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Warning: This is not the official GeoDjango installation instructions for Ubuntu -- it is a reference wiki combed from user-contributed material. Thus, the material therein may be outdated and/or incorrect. Please consult the official Ubuntu installation documentation at before attempting to use the instructions here.

GeoDjango Dependencies with Apt-get on Ubuntu

The GeoDjangoInstall wiki describes in detail how to install GeoDjango dependencies from source, which for many reasons is a great approach.

However, with Ubuntu releases you can also use the Synaptic Package Manager (apt-get install on the command line) to handle some of the installation work for you. In the next version of Ubuntu (8.10), it will likely be possible to install almost everything needed using Synaptic as libraries are updated.

  • Note: if you take this route, be advised that the location of install directories will differ significantly from the source install approach. ie. PostGIS will be installed inside the PostgreSQL contrib and share directories specific to the PostgreSQL version number.

This writeup is based on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS. Any readers should update this document based on their experience from this version and note differences with newer versions.

Short Version

The following is a list of commands to enter into the Terminal to install GeoDjango on Ubuntu. For more detailed explanations on the installation process see the GeoDjangoInstall wiki.

#Download and Install the latest version of Django
cd ~
tar xzvf Django-1.0.tar.gz 
sudo python ~/Django-1.0/ install  #Enter password to give root privileges as prompted throughout the installation
#Install Apache2, PsycoPg2, PostGreSQL, PostGIS, build-essential [to be able to compile libraries], and Mod_Python
sudo apt-get install apache2 python-psycopg2 postgresql build-essential libapache2-mod-python postgresql-8.3-postgis #Press 'y' to confirm download
wget  # The version in the Repositories is currently not new enough for GeoDjango
wget # The version in the Repositories is currently not new enough for GeoDjango
wget # The version in the Repositories likely will not properly build the proj datum shifting files
tar xjf geos-3.0.0.tar.bz2
cd geos-3.0.0
sudo make install
cd ..
tar xzf proj-4.6.1.tar.gz
cd proj-4.6.1/nad
tar xzf ../../proj-datumgrid-1.4.tar.gz
cd ..
sudo make install
cd ..
tar xzf gdal-1.5.2.tar.gz
cd gdal-1.5.2
sudo make install
cd ..
sudo pico /etc/postgresql/8.3/main/pg_hba.conf #Edit to allow Django Connections, as per the regular Django Docs
sudo pico /etc/apache2/sites-available/default #Edit to Create Django Locations, as per the regular Django Docs 

Create your PostGIS enabled PostgreSQL db

sudo su postgres
createuser [username]   
    alter user [username] with password '[password]';
createdb [dbname]
createlang plpgsql [dbname]
psql -d [dbname] -f /usr/share/postgresql-8.3-postgis/lwpostgis.sql
psql -d [dbname] -f /usr/share/postgresql-8.3-postgis/spatial_ref_sys.sql


Add the following to near the beginning of the file for any GeoDjango app you create:
    GDAL_LIBRARY_PATH = '/usr/local/lib/'
Add the following to the Apache2 config file in the Location Subsection:
    SetEnv GDAL_DATA /usr/local/share/ 

Full Instructions

Step 1

Download all needed programs and libraries using apt-get and wget [commandline] or Synaptic and Firefox [GUI]:

apt-get install apache2 python-psycopg2 postgresql build-essential libapache2-mod-python postgresql-8.3-postgis  

Synaptic or apt-get will download and install the specified packages in one step. Django and the other libraries still need to be installed as described below.

Step 2

  • Open up access in the pg_hba.conf file
    sudo pico /etc/postgresql/8.3/main/pg_hba.conf #Alternatively use gedit or a text editor of your choice  
    # change ident sameuser to trust - WARNING SECURITY RISK
    # comment out this line to allow, for instance, to django/psycopg2 to connect without password
    local   all         postgres                          ident sameuser
    • Restart (or start) the server by switching into the default postgres user
      sudo su - postgres
      /etc/init.d/postgresql-8.3 start

Step 3

Compile and install these libraries so GeoDjango can find them. Install Proj4 exactly like the full instructions here: Extract gdal-1.5.2.tar.gz and geos-3.0.0 to folders on your Desktop and install:

    #in the geos-3.0.0 directory
    sudo make install    

    #in the proj-4.6.1 directory
    cd proj-4.6.1/nad
    tar xzf ../../proj-datumgrid-1.4.tar.gz
    cd ..
    sudo make install

    #in the gdal-1.5.2 directory
    sudo make install   

    sudo cp ~/Desktop/geos-3.0.0/capi/libs/* /usr/lib/
    sudo cp /usr/share/gdal/gcs.csv /usr/local/share/

Step 4

Create your PostGIS template_postgis database

# Switch to the default postgres user
sudo su - postgres
# Create a template database with UTF encoding owned by the postgres user (or your user of choice)
createdb -E UTF8 -O postgres -U postgres template_postgis
# Now you can switch back to your normal user
# Load the required procedural language for postgis
createlang plpgsql -d template_postgis -U postgres

Now you are ready to actually load the postgis functions and tables as sql inserts

  • Note: the two postgis sql files (lwpostgis.sql and spatial_ref_sys.sql) were likely installed in the postgres share directory
    pg_config --sharedir # will give you that dir
    # Also look in:
    ls /usr/share/ # or /usr/local/share/


psql -d template_postgis -U postgres -f /usr/share/postgresql-8.3-postgis/lwpostgis.sql
# Note: ignore any NOTICES, like 'psql:/usr/share/lwpostgis.sql:44: NOTICE:  type "histogram2d" is not yet defined'
  • You should see output like:
  • If you get an error about not being able to find geos add /usr/local/lib to /etc/ and run:
    ldconfig # Then restart PostgreSQL

Then load the geographic projections table:

psql -d template_postgis -U postgres -f /usr/share/postgresql-8.3-postgis/spatial_ref_sys.sql

Whoa! Hopefully that worked, and you will only have to do it once!

From then on create a PostGIS database like:

createdb -U postgres -T template_postgis DB_NAME

Step 5

Return to GeoDjangoInstall for troubleshooting and tests for GDAL and GEOS (see bottom of page)

Step 6

Check out MapServer, Mapnik, and OpenLayers, open source mapping applications recommended for use with GeoDjango.

Install these using Synaptic or the command:

sudo apt-get install cgi-mapserver python-gdal python-mapscript
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