[GRASS-user] Unix and Grass commands in Windows

Hamish hamish_b at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 22 04:27:24 PDT 2013

Stephen wrote:
> Hi Folks  Just wondering how best to execute Unix and Grass
> commands using Grass 6/7.0. I’m running Windows Vista,

for GRASS 6.4 it is this one:

 Start -> Programs -> GRASS GIS 6.4.3 -> GRASS GIS 6.4.3 with MSYS.

> and had
> started installing Cygwin, but this seems to be massive, and
> not even sure if this is the best environment, as some users
> don’t seem happy about it.

It's ok, just overkill for what you want to do. People will
always be unhappy with something or other on the internet, I
wouldn't let that stop you. :)  Yes, the installer is a pain.

> I had initially thought I could use the Console window, but
> this appears not to accept Unix commands.

type "bash" at that prompt and it will. (maybe follow by 
" PS1='GRASS:\W> ' " to get the prompt look back)

I'm concerned that the CMD.EXE dos box console in 6.4 is still a
bit half baked. The "rxvt" which runs the MSYS is not ideal
either, but at least it generally works and occasionally doesn't,
as opposed to the current CMD.EXE (GRASS Command Line + running
g.gui) in 6.x, which seems to me lately to be lots of things
not working.  I don't use this day to day, so take with a
grain of salt, maybe mine had a bad day when I tried it.

> I also tried the included MySys Unix console which appears to
> be a Bash shell, but this does not recognise Grass commands.

there are two menu items: 

 - GRASS GIS 6.4.3 with MSYS
 - MSYS UNIX Console

the second one is just a generic UNIX prompt, the GRASS
environment has not been loaded for you. the first one is
what you want.

> What would you recommend is the best option if I want to use
> Grass quite a lot, but don’t want to convert my PC to a fully
> fledged Linux system (unless that really is the best option,
> such as using an emulator).

I'd try the GRASS+MSys first. If that has problems, then it's
pretty easy to install the free VirtualBox Virtual Machine
software, then load something like xUbuntu of the OSGeo Live
demo onto it. There are some step by step instructions on how
to do that here: 
What I like about the Virtual Machines is that it makes the
whole OS choice debate a bit moot. Set whichever one you're
running to full screen, and there you are.

GRASS is still smoother on UNIX (Linux/Mac/...), but we're trying
to level the playing field as fast as we can. There are still a
few rough edges on Windows, but it's getting much closer.

good luck,

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