GRASS/Linux repeat info

Rick Thompson rick at
Thu Feb 10 18:12:47 EST 1994

This is a repeat posting from a month or so ago. Questions are being
asked again about Linx. This may be useful.

GRASS4.1 on a 486 Intel platform running LINUX (public domain UNIX)

For those interested:

Linux is available at many anon ftp sites.  But its american home is
at: in directory /pub/linux.  I strongly recommend
using one of the packaged install systems, ie SLS to simplify the
installation of Linux and X-Windows.  That is available there too!
Please note the existance of comp.os.linux -- a very active newsgroup.
Christopher Keane
keane at

Dynamically linked GRASS binaries for Linux, thanks to Andy Burnett at
USACERL, can be downloaded from ( 
in /pub/grass. The rest of the GRASS stuff is obtainable from the usual
sites. The only problem I encountered with Andy's Linux port was with 
the shared library versions. Make sure you have the newest versions of
libc*.so and libm*.so and everything seems to work fine.

I'll be happy to answer specific questions concerning GRASS on Linux by 
direct email, if that is preferred.
Incidentally, Andy Burnett has recently (6 weeks?) provided a new,
improved set of binaries on the topquark site -- nary a snitch, yet, on my
In a series of questions to Mark P. Line

> How well does grass run on Linux,

I'm still in the middle of an exhaustive test, benchmark will follow that.
On my Linux system it runs fine -- I'm quite happy, and I'm *extremeely*
pleased that I didn't follow some other people's advice and get a
SPARCclassic or get SCO for my i486 machine. 

> and were there many difficulties
> in getting setup ? 

Almost none. Andy Burnett has supplied binaries on one of the CERL ftp
sites. I downloaded those, uncompressed and untarred them, installed them,
and crashed on the first binary executable ($GISBASE/etc/lock, I
think) because I had an older version of the libc & libm shared libraries.
I downloaded *those* from tsx-11 or sunsite or wherever, installed them,
and have had nary a glitch to speak of. One problem I encountered was not
Linux-specific (unbeknownst to me); another problem had to do with
somebody's confusing top page in The only *serious* problem was
that Andy's original source tree was apparently missing some bits and
pieces -- nothing important, just things like r.cats and d.frame (!!!).

I told Andy that, since he was good enough to compile on
Linux and publish the binaries, I'd be more than happy to help with
support if we start getting more users on Linux -- which I hope.

> however, having grass already running on a pc, what would you generically 
> recommend for hardware ?

My configuration is as follows:

i486 33 MHz (generic VL motherboard)
256K Cache
Adaptec 1542C SCSI Controller
3.25" 1.44MB FD
525 MB Fujitsu HD (SCSI)
Toshiba CD-ROM (SCSI)
generic SVGA, Tseng ET4000 chip set, 1MB RAM
Idek 17" color monitor, .28 NI
Wangtek 150MB Tape Backup Unit (SCSI)

As I mentioned before, I haven't done the benchmarks yet. Subjectively,
though, on this machine, GRASS 4.1 goes like a bat -- compared with many 
systems I saw at the last Users' Conference.

The quality of the graphics is fine. The OpenWindows window manager with
virtual screens is wonderful for managing forty-eleven XDRIVER displays
and several controlling xterms and the manual and Emacs for my book and
the GhostScript previewer and ...

Mark P. Line                       Phone: +1-206-733-6040
Open Pathways                        Fax: +1-206-733-6040
P.O. Box F                         Email: markline at
Bellingham, WA 98227-0296


Suggest 16 Mb ram for starters, significantly better performance with 32Mb,
300Mb hard-disk (Unix usually runs about 200Mb) but a more reasonable size
is 600Mb. 33MHz 486 is starting cpu but, if you can, look at DX2's 50Mhz or
66MHz. NO SX's. Also be sure the motherboard has a good reputation, Unix is
not tolerant of some of the cheaper clones. Obviously, 1024x780x8 video
required and the bigger the screen, the better, but I get by on a 15 incher.

If you have a PC, make a realistic appraisal of what it is and if you are
going to buy one, figure on starting with at least $5,000.

Gerald (Jerry) I. Evenden  Internet: gie at
voice: (508) 563-6766      Postal: P.O. Box 1027
fax:   (508) 457-2310              N. Falmouth, MA 02556-1027


Alastair Small strongly recommends that you check out Linux with a GRASS/Khoros
combination. asmall2 at
Khoros is a sophisticated Image Proessing program has been ported to Linux.
comp.soft-sys.khoros (newsgroup dedicated to Khoros) (ftp site for source code and more info on Khoros)
Compilation of RIM:

	I have RIM compiled, it needed a little bit hacking, but it works. If
	someone wants a report, please mail, but you have to wait a week or two,
	if I will not forget to mail!

