OSGeo Binary Distribution

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This provides the status of current and historical binary packaging of OSGeo software, with the ultimate goal of OSGeo "branded and certified" binary distributions of open source geospatial software for Windows, Linux and possibly MacOS X and Solaris.


  • Offer a painless user experience installing and getting started with OSGeo products.
  • Support major operating systems. In order of precedence that likely means Windows, Linux (Intel32), MacOS X and Solaris (Sparc).
  • Ensure that all components are inter-compatible avoiding version incompatibility hell.
  • Allow progressive installation, with packages pulled over the internet as requested. So the person can install a few packages without having to download everything, and so they can go back and add more packages later.
  • Provide an easy to use GUI installer.
  • Be relatively distribution/version agnostic - on linux we hope the same binaries will work on Debian, Fedora Core, Suse, Ubuntu, etc. On windows and MacOS X we hope the binaries would work across a variety of relatively recent OS versions.
  • Include at least all the OSGeo project software as packages, and dependencies of those packages.
  • Suitable for desktop and web service folks.
  • Provide a level of quality control
  • Simplify the process for projects to update and maintain the various distributions
  • Open channels of communication between packagers and application developers.

Active Projects

The follow projects are known to be active (as of January 2018)


Provides a release once a year, with a main target at the FOSS4G conference. Typically built on the most recent Ubuntu LTS (long term support) version available.

For details on how to get started, see OSGeoLive or the official website


PortableGIS is a collection of GeoFOSS applications that run from a USB stick.

Goal: Have the most important applications always with you.

Status: Actively maintained by one person, (Jo Cook)

  • Pro
    • No installation required, just run the applications
  • Con
    • Doesn't work right from CD at the moment
    • Applications need clean-up (Eg. Java is bundled more than once)
    • Only one maintainer
    • Project development infrastructure not set up yet.
    • Would benefit by alignment with similar projects.
    • PortableGIS currently needs to be run from a writable medium (like and USB stick), it won't work on a read-only medium like a CD.


OSGeo4W is a windows based stack of GeoFOSS which is based upon cygwin. (disk directory layout -LINK-)

Goal: Ease of installation of the whole GeoFOSS stack in windows.

Status: Apr 2018: Actively maintained by community, Works well

  • Pros:
    • Has already packaged many of the key GeoFOSS applications.
    • Likely to release first major release at FOSS4G 2008, 29 Sep 2008.
    • Has strong developer community.
  • Cons:
    • Needs installation
    • Needs internet connection for installation


  • Debian GIS is about improving Debian to make it the best distribution for Geographical Information Systems applications and users. A good deal of GIS related softwares and libraries (e.g. GRASS) are already present in Debian. We have currently an up-to-date GRASS package in main and many other packages.


  • Ubuntu GIS. This is built from Debian, so if you package for Debian, you will also get your application included in UbuntuGIS.



Historical Links:


See Enterprise Linux GIS

Slackware and SLAX

Historical Projects

As far as I'm aware, the following projects have become inactive, and not being maintained anymore.

GIS Virtual Machine


  • Has a stable Virtual Machine, packaged in November 2008, based upon Ubuntu 8.10.
  • A new version is being developed for FOSS4G in October 2009.



RPM-based distributions, such as Fedora Linux and SuSE Linux, do not have a dedicated GIS teams, but there are several parties maintaining independent RPM archives that could be persuaded to band their efforts together under the aegis of the foundation:

Old Technical Notes

  • I think building on the existing [FGS] infrastructure Linux (and possibly other Unix platforms) is attractive. See FGSDevNotes.
  • I think the existing MS4W package could potentially be a base for windows distribution.
  • William Kyngesburye has done a great deal of work producing MacOS X framework-style packages of GDAL, MapServer, GRASS etc for MacOS X ( http://www.kyngchaos.com/ ).
  • GDF Hannover has build RPMs for various Linux distros: http://www.gdf-hannover.de/software This could be a starting point
  • Osaka City University has built RPMs for Mandriva Linux distros: http://wgrass.media.osaka-cu.ac.jp/foss4g/downloads This could be a starting point too
  • Stephan Holl/GDF has written a GUI installer for QGIS0.8 with winGRASS-native integrated (MS-Windows).
  • Geolivre Linux is a previous packaging effort.


  • Binary Package Listing - an attempt to make a single page pointing to all the currently available binary (and source) packages for each project
  • Binary Stack Platforms - a list of a few platforms where stacks are already (or could) be built upon