Just wondering if GDAL tools are actually already within QGIS -- was it redundant for me to install them on my OS X Yosemite independently? Recently I used GDAL tools to explode .kml data for use within QGIS -- I was able to do this since following cookie crumbs led me to install GDAL for the solution.

  • Personally I have 4 installs of GDAL, One with QGIS, one 32bit with C# libs, one 64bit with C# libs and finally GDAL with python 2.7. There are some things in the GDAL downloads that aren't included with QGIS, if that's important then by all means install away. On Windows you can control with the GDAL system variables and %PATH% which version you are currently accessing - I assume a similar facility exists on Mac (but may be incorrect, I don't use macs.). Mar 9, 2015 at 3:45

2 Answers 2


At least the GDALTools core plugin uses the tools directory for raster operations. Not sure if they are being used elsewhere.


When you install QGIS in Mac OS X (via the Kyng Chaos version, via different Homebrew versions as the osgeo4mac version of Larry Shaffer or via MacPorts) you need to install also GDAL/OGR.

And you can use the programs/libraries independently of QGIS (Mac OS X is a Unix system and the GDAL tools are not within QGIS)

For example the GDAL Tools of the Kyng Chaos version are in /Library/Frameworks/GDAL.framework/Versions/1.11/Programs and if you want to use one of them in the shell (Terminal)

/Library/Frameworks/GDAL.framework/Versions/1.11/Programs/gdal-config --datadir

(/usr/local/bin for the Homebrew version)

You can also put the line:

export PATH=/Library/Frameworks/GDAL.framework/Versions/1.11/Programs:$PATH

In your .bash_profile file (hidden file in the /users/you directory) and use directly

gdal-config --datadir

You can also use the Python module

import osgeo
from osgeo import gdal

So, you don't need to reinstall the GDAL tools (except if you are comfortable with the Unix PATH system)

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