So long at a lot of fun!

Dipl. Geol. Andreas Holz    email: asholz at
Institut fuer Geologie und Mineralogie
Schlossgarten 5
W-8520 Erlangen

Our old ftp server, pprg, met an untimely death, and has been replaced
with []

Khoros lives in /pub/khoros, if you're browsing, the first place to look
is /pub/khoros/release, and before pulling any code back you should grab
(and read :-) install.ftp


I can not tell you what hardware to use.  Of course, the fast the better.
Since you have to run GRASS under X WIndow, the amount of available RAM is
very important.  Here is my system configuration:
        20 MB RAM w/256 KB cache RAM
        340 MB IDE HD (C)
        210 MB IDE HD (D)
        ATI ULTRA
        CTX NI SVGA

Good luck!


I downloaded grass4.1 and compiled all of the main and alpha src (no garden
or contrib) for a maximum of 98MB.  You can clean that up alot by removing
object files after the compile.

Glenn C. Kroeger, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Geology
Director of Environmental Studies
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
(210) 736-7607
gkroeger at

Middle of last month Andy Burnett was kind enouth to made the GRASS 4.1
(Update Package 2) binaries and term.tar.z available on his Linux Based
Host (/pub/grass/grass4.1).  I had no problems
related to Terminfo installing both on a Linux (Slackware 1.0.4, 0.99pl13)
host.  Andy is also running a WWW Server (XMosaic) on the same Host which
provides support for Linux! 

Lawrence Houston  -  (houston at 

I now have GRASS4.1 up and running on Yggdrasil Linux 0.99pl13.  Everything
went smooth once I had the correct files.


Craig A. Miller
Pacific Northwest Geographics
Voice: (509) 662 4479
E-mail: cmiller at

    We also installed Linux on several PC's in our GIS lab and one
of the computers is used as a UNIX file server for TCP/IP local
area network.  For those who are intrested, the latest version of
Linux is 0.99pl13 and X-windows 2.0.  There are significant improve-
ments for X-windows 2.0.  More video cards are supported, such as
S3, 8514 and many others.  But there are reported problems with
S3 cards with 512k.
    Since I haven't seen any change reflecting the new release of
X-windows 2.0 for the SLS release,  I suggest to get the Slackware
release to avoid problems.  We also put together two packages on
disks for those who have no internet access:A mini system which contains
Linux0.99pl13, XFree2.0, and GRASS -- needs about 60 MB of hard disk
space.  We are running such systems on a 100Mb linux partition and
had no problem. We also prepared a full system which contains the
network stuff, and many other progs.  Both come with some GRASS sample
data sets.  The GRASS installation in our packages is intergrated with
Linux installation.
    It usaully takes about less than an hour of installation time to
be able to run GRASS. If you are intrested, please contact us at

st00 at siuemus

Did you know that DELL has a 486 PC with GRASS loaded on it?
They've arleady done all the work of porting and compiling.
The pc runs Unix system V, version 4. It behaves just like
a Sun workstation. If you're interested, I can find some
names and phone numbers for you.

pamela cashman
Open GRASS Foundation

Sellers of GRASS for a PC 386/486 system

Osiris Systems Corporation has ported GRASS4.1, GrassWare, GrassWorks, and GrassTools/SQL 
to the 386/486 unix environment as well as other platforms. If you would like more information, 
please contact the following: 
Daryl Ehrmantraut 	Osiris Systems Corporation 
Phone: (604) 655-4484 	Fax: (604) 655-4411 
internet: daryl at

Reading Information Technology, Inc. (RITI) 
voice: (617) 942-1655 	fax: (617) 942-2161 
Ask for PoKung Lin

Brian Bowzer or Kenneth Shephardson at:
Spectrum Sciences and Software, Inc.
voice: (904) 862-3031
fax:   (904) 862-8111

Tom Hartsell
Dell Computer Corporation
Federal Sales: (800) 727-1100
Education/State & Local Gov. Sales: (800) 274-7799
Extension 3289 only!
voice: (904) 862-3031 fax: (904) 862-8111

Rick Thompson-   Research Assistant           E-mail: rick at
Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies      Telephone: (501) 575-5736
Ozark Hall Rm. 12                             Fax: 575-3846 
University of Arkansas              
Fayetteville, AR 72701

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