I am trying to install QGIS on Ubuntu 14.04. While I can easily install it via the package manager or apt-get, I find that QGIS, when installed, does not have Python support as expected. The symptoms of this include:

  • "Analysis Tools" are missing.
  • "Plugins" > "Python Console" results in nothing happening.
  • In "Plugin Manager" under "Settings" I see the message "The settings on this tab are only applicable for Python Plugins. No Python support detected, thus no settings available."

The reason I expect Python support to be included is because:

  1. Python is installed (which python yields /usr/bin/python)
  2. GDAL 1.11.0 was installed from source with Python support (After ./configure --with-python, I see SWIG Bindings: python in the output)
  3. gdal is imported within Python just fine (e.g., import gdal works fine)

When I try to install QGIS, apt-get recommends gdal-bin (and gdal-python), which I don't want to install because I've already built GDAL from source with Python support. The same things happens if I try to install only python-qgis. Thus, I believe the problem is that the QGIS package cannot find GDAL, with its Python bindings, on my system. I have bypassed the installation of the gdal-bin package via:

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends qgis qgis-plugin-grass

This is what gets me to the conditions described in the bulleted list at the top (no Python support).

I've poked around on our StackExchange and not found anyone dealing specifically with the issue of aligning a QGIS package and GDAL built from source. I even tried building QGIS from source; although it recognized my GDAL installation I could not successfully finish the build. Any idea how I can get QGIS to recognize my current GDAL installation and its Python bindings?

  • I think you are lost with that. Either install all by packages, or compile all from source.
    – AndreJ
    Dec 15, 2014 at 17:15
  • If I install GDAL via package manager, I don't get, for instance, HDF5 support. Installing QGIS from source is laborious and the error messages non-trivial to debug, so I must respectfully disagree. There ought to be a middle ground.
    – Arthur
    Dec 15, 2014 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


You could try to install everything from packages first, then add the hdf5 libs and re-build gdal with that.

All other ways (except self-compiling all) will end in the problems you discovered.


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