I’m not going to walk you through every possible button click for an installation. I am going to explain what you need to look for when you’re installing software.
Most of what I’m going to talk about centers around the Windows Desktop environment. I will briefly cover MacOS and Ubuntu.
Before I get started – the official discussion of installation software takes place at: https://qgis.org/en/site/forusers/download.html
QGIS releases new software every five months. That is a lot of releases. They generally release a “service pack” once a month. So if you’re in charge of installing software or want to stay current – it’s a lot to stay on top of.
A few years ago QGIS moved to a releases a “Long Term Release”. As the regular release adds new features, a LTR doesn’t add new features but does fix bugs and provides a user experience that doesn’t change for 1 year.
- If you want cutting edge install then install every 4 months. If this is on your personal computer that will be easy to do.
- If you’re in a corporate or educational environment – install the LTR.
- In either case – once QGIS is installed it will alert you to a new release.
How do you know when a release will happen a year from now? There is a road map!
So what happens if you are on a Windows Operating System and you want to install QGIS? If you look you’ll notice there are options. You have about three options to choose from.
- The First thing you have to know is if you have a 32bit or 64bit machine. Unless your machine is very old – it will be 64 bit.
- The Second thing you need to know is whether you want to do a Long Term Release or a Current Release.
- The Third thing you need to know is whether you want to do a Standalone install or an OSGeo4W Network Install.
- A standalone install is downloaded and installed and you are done! It’s easy. It’s painless.
- A network install pulls all of its components from the internet at install time. You can also update your install at anytime you want by re-running the setup.
For the corporate and education people:
- I use the network installer quite a bite but it makes the IT staff a bit nervous. They will probably insist on having a standalone install.
For those of you on MacOS or a Linux install (Ubuntu):
- You can pick a Long Term Release or a Current Release for either MacOS or Linux
- Every release of Ubuntu Linux has an install of QGIS available – usually that version is out of date. Use the repositories from the official QGIS website above.
- MacOS has an install candidate you can get from the official QGIS website mentioned above.