Windows installer

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Revision as of 11:57, 16 March 2010 by Steve geo (talk | contribs) (Installation)
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Because Gramps has been designed to use the multi-platform tool (including Python and GTK), we have created a Windows installer that has been reported to work without any obvious issues.

We do suggest the following:

  • Work with a copy of your main database and keep regular backups in the GRAMPS XML format.
  • Join the GRAMPS Windows mailing list to share your experiences, especially if you are a developer able to contribute to a Windows port.
  • See also GRAMPS and Windows for a collection of hints to run GRAMPS on MS Windows
  • Report any issues you find to help make Gramps better.


1. Close any gtk-based applications that are running, such as the GIMP or Pidgin. See Common Problems below.

2. Install the packages in the following order:

For Gramps 3.1.x and later
Order Package Name Download Size From Comment
1 Python 2.5.4

or later



11 MB
2 GTK+ 2.12.9

or later

gtk-dev-2.12.9-win32-2.exe 17.17 MB gladewin32 includes glade / See Common Problems and Note below. Glade is required for Gramps 3.1.x series and prior
gtk2-runtime-2.16.6-2010-02-24-ash.exe 7MB gtk-win From Gramps 3.2.0 onwards, Glade is no longer a requirement for Gramps. The windows GTK runtime listed here is a viable alternative to the gtk-dev package
3 pygtk 2.12.1

or later

pygtk-2.12.1-2.win32-py2.5.exe 1.9 MB See Common Problems and Note below. "Run as admin" on Vista & later.
4 pygobject 2.12.3

or later

pygobject-2.12.3-1.win32-py2.5.exe 163 KB "Run as admin" on Vista & later.
5 pycairo 1.2.6

or later

pycairo-1.2.6-1.win32-py2.5.exe 82 KB "Run as admin" on Vista & later.
Optional Graphviz graphviz-2.26.msi 29.1 MB Needed to be able to generate relationship graphs (single page PDFs only)
Optional GhostScript gs864w32.exe 11.9 MB Needed to be able to generate PDFs through Ghostscript (multiple pages PDFs) Need to add manually gs\gs8.64\bin folder to system path!

Note: For Gramps 3.0.x and earlier use:

3. Re-boot the computer after installing the above dependencies, prior to installing GRAMPS.

4. Install GRAMPS for Windows. You can download the most recent stable version from SourceForge.

Common Problems

Installer complains pygtk is missing

This is a very common error to see when all dependencies are not installed or installed correctly. Please make sure that each of the packages required have installed correctly, and re-boot the computer prior to running the GRAMPS installer. We often see users attempting to use other packages to satisfy these requirements that omit something necessary (e.g., glade) which produce this error.

In rare occasions, the installer will complain that pygtk is not installed even though everything is correct. Canceling and re-running the installer seems to fix this problem, although if it happens repeatedly, the error is the more severe situation discussed above. (Anyone know why? Please tell us on the gramps-windows email list.)

GTK+ Installer Error

If you already have GTK+ installed, perhaps because you have installed The GIMP, Pidgin, or Gnu Cash, the GTK+ installer will not be able to write to some files if one of those applications is running. If you see errors with the GTK+ installer, select Cancel, shut down the other GTK+ applications and run the installer again. (This issue has been reported as GTK+ Installer doesn't handle locked files well to the kind people who make the GTK+ installer for windows.)

Hang when started

In some environments GRAMPS may be unresponsive after displaying its window after being started, particularly after the first time. This can be worked around by running GRAMPS via a BAT file which first sets GRAMPSHOME to an accessible directory, as discussed on the GRAMPS and Windows page.

Additional plugins

There are some features of Gramps that need additional programs to work. There are several different kinds of reports, and the following features need extra configuration to work on Windows.

  • The Relationship Graph reports (both graphical report and code generator) need an installation of Graphviz. There is a bug in the current stable release, see this example.
  • The Relationship Graph can not use PDF as output format unless there is an installation of ghostscript. After installation, if gswin32.exe or gswin32c.exe is in the path, PDF should appear as one of the formats in the graphical Relationship Graph report.
  • Spell-checking:
    1. For spell-checking to work you first need Enchant library and python bindings PyEnchant. Enchant appears to be a generic spell checking library. You can request dictionaries from it, ask if a word is correctly spelled, get corrections for a misspelled word, etc... PyEnchant is a set of language bindings and some wrapper classes to make the excellent Enchant spellchecker available as a Python module. Both are available for windows as single setup file:
    2. Secondly you need PyGTKSpell from gnome-python-extras which is bindings allowing to run Python programs using the GtkSpell library, that extends GTK+'s GtkTextView widget with support for spell-checking. Depending of yours Python version download and install one of these:
    3. To install additional dictionaries read tutorial on PyEnchant site:


At this time, there is no intent to package all the dependencies and the GRAMPS package into one installer. This creates a very complex coordination condition between GRAMPS and these other projects. It also means a single 30+ MB download every version change.

There have been discussions about trying to install compiled distillations (dynamic link libraries) of these core dependencies to avoid having to install the entire Python and GTK environment, but this work never progressed beyond discussion. For more about this and other Windows issues, see the email list archive.

On Windows Vista you will need to save the executable using "save as" and run it as administrator, otherwise the programs will not be able to write to the registry on installation. To do that right click the saved file and choose "run as administrator".

See also