How can I download GRASS 5.0.0.pre2 ?

The best way (that is to say the shortest and the fastest way when you are in France) to download this version (or another one) is to visit the site:

This site is full of very interesting informations concerning GRASS 5.
You will find there several versions of GRASS 5, for several systems.
You can create a directory 'GRASS' in  which you will put the downloaded files.
For example, for a system PC-Linux and the GRASS 5.0.0.pre2 version, you will have to download two files:

        - '' , which is the Shell script for the installation.

        - 'grass5.0.0pre2_i686-pc-linux-gnu_bin.tar.gz', which contains the whole code for GRASS 5.

Be careful ! You need a quite important disk space to install (and to download) GRASS 5. Moreover, you will have to download datas to run GRASS 5, and these datas are really big.
That is why it is sensible to keep a disk space between 250 Mo and 300 Mo. It means that you would better download it on a hard disk.

How to install GRASS 5.0.0.pre2 ?

Now, you are in a main directory ('GRASS' for example...) where are two files 'grass5.0.0pre2_i686-pc-linux-gnu_bin.tar' and ''.

Here, we advise to create a directory 'SOURCE', near '' and 'grass5.0.0pre2_i686-pc-linux-gnu_bin.tar' and a directory 'bin' at the same level than 'SOURCE'.

            cd  GRASS
            mkdir  SOURCE
             mkdir  bin

Now, you must have this configuration : in a main directory 'GRASS', there are 2 directories 'SOURCE' and 'bin' (they must be empty for the moment).
We will take the example where their passes are '/home1/commun/GRASS/SOURCE' and '/home1/commun/GRASS/bin' (this is an example, you must consider your passes).
In this particular case, to finish the installation, enter the command

            sh  grass5.0.0pre2_i686-pc-linux-gnu_bin.tar.gz /home1/commun/GRASS/bin  /home1/commun/GRASS/SOURCE

This command executes the Shell script '' which uncompresses the file 'grass5.0.0pre2_i686-pc-linux-gnu_bin.tar.gz', puts all the code for GRASS 5 in the directory 'SOURCE' and the executable file 'grass5' in the directory 'bin'.

There is a problem when I execute the Shell script.

Several problems can occur with this script.

Most of the time, it refuses to run because the directories 'bin' and 'SOURCE' are not empty. In this case, you just have to empty them.

There can be problems with the default directories. Around the 30th line of the Shell script '', you can define the default passes for the execution of the script. If the passes you gave in the command above are wrong (or do not exist), the script will be executed with the default passes. That is why it is good to enter the script (with a text editor) and to change the default passes. It is also interesting to know how is built a Shell script !

If there is another kind of problems, there are helpful manuals at :

How can I download data for GRASS 5 ?

You cannot run GRASS 5 if you do not have data to read and to develop.
The best thing to do is to create a directory 'GRASS_DATA' in the main directory 'GRASS', just near 'bin' and 'SOURCE'.

          mkdir  GRASS_DATA

Then, in this directory, you can download specific GRASS 5 data that you can find in specialized sites. In aim to reach the good sites, visit :

You can also read Raster files and Vector files (ASCII...), and work with it (It is why GRASS 5 exists !).
The structure of GRASS 5 datas is often very complicated. But we can say that it is not important to understand it.
The only thing that you have to do is to place it in a particular directory.

How can I launch the execution of GRASS 5 ?

Once you have installed GRASS 5 and downloaded data, you can launch the execution of the software.
The GRASS 5.0.0.pre2 version you may have downloaded includes a graphic interface for GRASS 5, which is called 'tcltk'.
Thus, there are two ways of using GRASS 5.

If you prefer to use your mouse with menus, you can use the GRASS 5 interface by entering (when you are in the directory bin where the executable is):

          grass5 -tcltk

If you prefer to type commands with big arguments, just enter :


In the case where you use the graphic interface, the following window will appear :

In this window, you have to give three important arguments: the DATABASE, which is the path of your directory 'GRASS_ DATA'. The LOCATION, which is the name of the geographical dataset you want to use (in this example, there are three different geographical datasets). Enventually, you must choose a MAPSET,  which is a group of datasets (you can give to it the name you want).

The button 'Create New Location' allows the user to create a new dataset, but we will not talk about this aspect in this manual.

When you have selected the three parameters, you can push 'Use Selection'; then you are in GRASS 5.