Unix and Grass commands in Windows

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Unix and Grass commands in Windows

Stephen Brearley

Hi Folks

 

Just wondering how best to execute Unix and Grass commands using Grass 6/7.0. I’m running Windows Vista, and had started installing Cygwin, but this seems to be massive, and not even sure if this is the best environment, as some users don’t seem happy about it. I had initially thought I could use the Console window, but this appears not to accept Unix commands. I also tried the included MySys Unix console which appears to be a Bash shell, but this does not recognise Grass commands.

 

>What would you recommend is the best option if I want to use Grass quite a lot, but don’t want to convert my PC to a fully fledged Linux system (unless that really is the best option, such as using an emulator).

 

Thanks

 Stephen


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Re: Unix and Grass commands in Windows

Micha Silver
Consider the option to install a virtual machine running Linux. Gives you the best of both worlds. You might choose the OSGeo Live DVD as your source for the virtual machine. It runs Xubuntu, and you'll have right from the get go GRASS 6.4 all the other GIS software you could want.
You'll find instructions on how to setup the Live DVD as a virtual machine (with VirtualBox) right in the help files on the DVD. And after install the "Guest Addons" in the new VM, you'll be able to share folders between the VM and the host Windows computer, so you'll have access to any results from your Linux GRASS work back on the Windows machine.

Best,
Micha

On 21/04/2013 13:55, Stephen Brearley wrote:

Hi Folks

 

Just wondering how best to execute Unix and Grass commands using Grass 6/7.0. I’m running Windows Vista, and had started installing Cygwin, but this seems to be massive, and not even sure if this is the best environment, as some users don’t seem happy about it. I had initially thought I could use the Console window, but this appears not to accept Unix commands. I also tried the included MySys Unix console which appears to be a Bash shell, but this does not recognise Grass commands.

 

>What would you recommend is the best option if I want to use Grass quite a lot, but don’t want to convert my PC to a fully fledged Linux system (unless that really is the best option, such as using an emulator).

 

Thanks

 Stephen



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Micha Silver
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052-3665918
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Re: Unix and Grass commands in Windows

Stephen Brearley

Thanks Micha

 

I’ll have a look at this. I am trying to optimise the number of applications on my system to have a limited number that I can actually use, yet cover all evils!! Want to concentrate on processing and interpreting data, rather than installing more GB. Creating a Linux partition is extra housekeeping, but as you say, may be the best option. Would like to get everything on a modest laptop, or even a subset of tools on my phablet..(another day!)

 

>Can you tell me what is the best Windows-based solution as well please, -to compare?

Can’t help feeling there is something built into Grass 7.0, that is right under my nose.

 

Thanks

  S

 

From: Micha Silver [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: 21 April 2013 13:45
To: Stephen Brearley
Cc: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [GRASS-user] Unix and Grass commands in Windows

 

Consider the option to install a virtual machine running Linux. Gives you the best of both worlds. You might choose the OSGeo Live DVD as your source for the virtual machine. It runs Xubuntu, and you'll have right from the get go GRASS 6.4 all the other GIS software you could want.
You'll find instructions on how to setup the Live DVD as a virtual machine (with VirtualBox) right in the help files on the DVD. And after install the "Guest Addons" in the new VM, you'll be able to share folders between the VM and the host Windows computer, so you'll have access to any results from your Linux GRASS work back on the Windows machine.

Best,
Micha

On 21/04/2013 13:55, Stephen Brearley wrote:

Hi Folks

 

Just wondering how best to execute Unix and Grass commands using Grass 6/7.0. I’m running Windows Vista, and had started installing Cygwin, but this seems to be massive, and not even sure if this is the best environment, as some users don’t seem happy about it. I had initially thought I could use the Console window, but this appears not to accept Unix commands. I also tried the included MySys Unix console which appears to be a Bash shell, but this does not recognise Grass commands.

 

>What would you recommend is the best option if I want to use Grass quite a lot, but don’t want to convert my PC to a fully fledged Linux system (unless that really is the best option, such as using an emulator).

 

Thanks

 Stephen



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Re: Unix and Grass commands in Windows

Glynn Clements
In reply to this post by Stephen Brearley

Stephen Brearley wrote:

> Just wondering how best to execute Unix and Grass commands using Grass
> 6/7.0. I'm running Windows Vista, and had started installing Cygwin, but
> this seems to be massive, and not even sure if this is the best environment,
> as some users don't seem happy about it. I had initially thought I could use
> the Console window, but this appears not to accept Unix commands.

The console window doesn't recognise any commands; it's the shell
which is run in it which executes commands.

If you use the "Command Prompt" entry in the start menu, you'll get a
console window running cmd.exe (largely backward-compatible with DOS).

MSys and Cygwin each offer a version of bash, along with some
utilities. Cygwin provides a higher degree of Unix compatibility, but
is more heavyweight.

MSys and Cygwin each include a terminal emulator (rxvt for MSys,
mintty for Cygwin), and the corresponding icon uses this terminal
emulator to run bash. However, either version of bash can be run in a
Windows console window if that is preferred.

> I also tried the included MySys Unix console which appears to be a
> Bash shell, but this does not recognise Grass commands.

GRASS commands are designed to be run inside of a GRASS "session".
Essentially, this requires certain environment variables to be set
(e.g. GISBASE must contain the path to the GRASS installation, GISRC
must contain the path to a file containing certain settings, PATH must
include the directories containing GRASS programs and DLLs).

GRASS is supplied with a batch file which sets the various environment
variables then starts a shell and/or a GUI.

