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MEPIS 7 users can easily set up a Geographic Information System (GIS) using open-source components.

Quantum GIS


Quantum GIS (QGIS) is a user-friendly open-source geodata viewer that supports vector, raster, and database formats.


Installation of QGIS in MEPIS 8 is a breeze compared to MEPIS 7! To begin with, add this new repository:

deb lenny main

Then just refresh Synaptic or do apt-get update, and install the package in your usual manner. This will give you QGIS 11.0. To get the Python bindings, you will have to install python-qt4 and its dependencies as well.


An older version (0.7) is available in the MEPIS 7 repos. Install:


If you want to use QGIS as a front end for Grass, then also install


which will install Grass (see below) and the needed dependencies.

To update to a more recent version (currently 0.9), download this package. The package includes four deb files, one of which we will ignore here.

A dependency requirement needs to be fulfilled first. Using a terminal, type as root:

apt-get install libqt4-qt3support

If that runs into dependency problems, follow the onscreen directions and enter:

apt-get -f install

which will complete the installation.

Now we can install the new version of QGIS. Double-click and install with Kpkg this file:


then this:


Finally, if you are going to be using Grass, then you want to also install the updated Grass plugin. First you need to download and install a dependency. Go to this page, then right-click, save and install this deb file:


Once that has installed, then you can install from the qgis 0.9 package you downloaded:


and you should be good to go!


There are many official plugins available by default in QGIS as installed on M8 as described above. But that installation will not include the Plugin Installer that will allow user-contributed plugins to be used. To get Plugin Installer added to the QGIS Plugins menu entry, install python-qgis from the repositories in the usual manner. When you restart QGIS, you will now find Plugin Installer as one of the items listed under Plugin Manager. Check the box and click OK to install it.

By far the most useful external plugin is ftools, which "comprises a growing suite of spatial data management and analysis functions that are both fast and functional." The installation is carried out by downloading the plugin from this page, and following the directions found by clicking "Click here" at the bottom of the install page. Now when you start QGIS, you will find a new menu entry with easy access to the time-saving tools.




Grass is a Geographic Information System (GIS) used for geospatial data management and analysis, image processing, graphics/maps production, spatial modeling, and visualization. It can be used standalone, or as a powerful backend to QGIS.


Grass 6.0.2-6 is in the MEPIS 7 repos, while the latest stable version of 6.2.3 is in the MEPIS 8 ones. Install:


The version 6.2.3 would require a number of unmet dependencies would have to be satisfied to install it in MEPIS 7. People needing it should just upgrade to MEPIS 8.

Other applications

Other applications are available that are useful for GIS operations:


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