Linux:Build from source

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This page describes how to build Gramps from source on Linux. Building from source is appropriate for:

  • Developers who need to be able to modify the source and have those modifications take effect.
  • Packagers who need to be able to construct a package for installation by user.
  • Advanced or experienced users who might want to install a version of Gramps that differs from the version that comes with their distribution.

To Build Gramps, the following considerations are important (though they do not necessarily need to be done in this sequence). They are covered below:

  1. Decide where to build/install Gramps. If you already have a version of Gramps you need to decide whether you will install in the same place, overwriting the existing version, or install elsewhere.
  2. Obtain the source. This might be a released source, or a development version. The released version may be a normal release, or an unstable alpha or beta release. The development version may be subject to continual change.
  3. Install all dependencies.
  4. Build and install Gramps.

Installing dependencies and building Gramps are considered separately for Gramps 3.x and Gramps 4.x.

Decide where to install

If you have an older version of the Gramps source code installed you need to make a decision what you want to do with it before installing a later version. If you wish to keep the old version, make sure that you read the instructions in the INSTALL file regarding the use of the --prefix option to specify where the new version gets installed.

See Installation_alternatives.

Should you just want to do a straightforward replacement instead, make sure that you remove the older version before you install the new version. Do not install over the top of the old version. As new versions of Gramps are developed, some functionality is occasionally rewritten in different ways. If you install over the top of an existing installation you run the risk that the old code left behind from the old version may be used instead of the new, sometimes with unintended consequences. If you installed from source, the best way of removing the old version is to run

 make uninstall

as root from where you installed the old version. Use your distribution's package manager to uninstall if your old version was installed as a package.

Note that you should use your old Gramps version to export backup copies to GRAMPS XML before removing the old version.

Obtain the source

There are two ways to get the source code: download a released version source, or clone the source from Git. Please, now is the time to read the INSTALL and README files accompanying the code. They come with the most recent information. Details on each download method:

Download a release

  • The latest stable version of Gramps can be downloaded from the Gramps SourceForge file area. Eg: gramps-4.0.3.tar.gz. Extract this file into a directory:

  tar xzvf gramps-zzz.tar.gz

and then go into this directory:

  cd gramps-zzz

Download the source from Git

  • If you are interested in testing out the very latest development versions of Gramps, they can be obtained from Git, see Brief introduction to Git. The Git versions of Gramps are potentially very dangerous as they have not been extensively tested - especially the master branch which contains features that may still be partly implemented. Be aware that they may be prone to crashing and cause extensive data loss. Please use with extreme caution - and only ever on a copy of your data!

You can get the Gramps repository through Git. First, you need Git installed, eg on Debian based linux:

sudo apt-get install git

Then, clone the repository:

git clone http://git.code.sf.net/p/gramps/source Gramps

A branch called master containing the latest development code will be created for you.

To checkout a maintenance branch use:

git checkout -b gramps40 origin/maintenance/gramps40

Install dependencies for Gramps 3.4.x

General requirements

Gramps 3.x requires python 2.6 or greater, pygtk 2.16 or greater and librsvg2

Linux package requirements

Debian /Ubuntu Fedora /Redhat Comment
python python Required (needs version 2.6 or later)
python-gtk2 pygtk2 Required (needs 2.16 or greater)
BSDDB BSDDB Current backend
librsvg2-common librsvg2 Required for building
libglib2.0-dev glib2-devel Required for building
librsvg2-devel Required for building
intltool intltool Required for building
gcc make gettext Required for building
xdg-utils xdg-utils Required for Gramps-3.1.x or later
rcs rcs Suggested for running
python-gtkspell gnome-python2-gtkspell Suggested for running (spell check). eg, via hunspell. Included in the python-gnome2-extras package in older Debian distributions.
python-webkit WebKitgtk pywebkitgtk Required for the HTML view
python-pygoocanvas goocanvas pygoocanvas Required for Graph View
graphviz graphviz graphviz-python Required for some reports and views
Django Required for http://gramps-connect.org Gramps-Connect
python-pyexiv2 pyexiv2 Required for the Metadata Viewer and Edit Exif Metadata gramplets
libosmgpsmap-dev python-osmgpsmap osm-gps-map Required for the Geography views
gtk2-engines-pixbuf Solves issue with 'Unable to locate theme engine in module_path: "pixmap"'

Under Redhat/Fedora you can install all of the above with:

sudo yum install python pygtk2 xdg-utils rcs gnome-python2-gtkspell librsvg2 \
  librsvg2-devel intltool gnome-doc-utils gcc automake autoconf autogen \
  gettext WebKitgtk pywebkitgtk goocanvas pygoocanvas graphviz graphviz-python \ 
  Django pyexiv2 ImageMagick

Under Debian/Ubuntu you can install all of the above with:

sudo apt-get install python python-gtk2 librsvg2-common libglib2.0-dev \
  intltool xdg-utils rcs python-gtkspell \
  python-webkit python-pygoocanvas graphviz python-pyexiv2 \
  libosmgpsmap-dev python-osmgpsmap gtk2-engines-pixbuf

Build, Install and Run Gramps 3.4.x

Gramps provides a script that can be used to prepare the code for building. This script automatically calls the standard configure script:

 ./autogen.sh   # as regular user

This script will report any missing dependencies. Install these (see also INSTALL file). Building from source code typically requires that the development versions of the required libraries be installed. You might consider setting a prefix path with autogen.sh, see the INSTALL file for instructions. Standard install is in /usr/local.

