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This page provides access to descriptions of how to build Gramps from source. It is intended for developers, packagers and advanced users.


Gramps 5.1.x is the main current version and is available in packaged form for most distributions.

Gramps 3.4.x is the legacy version, that has different requirements.

Building from source on Linux is described here

MS Windows

  • The native windows support for Gramps 4.0 is being worked on. You find the a walk-through on the dedicated page

Fortunately for users of Microsoft Windows, a Windows installer is available.

Mac OS X

There are several different ways of building Gramps from source on Mac OS X. An overview of building from source is given at Mac OS X:Build from source.

Macports and fink versions of Gramps have been used.

The latest version of MacPorts Gramps is 5.1.6.

The latest official unstable fink version is 3.0.4 for Mac OS X 10.5 on both PPC and Intel. There is currently no official stable fink version of Gramps. (As at February 2012)

Instructions for building the pre-built binary version (Mac OX X Application package) are given at Mac OS X:Build from source:Application package. Some discussion about earlier attempts is at Mac OS X:Build from source:gtk-osx with bugs reported at Mac OS X:Build from source:gtk-osx:bugs

An older build approach is given at Mac OS X:Build from source:Native OS X.

Free/OpenBSD and Solaris

For FreeBSD and Solaris there are experimental install instructions.

  • For FreeBSD use the /usr/ports/science/gramps port. In case of error on FreeBSD 8.0, read ticket #3228.
  • For OpenBSD use the gramps port
  • Installing on BSD is as straightforward as on Linux, apart from some minor issues like tools having different names. See the BSD page for details.
  • Gramps has been successfully installed from source on both Solaris 10 (SPARC) and OpenSolaris X86 (2008.05). Please see the Solaris page for step-by-step details.

Gramps on handhelds

Gramps can run fine on some small-factor devices. Users have been successful in using Gramps on:

Additional software Gramps can benefit from

Gramps does not rely on the following programs, however, having them will increase your productivity:

  • Spell checking: Installing gnome-python2-extras and python-enchant provides the gtkspell module and the enchant module, which adds spell checking in the notes
  • Graphviz, Inkscape: Gramps can make nice Genealogical trees (relationship graphs). These are generated by the Graphviz package, which defines a code (dot), as well as programs to produce graphs (dotty, to be called from command line). This gives you as researcher most power over how your tree will look, but has a learning curve. An alternative is to make a graphical report, converting the tree to an svg file, which you then can open/edit/refine in eg Inkscape.
  • ttf-freefont: Useful as a font that supports a large subset of the Unicode and is a true type. This works well with both print and graphviz output.
  • xdg-utils is a set of command line tools that assist applications with a variety of desktop integration tasks. About half of the tools focus on tasks commonly required during the installation of a desktop application and the other half focuses on integration with the desktop environment while the application is running. Even if the desktop components of your application are limited to an installer, configuration or management tool, Xdg-utils provides you with an easy way to enhance the usage experience of your customers by improving the integration of these components in the user's environment.
  • pyexiv2 is a module that allows Gramps to read and write metadata embedded in image files. It is used in the Metadata Viewer and Edit Exif Metadata gramplets.
  • osmgpsmap is a library which provides GPS mapping functionality. It is used in the Geography views.

Other packages might also be useful:

Upgrading Gramps


If you are Upgrading Gramps from a previous version you should first follow these instructions.

If you are Upgrading Gramps from a previous version you should first:

  1. Use your old version of Gramps to backup or export your Family Trees to GRAMPS XML (you find backup in the Family Tree menu of recent Gramps versions, otherwise use export in the same menu but uncheck privacy options in the Exporter Assistant in order to export all data).
  2. Uninstall your old version of Gramps
  3. Install the new version of Gramps by following the instructions below
  4. Open your existing Family tree.
  1. Normally, opening just works, and will upgrade your data if needed. If successful, save the backup you took in a safe place.
  2. In case opening or upgrading your existing Family Tree failed, do the following:
  1. Create a new Family Tree
  2. Import your old Gramps XML data in this Family Tree