Getting started with Gramps master

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GRAMPS trunk is the newest version of GRAMPS, but it is under development. You can help by trying this version and reporting feedback and bugs. Before embarking on this you should first read this page.


A word of caution: trunk is currently considered a development version and not for use on your real data. You can test trunk on a copy of your data though. See below for more details.

You should not install GRAMPS trunk as that will overwrite your regular GRAMPS. However, you can download and compile trunk locally, largely without interfering with your regular GRAMPS. Subtle interactions are easy to resolve for developers.


GRAMPS trunk should only be used on a copy of your Family Tree data! Here is a step-by-step guide to doing this:

  1. Start your old version of GRAMPS
  2. Export your data using the GRAMPS Package
  3. Quit your old version of GRAMPS
  4. Start GRAMPS trunk
  5. Create a new Family Tree
  6. Import the GRAMPS package from step 2

Can I run my older version of GRAMPS with this new version?

Yes. See installation notes below.

I have a suggestion or have found a bug. What do I do?

Please make a note of your Feature Request, or your bug here: This is one of the most important things you can do to help the state of GRAMPS.

Can I help with GRAMPS trunk?

Yes! You could:

  1. Help write documentation on how to use GRAMPS trunk. See Gramps 3.3 Wiki Manual
  2. Help translate GRAMPS into another language. See Internationalization
  3. Test and follow-up on issues in the tracker. See
  4. Donate money to GRAMPS. See GRAMPS Support

Installing GRAMPS Trunk

Now that you have read all of the precautions, you are ready to begin exploring GRAMPS trunk.

  • Windows systems: follow the directions at ?.
  • Unix-like systems: follow the rest of this page.

The easiest method of getting the beta/trunk version is to download it from using the link at the bottom of the page called Download GNU tarball. This is easy to download, it is the freshest code, and you will have to do a little more work. See Running a development version of Gramps.

If you are running Linux and a variation of Debian (Ubuntu), then you can download the .deb file and install it directly.

Otherwise, you should download the tar.gz file. Here is the basic installation instructions, assuming that the tar.gz file is in your current directory:

tar xfz gramps-
cd gramps-
./configure --prefix=/usr/local
su -c "make install"

You can then run /usr/local/bin/gramps

Warning: you will not be able to load translations on /usr/local/share/locale, because you will load /usr/share/locale, which could be translations for stable release (set on You may generate a custom launcher by adding this line:

export GRAMPSI18N=/usr/local/share/locale

if you want to use an other path, you may add this line:

export GRAMPSI18N=@prefix@/share/locale

on current (source file) before compillation and installation.

Running parallel versions of trunk and branches

As stated in Installing GRAMPS trunk, you can only have a dedicated file on /usr/share/local/xx/.. . If you want to have both the trunk and branches version with separate translations, consider using some Virtual Machines.

At the moment I experiment with this setup:

  • Ubuntu 7.10: running VirtualBox
    • VM1: Linux Mint : on this machine I build and installed trunk. This means running ./autogen script, make AND do a make install (as root)
    • VM2: Fedora 8 : on this machine I build and installed branches. This means running ./autogen script, make AND do a make install (as root)

See also