Getting started with Gramps Trunk

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GRAMPS 3 is the newest version of GRAMPS, but it isn't quite finished. It is in a state called "beta" which means that it is nearly done, but there are still places that need some refinement. 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: GRAMPS 3.0 is currently considered a development version and not for use on your real data. You can test GRAMPS 3.0 on a copy of your data though. See below for more details.

You should not install GRAMPS 3.0 as that will overwrite your regular GRAMPS. However, you can download and compile 3.0 locally, largely without interfering with your regular GRAMPS. Subtle interactions are easy to resolve for developers. Currently it is known that:

  1. closing GRAMPS 3.0 on the Noteview will crash GRAMPS 2.2.10 on startup
  2. create a filter in GRAMPS 3.0 that does not exist in 2.2.10 will cause problems

There are easy ways to fix these, however. Having given these warnings, it is also true that every week it gets closer to completion and we need testers. So, weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself if you'd like to be an earlier adopter and tester.

What's new in GRAMPS 3?

There are many changes in GRAMPS 3. This section briefly describes the changes and their implications. For a detailed list of changes, see the Roadmap.

New Family Tree Database

Perhaps the most import change in GRAMPS 3 is the new Family Tree database format. This has a number of features. The new Family Tree Manager also has an integrated revision control system. This allows easy, one-click access to your backups series. For more details and screen shots, see Database Formats: GRAMPS 3.

New Screens and Functionality

  1. Quick Views - in most lists, you can right-click and run a Quick View. Further, on a Quick View you can double-click and entry and be taken to the associated object to view or edit. Quick View lists are also sortable on their columns
  2. Gramplets - Gramplets is an experimental new main view in GRAMPS. These are little interfaces to GRAMPS functionality. There are Gramplets that allow you to compute ages on a particular date (Age on Date), see events on a day in history (Calendar), see the top surnames in your Family Tree (Top Surnames), a TODO list, Python shell (with date calculator), a Session Log, and more. There isn't any real documentation yet, but you can find more detail at the proposal GEPS 004.
  3. Notes - There is now a sophisticated method for attaching notes to any object, and a new Notes main view, complete with filter to find exactly what you're looking for. Notes also have the ability for attractive formatting.
  4. Print Preview -
  5. New reports -
  6. New tools -


GRAMPS 3 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 3.0
  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 finish GRAMPS 3?

Yes! There is much left to be done. You could:

  1. Help write documentation on how to use GRAMPS 3. See Gramps 3.0 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 3

Now that you have read all of the precautions, you are ready to begin exploring GRAMPS 3.

  • Windows systems: follow the directions at [1].
  • Unix-like systems: follow the rest of this page.

The easiest method of getting the beta version is to download it from under Unstable. This is easy to get and install, but is probably a few weeks old. If you want to get the freshest code, you'll 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-2.90.0-beta.tar.gz
cd gramps-2.90.0-beta
./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.