> >What would you recommend is the best option if I want to use Grass quite a
> lot, but don't want to convert my PC to a fully fledged Linux system (unless
> that really is the best option, such as using an emulator).

GRASS 7 should run "natively" on Windows, i.e. it shouldn't require
bash or any Unix utilities. GRASS 6.x requires bash and standard
utilities in order to run various shell scripts (these have been
converted to Python in GRASS 7).

The Cygwin version should only be used if you particularly want a Unix
environment but only have a Windows system.

--
Glynn Clements <[hidden email]>
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Re: Unix and Grass commands in Windows

hamish-2
In reply to this post by Stephen Brearley
Stephen wrote:
> Hi Folks  Just wondering how best to execute Unix and Grass
> commands using Grass 6/7.0. I’m running Windows Vista,

for GRASS 6.4 it is this one:

 Start -> Programs -> GRASS GIS 6.4.3 -> GRASS GIS 6.4.3 with MSYS.


> and had
> started installing Cygwin, but this seems to be massive, and
> not even sure if this is the best environment, as some users
> don’t seem happy about it.

It's ok, just overkill for what you want to do. People will
always be unhappy with something or other on the internet, I
wouldn't let that stop you. :)  Yes, the installer is a pain.


> I had initially thought I could use the Console window, but
> this appears not to accept Unix commands.

type "bash" at that prompt and it will. (maybe follow by
" PS1='GRASS:\W> ' " to get the prompt look back)

I'm concerned that the CMD.EXE dos box console in 6.4 is still a
bit half baked. The "rxvt" which runs the MSYS is not ideal
either, but at least it generally works and occasionally doesn't,
as opposed to the current CMD.EXE (GRASS Command Line + running
g.gui) in 6.x, which seems to me lately to be lots of things
not working.  I don't use this day to day, so take with a
grain of salt, maybe mine had a bad day when I tried it.

> I also tried the included MySys Unix console which appears to
> be a Bash shell, but this does not recognise Grass commands.

there are two menu items:

 - GRASS GIS 6.4.3 with MSYS
 - MSYS UNIX Console

the second one is just a generic UNIX prompt, the GRASS
environment has not been loaded for you. the first one is
what you want.


> What would you recommend is the best option if I want to use
> Grass quite a lot, but don’t want to convert my PC to a fully
> fledged Linux system (unless that really is the best option,
> such as using an emulator).

I'd try the GRASS+MSys first. If that has problems, then it's
pretty easy to install the free VirtualBox Virtual Machine
software, then load something like xUbuntu of the OSGeo Live
demo onto it. There are some step by step instructions on how
to do that here:
  http://live.osgeo.org
What I like about the Virtual Machines is that it makes the
whole OS choice debate a bit moot. Set whichever one you're
running to full screen, and there you are.

GRASS is still smoother on UNIX (Linux/Mac/...), but we're trying
to level the playing field as fast as we can. There are still a
few rough edges on Windows, but it's getting much closer.


good luck,
Hamish
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Re: Unix and Grass commands in Windows

Stephen Brearley
Hamish


Thanks for your excellent response.
Confirmed a few of my suspicions, plus some honest comment/nudges to others.
-Appreciate the hard work everybody is putting in!

  Stephen

-----Original Message-----
From: Hamish [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: 22 April 2013 12:27
To: [hidden email]; Stephen Brearley
Subject: Re: [GRASS-user] Unix and Grass commands in Windows

Stephen wrote:
> Hi Folks  Just wondering how best to execute Unix and Grass commands
> using Grass 6/7.0. I’m running Windows Vista,

for GRASS 6.4 it is this one:

 Start -> Programs -> GRASS GIS 6.4.3 -> GRASS GIS 6.4.3 with MSYS.


> and had
> started installing Cygwin, but this seems to be massive, and not even
> sure if this is the best environment, as some users don’t seem happy
> about it.

It's ok, just overkill for what you want to do. People will always be unhappy with something or other on the internet, I wouldn't let that stop you. :)  Yes, the installer is a pain.


> I had initially thought I could use the Console window, but this
> appears not to accept Unix commands.

type "bash" at that prompt and it will. (maybe follow by " PS1='GRASS:\W> ' " to get the prompt look back)

I'm concerned that the CMD.EXE dos box console in 6.4 is still a bit half baked. The "rxvt" which runs the MSYS is not ideal either, but at least it generally works and occasionally doesn't, as opposed to the current CMD.EXE (GRASS Command Line + running
g.gui) in 6.x, which seems to me lately to be lots of things not working.  I don't use this day to day, so take with a grain of salt, maybe mine had a bad day when I tried it.

> I also tried the included MySys Unix console which appears to be a
> Bash shell, but this does not recognise Grass commands.

there are two menu items:

 - GRASS GIS 6.4.3 with MSYS
 - MSYS UNIX Console

the second one is just a generic UNIX prompt, the GRASS environment has not been loaded for you. the first one is what you want.


> What would you recommend is the best option if I want to use Grass
> quite a lot, but don’t want to convert my PC to a fully fledged Linux
> system (unless that really is the best option, such as using an
> emulator).

I'd try the GRASS+MSys first. If that has problems, then it's pretty easy to install the free VirtualBox Virtual Machine software, then load something like xUbuntu of the OSGeo Live demo onto it. There are some step by step instructions on how to do that here:
  http://live.osgeo.org
What I like about the Virtual Machines is that it makes the whole OS choice debate a bit moot. Set whichever one you're running to full screen, and there you are.

GRASS is still smoother on UNIX (Linux/Mac/...), but we're trying to level the playing field as fast as we can. There are still a few rough edges on Windows, but it's getting much closer.


good luck,
Hamish

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