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Ubuntu Gutsy 64 bit GIS Workstation Theme part 1 November 1, 2007

Posted by grimmeister in Geoinformatics.

I have a nice shiny new 64 bit workstation:

  • Dell Precision 690
  • 2 x Xeon 3Ghz cpu’s
  • 4Gb RAM
  • 2 x 250 Gb Seagate SCSI harddrives
  • NVIDIA 256 mb graphics card


which I populated after some deliberation – I haven’t owned a 64 bit machine before – with Ubuntu Gusty Gibbon. The result – a rather crisp workstation!!!

I naturally installed qgis out of the Ubuntu repositories but with the late October release of QGIS 0.9.0, I felt it was time to check out the latest and greatest. Following the always useful advice of Matt Perry, in this case at Turning Ubuntu Into a GIS workstation, I downloaded the qgis release binaries for Ubuntu Gutsy and, full of expectation, tried to run them. Cue the sound of deflating expectations….

Of course, the binaries were not compiled for the 64bit architecture. So, I braved the world of cmaking QGIS, ‘cos I really want version 0.9.0. with Python bindings and GRASS capability. This description is best read in conjunction with the detailed readme available with the source code – mainly it is just a simple version…
So, to the first part of the build process as outlined on the QGIS wiki: cmake .

  • The usual suspects (depending on requirements) need to be present on your system – Proj, GEOS, GDAL, PostgreSQL and GRASS
  • Additional common components include Expat and Sqlite3 – get them from the repositories
  • Make sure you have a C compiler installed – well, it is unlikely you won’t have one…
  • Make sure you have a C++ compiler installed ( I installed G++ 4.1 from the repositories )
  • Make sure you have flex and bison installed ( again, I got them from the repositories )
  • Make sure you have the GNU Scientific Libraries installed (gsl-bin, libgsl0, libgsl0-dev from the repositories)
  • Get the sip Python/C++ bindings generator (sip4 in the repository, plus, for good measure, I installed the python-sip4 and python-sip4-dev libraries).
  • Ensure the presence of a whole bunch of QT components like qmake, which is found in the libqt4-dev library. This library comes with a bunch of QT and related dependencies – that is a set of relationships I have no understanding of. Basically, you need to have QT installed. The qgis readme is the place to source these dependencies. If they are not on your system, the download is reasonably large.

And so cmake . finishes and one has the build files generated and configured.

So, to the second part of the build process, the make and make install. This went fine, once I had returned from a ramble into QT country. I am not sure why the readme wants one to install certain libraries such as resolvconf.

I am sure the build files could be more optimised for a Debian install, but that is about a thousand steps too far for me at this point – I’ll accept the default graciously.

And off we go – QGIS on Ubuntu Gutsy on 64 bit workstation. Looks great so far – most obvious diffrences are the much larger array of GRASS tools available and the existence of a WFS plugin.



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