I have followed the instructions here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaFrXzw7IvI to install PCRaster Tools via conda, which is working.

However it appears that all of my previously installed packages are still retained, but GRASS and SAGA are no longer installed and/or working? I was using GRASS tools with no issue prior to the conda setup. When I open QGIS outside of conda, both work again.

GRASS GIS Processing Provider is listed as installed in the plugin manager, but no tools are listed in the processing toolbox. I have also installed them manually and directed the filepath 'Options > Processing > GRASS > Location of Grass docs' to '/Applications/QGIS.app/Contents/MacOS/grass78'

Additionally there are log messages:

'Problem with GRASS installation: GRASS was not found or is not correctly installed' 'Problem with SAGA installation: SAGA was not found or is not correctly installed'

  • Please consider to install GRASS GIS 8.3 instead of the very outdated 7.8. - see grass.osgeo.org/download/mac/#GRASS-GIS-current
    – markusN
    Jan 3 at 16:28
  • Thanks for your comment @markusN - GRASS 8.3 is installed on my Mac, but in the QGIS Plugin manager it seems only GRASS 7 is installed, with the note 'This is a core plugin, so you can't uninstall it'. Therefore there is no option to update it. Any thoughts on how to do this?
    – Justine
    Jan 4 at 13:02
  • Looking at ports.macports.org/port/qgis3/details it shows under Variants: "grass (Build GRASS (latest) plugin)" which is 8.3.1, see ports.macports.org/port/grass. Seems you can install that (additionally).
    – markusN
    Jan 4 at 17:07
  • I've just installed that via macports, but the only options still in Finder are 'Applications/QGIS.app/Contents/MacOS/grass78' or 'Applications/QGIS.app/Contents/MacOS/grass' (to directed the processing filepath to in preferences). Still in the plugin manager the same GRASS 7 or GRASS GIS Provider are only showing up.
    – Justine
    Jan 11 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


The officially distributed QGIS.app for Mac is presently quite outdated, with respect to the bundled software (GDAL, GRASS GIS etc.). It is also built only for x86_64 Intel machines, which make it necessary to be run under Rosetta 2 for Apple ARM machines. This is something the QGIS developer team is working on, but for the time being this is the reality.

The current alternatives for installing QGIS are, to my knowledge, Conda, Homebrew and MacPorts. Neither Conda nor Homebrew provide GRASS or SAGA packages. MacPorts offers both QGIS (latest version, port qgis3) and QGIS LTR (port qgis3-ltr), which may be installed at the same time. MacPorts also provides SAGA (port saga) and in addition OrfeoToolbox (port orfeotoolbox), which both may be used with QGIS. Presently, MacPorts and Homebrew both lack the PCRaster package needed for PCRaster Tools.

Being biased[1] towards MacPorts I warmly recommend using the MacPorts distribution of QGIS. In case you have an ARM-based Mac, there is an enormous speed gain in comparison with the official bundle.

Application bundles installed by MacPorts are installed in /Applications/MacPorts, QGIS should therefore be looked after there.

Installing QGIS with grass variant, with sudo port install qgis3 +grass will result in the latest QGIS in /Applications/MacPorts/QGIS3.app with latest GRASS (without GUI). (To add the GRASS GUI: sudo port install grass-gui, found at /Applications/MacPorts/GRASS-8.3.app.)

SAGA is also available, for using with QGIS you need to install the port py311-pysaga (the SAGA Python module) needed for the QGIS plugin “Processing Saga NextGen Provider”), which nowadays offers the SAGA bridge to QGIS. OrfeoToolbox also integrates with QGIS (see notes in https://ports.macports.org/port/orfeotoolbox/details/).

[1] Disclaimer: I am a MacPorts user and also co-maintainer of a couple of MacPorts’ GIS-related ports.

Update Now you can install PCRaster with MacPorts too, with port install pcraster, then install the "PCRaster Tools" QGIS plugin.

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