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How to Acquire GRASS

5. How to Acquire GRASS

GRASS used to be available on tape from various companies that signed distribution agreements with USA/CERL. These companies usually supported specific platform environments, such as Masscomp, Sun, DEC, Hewlett Packard, IBM (risc), PC (running some flavor of UNIX), and Macintosh (running AUX). Until recently, the flavors of UNIX working on PCs generally were too low-end, or required too much added programming support (e.g. programming drivers for high-end graphics boards like the Number Nine boards of several years back) to be stable or complete. However, with robust systems like Linux, this problem is history. Similarly, few people acquire GRASS on tape, though a few do on CD-ROM.

The main way to acquire GRASS is to get it via anonymous ftp from:

  1. The new site at Baylor University

    As of the date of this version of the mini-HOWTO, Baylor has source code for GRASS 4.1 and 4.2, as well as Sun Solaris compiled binaries. Blackland GRASS for Windows 95/NT is linked to from this site. Baylor is considering its own Linux and Windows NT binaries, as well. You should be able to compile the Baylor source code under Linux yourself, using information in this mini-HOWTO.

  2. The traditional site at USA/CERL or from mirrors cited at USA/CERL's website:

    The ftp location is:


    Appendix A describes how to acquire and install GRASS4.13 compiled binaries from USA/CERL. (See section 6 before installing GRASS!)

    Appendix B describes how to acquire and install GRASS4.15 compiled binaries from USA/CERL. (See section 6 before installing GRASS!)

    Appendix C describes how to acquire and compile GRASS4.14 and GRASS4.15 source code from USA/CERL, as well as GRASS4.2 source code from Baylor University. (See section 6 before installing GRASS!)

    Linux distribution developers! Might you be interested in including GRASS with your distribution? Remember, GRASS source code is in the completely unrestricted, copyright-free, public domain. Your distribution might be more valuable if it contained source code and/or compiled binaries for GRASS.