Obtaining and Installing GMT

GMT is available via anonymous ftp from a global set of ftp servers; each contain the same files as the main server in Hawaii. File transfer is usually faster if you select the server closest to you. Our installer will automatically get the required archives from the ftp site you choose.
Users with a slow Internet-connection and users who desire large amounts of supplemental data sets ready to be used with GMT: See the GMT Companion DVD-R products distributed by Geoware.

Fast-track for (repeat) UNIX/Linux/OSX users

I've done this before. Take me directly to the INSTALL FORM.

Platform-specific Instructions

  1. or LINUX: Note: The install process requires bzip2.

    1. Automated install [Recommended]. Obtain and install GMT by interacting with the INSTALL FORM. Follow instructions there to obtain the Bourne shell install-script and a customized install parameter file. Note: The automated install will no longer install netCDF so you should make sure this is installed first.
    2. Manual install. If you prefer, you can also do the typical manual install by ftp'ing the files, untar, run configure, make etc. Read the README file for the required steps. For manual install you must also manually get and install the Unidata netCDF library which GMT requires, or have the library already installed. We strongly recommend you not build it yourself but rely on your package manager to install netCDF version 4 and its dependencies.
    3. Subversion installation for GMT gurus. To get the bleeding edge GMT version and even contribute to the development of GMT, consider installing the "live" GMT version by following the Subversion Instructions.
    4. Package managers. Many Linux distros offer GMT; use your package manager to see if you can find it. Also, the OpenCSW project makes GMT packages available for Solaris 9 and 10 on the SPARC and AMD64 architectures. In general, packages may not be the most recent, hence self-install may still be required.

    1. DOS batch files rule. If you just want to install Windows executables and get on with it, visit our GMT Windows page for access to Windows Installers. Note that many of the DOS example scripts utilize GNU awk; the WIN32 executable gawk has therefore been placed on all ftp sites.
    2. DOS batch files suck, part I. Because you cannot get much done with DOS batch jobs, we strongly recommend that you install Cygwin, a free UNIX emulation package for Windows. Cygwin lets you open shell windows and access standard UNIX tools such as tcsh, gcc, etc. You would then install GMT as described above for UNIX/Linux.
    3. DOS batch files suck, part II. If you run Windows, you can get access to csh command windows by installing the freely available Windows Services for UNIX, a UNIX environment for Windows. SFU lets you install GMT as described for UNIX/Linux above.
    4. DOS batch files suck, part III. Finally, you may consider the option of running Linux within a virtual machine, such as VMWare or VirtualBox, and then pursue the general Linux/UNIX install option.
    5. Cygwin sucks. Cygwin is painfully slow to run configure scripts and to launch programs (once launched, programs run fast), so actually the best and easiest way of running GMT under Cygwin is to use the Windows native binaries. All it takes for this solution is to install the Windows executables (GMT Windows) and add the GMT Win bin directory to your Cygwin path via the .bashrc file.

  3. OS X: GMT installs and runs under Apple's OS X which is UNIX-based; just follow instructions for UNIX/Linux above. You must first install the Xcode Developer Tools (which includes the GNU C compiler, make, etc) as these are not installed by default but is an optional install via the OS X Install DVD. You can also download them from Apple's support site. Also select to install X11. Finally, the latest versions of GMT are also available as user-friendly packages via Fink or MacPorts.

Obtaining old GMT versions

If you for whatever reason need to install previous GMT version, including the final version of the GMT 3 series you must manually ftp the tar-balls from SOEST's GMT legacy archive and run the installation (follow the steps in the README file).