Skip to content
Branch: master
Find file Copy path
Find file Copy path
2 contributors

Users who have contributed to this file

@seisman @PaulWessel
156 lines (102 sloc) 5.52 KB

Installing GMT

GitHub release

GMT is available on Windows, macOS and Linux. Source and binary packages are provided for the latest release version, and can be downloaded from the GMT main site and the GitHub repository.

This file provides instructions about how to install GMT binary packages in different operating systems. Please refer to Building Instructions for compiling GMT source package (either stable release or development version).



Note: For mysterious reasons, many Linux distros are way behind in packing a recent GMT version. Typically you may find they offer 5.2.1 from 2015 while the rest of us have moved on to 2018. Your best bet then is to build the latest release from source. Otherwise, installing from the distros goes like this:


Install GMT5 via

sudo apt-get install gmt gmt-dcw gmt-gshhg

Note: The Ubuntu package under 16.04 LTS for mysterious reasons does not include the supplements. If you need them you will need to build from source or upgrade to 18.04 LTS.


GMT binary packages are available from Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux. For RHEL and CentOS you can add this repository by telling yum:

sudo yum install epel-release

then, you can install GMT5 via

sudo yum install GMT gshhg-gmt-nc4-all dcw-gmt


Standalone Installer

Application bundle is available from the GMT main site. Download the application bundle (gmt-6.x.x-darwin-x86_64.dmg) and drag to any folder. This bundle includes a self contained GMT installation. opens a terminal from which you can invoke GMT programs and scripts. If you like, you can add the GMT programs contained in the application bundle to your search path for executables. For that, just run once and type:

dirname `which gmt`



in the terminal. Then prepend this directory to your PATH environment variable, e.g., in ~/.bashrc. Note: The installer is always built for the latest macOS version only.

Note: While the installer comes with all GMT executables and needed libraries, there are some run-time dependencies on executables that you will need to install separately:

  • GDAL (Convert shapefiles and produce geotiffs)
  • Ghostscript (Convert PostScript to PDF or raster images)
  • GraphicsMagick (Convert images to animated GIFs)
  • FFmpeg (Convert images to MP4 or WebM videos)

Install these via fink, macport, or homebrew. If you do not use any of these, then we recommend installing homebrew. Now, run either the fink, port, or brew command:

fink install gdal ghostscript graphicsmagick ffmpeg 
port install gdal ghostscript graphicsmagick ffmpeg 
brew install gdal ghostscript graphicsmagick ffmpeg 

Install via macports

Install macports and then the required ports in this order:

sudo port install gdal +curl +geos +hdf5 +netcdf
sudo port install gmt5

A legacy GMT 4 port, gmt4, is available too and a side by side installation is possible. Optional FFTW-3 support and experimental OpenMP parallel acceleration can be enabled with the +fftw3 and +openmp flags.

Install via fink

Installation of GMT through Fink is quite easy. All required packages will also be installed. Ghostscript is not strictly required but very convenient to view PS files.

For the latest GMT 5 version use:

sudo fink install gmt5

For the legacy GMT 4 version use:

sudo fink install gmt

The two versions cannot live side by side.

Install via Homebrew

Installation of GMT through Homebrew is extremely simple. Installing Homebrew itself is a one line command only (see the Homebrew page). You may need to update the formulas so for that you will do:

brew update && brew upgrade

For the latest GMT 5 version use:

brew install gmt

If you want to install GMT 4 and GMT 5 alongside, do:

brew unlink gmt && brew install gmt4

and to go from GMT 5 to GMT 4 (and vice-versa for 4 to 5, but see also the doc about gmtswitch):

brew unlink gmt && brew link gmt4


We provide 32 and 64 bit standalone installers (e.g., gmt-6.x.x-win64.exe) on the GMT main site. If you need the newest development version refer to the instructions for building GMT from source.

Cross Platform Install Instructions

Install via conda

You can use the conda package manager that comes with the Anaconda Python Distribution to install GMT:

conda install gmt --channel conda-forge
You can’t perform that action at this time.