Gramps 5.0 Wiki Manual - What's new?

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This section gives an overview of changes since Gramps version 4.2 These changes are also detailed later in this manual. Users of Gramps upgrading from earlier versions are encouraged to review this section in older user manuals to be sure to take advantage of these new features when they start using version 5.0.

Before you upgrade


Creating an archive before upgrading might not alone be sufficient to safeguard your data: In the unlikely event that Gramps 5.0 corrupts your database, it could also corrupt the archive. A backup of your data as outlined in this section is recommended.

Before you upgrade, make sure your family tree data is secure. The best way to do this is:

  1. Start Gramps 3.4 or Gramps 4.2
  2. Open your family tree
  3. Back up the family tree to the gramps xml format or the gramps xml package format (the gramps xml package includes your photographs and other media files associated with your family tree data). Backup your tree via menu Family Trees->Make Backup....
  4. Close this family tree and repeat the above steps for any other family trees you have
  5. Keep the resulting file(s) in a safe place

For more information, please review Backing up a Family Tree.

After properly safeguarding your data, proceed to install Gramps 5.0 using your operating system's regular installation process. In most cases, this will ensure that the new Gramps 5.0 installation will not clash with your older version of Gramps. However, it may be safer to uninstall Gramps 3.4 before installing Gramps 5.0, or make sure you install Gramps 5.0 in a different location. This is always necessary if you are installing from the source code. For more information on installing Gramps 5.0, please see Downloading the latest Gramps

After you install Gramps 5.0, you can open your existing family trees and continue working. In case of problems (e.g., after a complete system upgrade), import the backup file(s) created above to recreate your family tree(s).


Once you open a family tree in a newer version of Gramps or using a newer operating system, you generally should not try to open that database using an older version again. As always, the gramps xml format is the format to use for the interchange of your data in such cases. There are tools to repair broken databases, but they are for expert users, so avoid needing them by following the steps above before you upgrade your OS or Gramps.

Visible changes to the core

Changes visible after the migration: interface, data.

Data Model

Details of changes to the data model (if any):

  1. No change

  • A Family Tree cannot be opened in Gramps 3.4/4.0/4.1/4.2 and Gramps 5.0 without upgrade.
  • A downgrade can only be accomplished by exporting XML and importing to the previous version.
  • A Gramps XML file generated by Gramps 3.4/4.0/4.1 is not identical to one generated by Gramps 5.0.
  • Gramps 5.0 is now python3 only

See detailed changes for more details on internal database.


  • You can now choose to use alternative database backends. BSDDB is still the default, but Sqlite is now available. For power users, PostgreSql and MongoDB are available as experimental third-party addons.
  • New colour schemes allow a light and dark choice.


Reports, Tools, Gramplets

Under the hood changes

Technical changes.

  • Numerous changes relating to support for other Database backends (Sqlite, PostgreSQL, MongoDB etc.).
  • Certain database corruptions (handles to non-existent objects) that were previously hidden are now regarded as errors. It may be necessary to run the Check and Repair tool to fix exceptions with a corrupted database.
  • Fixes to prevent the user from closing or changing the database during long running operations.


  • Support python3 only. ( python2 support dropped)
  • Need GTK+ 3.10 and pygobject 3.12 or greater versions

Further information





  • See items related to Gramps 5.0 on the Gramps issue tracker.

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