OSGeo4W is a windows based stack of GeoFOSS which is based upon cygwin.

I know there is a package listing describing what is inside the OSGeo4W binary package and I could fetch and install every package on my own.

But it would be nice to install all packages at once: Is there anything similar for Linux available?

By the way, I'm using Sabayon/Gentoo Linux based on the portage package manager which is not compatible with ELGIS.

Update concerning the reasons:

  • Do you really need to install all the packages at once? Well: yes. I keep de- and re-installing packages because of certain options, dependencies, etc. I'm currently trying to get file.gdb [this and that] to work with qgis. But I need to de-install GDAL from package manager (which will break certainly a lot of dependencies) and re-compile it with fgdb support. I was looking for some way to install all-at-once. As stated in this question, it took me like one week to get QGIS running with full GRASS- and plugin-support.

  • Well we have to use OSGeo4W because Windows, unlike every other OS, doesn't have its package manager. Our lives would be a hell of lot easier if it did. Understood. But as I'm not using Ubuntu/Debian I only have some of the important packages in my official repositories, which is quite annoying. That's why I was looking for some meta-package like OSGeo4W.

The OSGeo-Live-distribution looks pretty good though.

  • Well we have to use OSGeo4W because Windows, unlike every other OS, doesn't have its package manager. Our lives would be a hell of lot easier if it did.
    – Nathan W
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 8:03
  • Do you really need to install all the packages at once?
    – R.K.
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 8:05
  • Updated the question addressing your comments.
    – q9f
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 9:20
  • The advantage of OSGeo4W is the large community of Windows users, filing bug reports if anything goes wrong. Ubuntu seems to have adequate support, but the exotic Linux distros seem to lack active supporters or developers. I guess you have to live with that.
    – AndreJ
    Commented Feb 3, 2013 at 14:08

4 Answers 4


What about using the OSGeo Live distribution?

OSGeo-Live is a self-contained bootable DVD, USB thumb drive or Virtual Machine based on Xubuntu, that allows you to try a wide variety of open source geospatial software without installing anything. It is composed entirely of free software, allowing it to be freely distributed, duplicated and passed around.

It has everything in the OSGeo4W and more.

  • What versions are bundled on the DVD? The list at live.osgeo.org/en/overview/overview.html is a bit behind of what OSGeo4W offers. Is a recent QGIS Master included?
    – AndreJ
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 9:01
  • This distribution indeed seems to be worth to have a look at.
    – q9f
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 9:16
  • I had to unaccept that answer, the OSGeoLive distribution is very outdated and unstable. Some repositories are offline and many dependencies are broken. It's a good project but it seems the active community is missing.
    – q9f
    Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 21:52

Besides the OSGeo Live distribution, as already mentioned here, see also

Enterprise Linux (EL) and derivatives (that is, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS and Scientific Linux) is a popular and robust platform for servers and computing-heavy workstations, and is therefore a good fit for GIS specific requirements.

It works also nicely on Fedora etc.

  • Unfortunately, ELGIS is not available for my distribution (Sabayon/Gentoo), updated my question. But It might be worth to have a look at Scientific Linux anyways, thanks.
    – q9f
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 9:18

There is no direct equivalent of OSGeo4W provided for Linux distributions, because there is no need for that. All the major Linux distributions usually provide complete set of Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial packages, so such subset of the overall set of packages (together with packages management system offered by a distributions) should be considered as equivalent to OSGeo4W.

Alternatively, as a short term solution, every FOSS4G is available as package with a source code, so you can build it from source using the canonical GNU steps:

./configure && make && sudo make install

or equivalents for CMake and in most cases it works flawlessly.

  • All the major Linux distributions usually provide complete set ... - I would not ask if that was true :)
    – q9f
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 12:52
  • 2
    @donschoe If a software is not packaged for distribution you use, you should submit request to maintainers of your distribution. This way, other users will benefit greatly. That's how it works in Linux world, ideally.
    – mloskot
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 15:02
  • ideally - and that's correct, but I was looking for some short-term solution. but it seems there is no easy way, I will have a look at the request queue.
    – q9f
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 20:50
  • 1
    One problem, though, in compiling source code and installing it, is the de-installation! It certainly is better, for beginners, to use pre-compiled packages from within a package manager. Removing manually what sudo make install has put in to the system may be a hard and time-consuming task. Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 9:56

For software installation, since Linux distributions usually make use of software repositories rather than downloaded installation files, such as OSgeo4W_setup.exe for Windows, you'd want to research you're particular Linux versions available repositories containing GIS application packages. Windows Users: Repositories for Linux are like Software Stores, or rather public libraries of approved software, such as you use for the installation process of 'software' on a tablet or cell phone.

OSgeo4W_setup.exe actually functions as an ad-hoc way of replicating the package installation process that Linux users have long since typically used. A lot of MS-W* executables do that, a testament to the functionality of Linux and the package installation process. The OSgeo4W actually has an edge in the advanced option of pre-built fgdb support, and automatic Microsoft ODBC database drivers for personal geodatabases (MDB), MS-SQL Spatial support--since the Microsoft Libraries are proprietary to Windows computers.

GIS is specialized, and so the standard repository of anyone's Linux version would be unlikely to have GIS as a standard software to browse for, without adding just that special repository you need.

Ubuntu Linux users can have access to a great GIS software repository under the OSGeo umbrella. You can Download QGIS, GRASS, GDAL/OGR, Spatialite_GUI etc by adding the UbuntuGIS Reposity. see for info-- https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuGIS

Windows users, every Linux Distribution has different repositories of software, so research for your particular version if you are installing Linux. The UbuntuGIS Resposity is well established by OSGeo.

  • on first glance, this looks much better maintained thant the OSGeoLive-distribution. I'll give it a try, thanks.
    – q9f
    Commented Feb 3, 2013 at 14:06

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