want to go beyond the basics of QGIS to an advanced level of QGIS expertise. 

QGIS can be installed on Windows, Mac OSX, Unix, Linux, and Android operating systems, making it a very flexible software package. Both the binary installers and source code can be downloaded from download.qgis.org. In this section, we will briefly cover how to install QGIS on Windows, Mac OSX, and Ubuntu Linux. For the most up-to-date installation instructions, refer to the QGIS website.

Installing QGIS on Windows

For Windows, there are two installation options:

  • QGIS Standalone Installer: . The standalone installer installs the binary version of QGIS and the Geographic Resource Analysis Support System (GRASS) using a standard Windows installation tool. You should choose this option if you want an easy installation experience of QGIS.
  • OSGeo4W Network Installer: This provides you with the opportunity to download either the binary or source code version of QGIS, as well as experimental releases of QGIS. Additionally, the OSGeo4W installer allows you to install other open source tools and their dependencies.

Installing QGIS on Mac OSX

To install QGIS on Mac OSX, the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL) framework and Matplotlib Python module must be installed first, followed by the QGIS installation. The installation files for GDAL, Matplotlib, and QGIS are available at kyngchaos.com/software/qgis.

Installing QGIS on Ubuntu Linux

There are two options when installing QGIS on Ubuntu: installing QGIS only, or, installing QGIS as well as other various FOSSGIS packages. Either of these methods requires the use of the command line, sudo rights, and the apt-get package manager.

Installing QGIS Only

Depending on whether you want to install a stable release or an experimental release, you will need to add the appropriate repository to /etc/apt/sources.list file.

With sudo access, edit /etc/apt/sources.list and add the following line to install the current stable release or current release’s source code, respectively:


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deb       http://qgis.org/debian trusty main
deb-src http://qgis.org.debian trusty main

Depending on the release version of Ubuntu you are using, you will need to specify the release name of trusty, saucy, or precise. For the latest list of QGIS releases for Ubuntu versions, visit download.qgis.org..

With the appropriate repository added, you can proceed with the QGIS installation by running the following commands:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install qgis python-qgis

To install the GRASS plugin (recommended), install the optional package by running this command:

sudo apt-get install qgis-plugin-grass

Installing QGIS and other FOSSGIS Packages

The ubuntugis project installs QGIS and other FOSSGIS packages, such as GRASS on Ubuntu. To install the ubuntugis package, remove the http://qgis.org/debian lines from /etc/apt/sources.list file, then run the following commands:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntugis/ubuntugis-unstable

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install qgis python-qgis qgis-plugin-grass

QGIS is also available for Android. We have not provided detailed installation instructions because it is in alpha testing at the moment. However, there are plans to have a normalized installation process in a future release. More information can be found here: http://hub.qgis.org/projects/android-qgis.

The download page is: http://qgis.org/downloads/android/

A related app has recently been announced named QField for QGIS™. For a short time it was named QGIS Mobile. It is described as a field data capture and management app compatible with QGIS. As of this writing it is in invite only alpha testing. It is eventually expected to be available in the Android Play Store. More information on this app can be found here: http://www.opengis.ch/tech-blog/

Mastering QGIS

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