[GRASSweb-list]william: web/platforms macgrass.php,NONE,1.1

grass at intevation.de grass at intevation.de
Sun Jul 10 15:22:54 EDT 2005

Author: william

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  <DEFANGED_meta content="Scott Mitchell" name="Author">
  <DEFANGED_meta content="William Kyngesburye" name="Author">
  <DEFANGED_meta content="GRASS, GIS, Macintosh" name="KeyWords">

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  <title>GRASS GIS on Mac OS X - Information</title>

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<h1>GRASS GIS on Mac OS X</h1>
<p>Original author: Scott Mitchell; redone by: William Kyngesburye</p>
<p><b>In progress</b> - 2005-7-10</p>
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<h2>GRASS GIS on Mac OS X</h2>

<p>GRASS on Mac OS X shares all the functionality enjoyed on other UNIX- or Linux-based platforms.&nbsp; There are quirks to the operating system that occasionally pose challenges when new features are added or changed in the GRASS source code, but these are usually sorted out promptly.&nbsp; In addition, due to the fact that Mac OS X has evolved quite differently from other UNIX systems, there is a variety of ways to get GRASS installed on a Mac.&nbsp;  This page is an attempt to help you navigate through the options.&nbsp; Some assumptions are made about your familiarity with GRASS, in that we are not re-explaining things here that are found in other pages on the GRASS web site.</p>

<h2>Main Issues:&nbsp; UNIX/X11 vs. Aqua</h2>

<p>No matter which method you choose to get GRASS working on your system, the following issues may come up.&nbsp; MacOS X has a split heritage - the user interface that came from the marriage of Apple and NeXT, and the UNIX tradition that came in through FreeBSD. &nbsp;This means that there are multiple alternatives for developing user interfaces to applications. &nbsp;GRASS comes from a UNIX and X11 heritage. &nbsp;The tools that are used in the standard (i.e. shared with other platforms) GRASS user interface are now all readily available on the Mac, but there are also alternatives.</p>

<p>Therefore, building GRASS requires a decision on whether or not GRASS will use features that are exclusive to Apple's graphic interface ("Aqua").&nbsp; This allows more seamless integration in to the Apple environment, but requires work "outside" of the main GRASS development to make it work.&nbsp; Two examples are the Open OS X port of GRASS (see the GRASS downloads), which uses an Aqua version of the Tcl/Tk interface so that the menuing system has a consistent look and feel to other Macintosh products, and <a href="http://grasstep.sourceforge.net">GRASStep</a> that is attempting to port GRASS to Quartz and GNUstep</a>.</p>

<p>The problem with an Aqua Tcl/Tk solution is that there is one module that still requires X11 - NVIZ.  Also, in Mac OS 10.3, Apple's Aqua Tcl is just Tcl, no Tk - you need a third-party installation of an Aqua Tcl/Tk.  Mac OS 10.4 &quot;Tiger&quot; does include an Aqua Tk (in fact, a subset of that third-party Tcl/Tk Aqua).</p>

<p>So, the alternative approach is to stick with the X11 interface that is shared amongst other UNIX systems, in which case GRASS will look and behave pretty much the same as on other platforms.&nbsp; As of OS 10.3 "Panther", Apple includes X11 with the operating system, combining XFree86 with a window manager that is integrated with the Aqua graphics system.&nbsp; So if you have this version of the operating system, the windows that you run GRASS in can now all be part of the normal Mac windowing system, although if you want the graphical menuing system (which is an optional way to run GRASS), it will use standard X11-based Tcl/Tk, and requires that you have that installed separately.&nbsp; If you are still using OS 10.2 ("Jaguar"), you can install X11 separately a number of ways (see below).</p>

<h3>Binary releases of GRASS for Mac OS X</h3>

<p>Binary releases of GRASS for Mac OS X can be found on the GRASS Downloads page.  One big problem with packaging binaries of UNIX software for Mac OS X is redundancy and packaging.  Other than the UNIX /usr/local standard for installing software, there is no standard 'packaging' system for UNIX software on Mac OS X, though there are a couple 'defacto' standards.  Mac OS X has its own packaging system for distribution (.pkg installers) that work well for the /usr/local installations, but the other packaging systems use a more Linux style of packaging.</p>

<p>Here is a short description of the various binary distributions (see the downloads page for details on obtaining these):</p>

<p>1) <u>GRASS from Fink</u> - GRASS from the Fink system uses all its own dependencies, so you are limited to how well they are kept up-to-date, and what features are included.  Dependencies in the Fink system can be used in building GRASS from source, or in other distributions.&nbsp; GRASS from Fink can be run all the way back to Mac OS 10.2, although it is also still at version 5.0.3.</p>

<p>2) <u>Open OS X</u> - The Open OS X port of GRASS is a binary release with extra functionality, but its maintenance and documentation is a parallel, separate activity (which has contributed back some very useful fixes to the main GRASS project).&nbsp; It is completely self-contained, all dependencies are in a double-clickable Mac OS X application.  Requires at least Mac OS 10.3.</p>

<p>3) <u>Lorenzo Moretti's "one stop" solution</u> - Lorenzo's GRASS is a double-clickable Mac OS X application, and provides some double-clickable extras.  It includes all dependencies needed, and separate optional packages are available for PostGIS, QGIS and some other stuff.  Lorenzo uses a split installation - while is it a double-clickable Mac application, the dependencies are installed in an isolated subfolder in /usr/local.  This GRASS distribution runs on Mac OS 10.3.8 and newer.</p>

<h3>Detailed instructions for <a href="macgrass/grassinstall.php">building GRASS 5.0 on Mac OS X</a>, including all dependencies.</h3>

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