I'm looking to set up a FOSS web GIS to allow sharing of large data files. From online discussions I gather this can be done using a variety of software combinations, e.g.

PostGIS + MapServer + OpenLayers

or alternatively

PostGIS + QGIS Desktop + QGIS Server + QGIS Client.

Could people experienced in this area please detail any advantages and/or disadvantages that might be associated with these two options?

Are there any problems setting up either of these two systems on a 64-bit machine?

The end product webGIS would ideally give differential access via user name and password, with different selections of data available to different users.

Any advice appreciated.

  • Why only PostGIS + MapServer + OpenLayers and not PostGIS + QGIS Desktop + MapServer + OpenLayers? or PostGIS + QGIS Desktop + QGIS Server + OpenLayers. Really the comment is what do you expect each of these bits of software to give you
    – nmtoken
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 19:59

1 Answer 1


For example, one of the advantages of combination 2 (PostGIS + QGIS Desktop + QGIS Server + QGIS Client) over 1 (PostGIS + MapServer + OpenLayers) is that you could create it and set up faster and easier and therefore its more suitable for some lightweight web gis solutions.

Why ? You could share existing QGIS projects or create a new one, set the data and styles and you will simply use it to "publish" trough QGIS Server and QGIS Web Client. No hassle with creating special styles, thematic maps, creating a website from scratch, user interface etc. like would be the case with MapServer and OpenLayers. QGIS Web Client could be also modified to some extent to suit your basic needs of showing published QGIS projects.

But, when you said "large data files" and user based access it sounds like a more serious WebGIS. From a performance and user access side of view, QGIS Server could be a bit slower solution and not so customizable so you will probably find combination 2 limited in comparison to combination 1.

One of the answers that can help too:

QGIS Server limitations?

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