Once a successful run of autogen.sh has been completed, you can run the typical make procedure.

 make  # as regular user

then

 make install  # as root

Local installation without root privileges is possible, instructions are available on the INSTALL file, most importantly one needs to supply a --prefix= and a --with-mime-dir= argument to autogen.sh.

Starting Gramps - TBD

Install dependencies for Gramps 4.x

For installation and build, see also;

General requirements

Gramps 4.0 requires python 2.7 or python 3.2 or greater. At the moment, python 2.7 is still the most stable way to use Gramps! Also needed are GTK 3.0 or greater, pygobject 3.3.2 or greater, cairo, pango, pangocairo with introspection bindings (the gi packages), librsvg2 (svg icon view), xdg-utils. Furthermore, bsddb3 is required for Python 3.2 (not python 2.7).

Linux package requirements

The full list of requirements is given in the README file.

Required

Debian /Ubuntu Fedora /Redhat Comment
python python Required (needs version 2.7 or later or 3.2 or later)
python-gobject, python-gi  ? Required (needs pygobject 3.3.2 or greater)
python-cairo python-gi-cairo  ? Required
gir1.2-pango  ? Required
gir1.2-gtk  ? Required is GTK 3.6+
gir1.2-freedesktop  ? Not clear why this is included in the full installation walkthrough

Not mentioned in the full installation walkthrough

Debian /Ubuntu Fedora /Redhat Comment
BSDDB BSDDB Current backend, python3-bsddb3 for python 3!
xdg-utils xdg-utils Required for Gramps-3.1.x or later
libgtkspell-3-0 python-gtkspell  ? Required spell checking (eg, with hunspell)

Required for building

Debian /Ubuntu Fedora /Redhat Comment
librsvg2-common librsvg2 Required for building
python-dev libglib2.0-dev glib2-devel Required for building
python-gobject-dev libgirepository1.0-dev  ?
libcairo2-dev python-cairo-dev  ?
librsvg2-devel Required for building
intltool intltool Required for building
gcc make gettext Required for building

Strongly recommended

Debian /Ubuntu Fedora /Redhat Comment
'Not available' 'Not available' osmgpsmap. Required for the Geography views. Needs patches that are not available in the official version. Needs to be built from source. See compile and install OsmGpsMap
graphviz graphviz graphviz-python Required for some reports and views
python-pyicu  ? Required for correct sorting

Optional

Debian /Ubuntu Fedora /Redhat Comment
'Not available' 'Not available' gtkspell. Suggested for running (spell check). Needs to be build from source. See install spell check
rcs rcs Suggested for running
Python Image Library  ?  ?
gir1.2-gexiv2-0.4 'Not available' Required for the Metadata Viewer gramplet
ttf-treefont  ?  ?
python-webkit python-gtkmozembed WebKitgtk pywebkitgtk Required for the HTML view
python-pygoocanvas gir1.2-goocanvas-2.0-9 goocanvas pygoocanvas Required for Graph View
Django Required for http://gramps-connect.org Gramps-Connect
gtk2-engines-pixbuf Solves issue with 'Unable to locate theme engine in module_path: "pixmap"'

Under Redhat/Fedora you can install all of the above with:

sudo yum install python pygtk2 xdg-utils rcs gnome-python2-gtkspell librsvg2 \
  librsvg2-devel intltool gnome-doc-utils gcc automake autoconf autogen \
  gettext WebKitgtk pywebkitgtk goocanvas pygoocanvas graphviz graphviz-python \
  Django pyexiv2 inkscape ImageMagick

Under Debian/Ubuntu you can install all of the above with:

sudo apt-get install python python-gobject, python-gi python-cairo python-gi-cairo \
  gir1.2-pango gir1.2-gtk xdg-utils libgtkspell-3-0 python-gtkspell \
  librsvg2-common python-dev libglib2.0-dev python-gobject-dev libgirepository1.0-dev \
  libcairo2-dev python-cairo-dev intltool graphviz python-pyicu \
  rcs ttf-treefont python-webkit python-pygoocanvas gir1.2-goocanvas-2.0-9 \
  gtk2-engines-pixbuf

Local installation without root privileges is possible, instructions are available on the INSTALL file.

Build, Install and Run Gramps 4.x

python setup.py build

The way you run Gramps depends on whether you downloaded a release or downloaded from the Git repository.

