Installing instructions

GMT is available on Windows, MacOS X and Linux. GMT is an open source software available under the terms of the Lesser GNU Lesser General Public License. Its source code can be downloaded through tarballs or the subversion repository. Source and binary packages are provided for the current 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 from the current tarball or follow svn instructions below. Otherwise, installing from the distros goes like this:


Install GMT5 via

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

However, the Ubuntu package for mysterious reasons does not include the supplements... If you need them you will need to build from source until Ubuntu issues a revised package.

RHEL, CentOS, Fedora

Install GMT5 via

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


Standalone Installer

Download the application bundle (gmt-5.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

echo ${PATH%%:*}

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 OS X version only.

Install GMT 5 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-5.x.x-win32.exe) in the downloads section. If you need the newest development version refer to the instructions for building GMT from source.


Download the latest stable source release from the downloads page or get the latest development version from subversion

svn checkout svn:// gmt-dev
and refer to the included documentation or the online instructions for building GMT from source.