Running a release

See [[1]]

With a tarbal, gramps should be run from the build directory, or from installed version (which can be installed locally).

python setup.py build

go to where the scripts are installed:

cd build/scripts-2.7

in build GRAMPS_RESOURCES must also be set to actually run it:

GRAMPS_RESOURCES=/home/benny/gramps/branches/maintenance/gramps40/build/lib.linux-x86_64-2.7/
PYTHONPATH=$GRAMPS_RESOURCES:$PYTHONPATH ./gramps

I dislike that GRAMPS_RESOURCES must be set from build, it would be nice if that would not be needed from the build directory, but ok, build is just an in between stage.

Running from build is only to try out before a real install, and that works, eg install to a test directory (or to a directory you have chosen following decide where to install

python setup.py install --root ~/gramps/test
cd ~/gramps/test/usr/local/bin

as this is a test dir, PYTHONPATH must be set to point to the locally installed gramps package :

PYTHONPATH=~/gramps/test/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/:$PYTHONPATH ./gramps

Running from a Git repository

Gramps.py is only for those that check out the code repository. Gramps.py is a fake file to allow developers to run code from the source dir, not what the user should be doing.

If you now run

python Gramps.py -v

you should see all required packages are found. You can now start Gramps locally with the command

python Gramps.py

Full install walkthrough Gramps 4.0 Ubuntu derivatives

Following walkthrough was done on a clean install of Kubuntu 13.04 which did have the GTK applications firefox, inkscape and gimp installed. Equal steps should be done on other platforms.

sudo apt-get install git
git clone http://git.code.sf.net/p/gramps/source Gramps
cd Gramps
git checkout -b gramps40 origin/maintenance/gramps40
sudo apt-get install intltool
python setup.py build
sudo apt-get install python-gobject python-gi python-cairo python-gi-cairo
sudo apt-get install gir1.2-freedesktop gir1.2-pango
sudo apt-get install gir1.2-gtk
sudo apt-get install gir1.2-gexiv2-0.4

If you now run

python Gramps.py -v

you should see all required packages are found. You can now start Gramps locally with the command

python Gramps.py 

To install optional components, do the following:

sudo apt-get install python-pyicu graphviz rcs gir1.2-webkit-3

This gives all the easy optional functionality in Gramps. The rest is not yet present in Ubuntu 13.04, so if you want them, you need to compile them

spell checking Remove first present version, check that this command does not remove programs you use!

  sudo apt-get remove libgtkspell-3-0 python-gtkspellcheck

Now we obtain the code to build this package

 sudo apt-get install mercurial
 hg clone http://hg.code.sf.net/p/gtkspell/code gtkspell-code
 cd gtkspell-code
 sudo apt-get install build-essential sudo apt-get install libgirepository1.0-dev
 sudo apt-get install valac libgtk-3-dev
 aclocal ; autoheader; automake ; autoconf
 ./autogen.sh
 make
 sudo make install
 sudo cp /usr/local/lib/girepository-1.0/GtkSpell-3.0.typelib /usr/lib/girepository-1.0/
 sudo cp /usr/local/lib/libgtkspell3-3.* /usr/lib/

osmgpsmap The geography view needs patches which are not included yet in the official version.

 sudo apt-get install git
 git clone git://github.com/nzjrs/osm-gps-map.git
 cd osm-gps-map
 sudo apt-get install libsoup2.4-dev gnome-common gtk-doc-tools
 ./autogen.sh --prefix /usr
 make
 sudo make install
 

gexiv2 Minimally version 0.5 is needed. Ubuntu 13.10 contains version 0.6.1 in the gir1.2-gexiv2-0.4 package. If you have an older version, remove it and install from source using the following instructions:

Obtain it from [2], I downloaded 0.6.1, and extracted it in directory libgexiv2-0.6.1. To install this

 cd libgexiv2-0.6.1
 sudo apt-get install exiv2 libexiv2-dev
 ./configure --enable-introspection --prefix=/usr
  make
  sudo make install

run Gramps You can now use gramps from the source directory with

 python Gramps.py

You could install Gramps, but you better wait for a packages distributed from [3] and install those via your package manager

look and feel Normally, Gramps does not look that nicely when not used on Gnome desktop. To remedy this, install a theme switcher. You can edit configuration files if you don't like to install these dependencies, see eg [4]

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

You can search on gtk 3 themes in your package manager and install one that you like. For example, install clearlooks:

sudo apt-get install clearlooks-phenix-theme

then use the gnome-tweak-tool to switch to that. For KDE you need to go also to Settings->Appearance->GTK and set the GTK 3 theme there to the one you installed.

Full install walkthrough Windows

On windows, you can install virtualbox and then install K/X/Ubuntu as indicated above, which will give you linux in windows.

The native windows support for Gramps 4.0 is being worked on. You find the current walkthrough on the dedicated page

See also