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HostGIS Linux

A MapServer-oriented Linux distribution

Matthew Perry & Gregor Mosheh, HostGIS

What is HostGIS Linux?
In a nutshell:
Everything you need to start serving web-based maps in minutes.

The latest stable versions of:

 Slackware Linux, a complete yet minimal subset

 GDAL/OGR, JasPer JPEG2000, ER Mapper ECW SDK
 Postgres / PostGIS server
 MySQL server
 Perl, Python, PHP and MapScript for all three
 MapServer (of course!)
 Web-based system administration and database administration tools
 Example maps and sample data
Why HostGIS Linux?
Installing it yourself is not easy!
 Many, many interrelated components.
 Versions change often and are often incompatible.
 Must be installed in the correct sequence, with correct
configure and compile flags, or else you have to
 You wanted to include _______ but didn't know it at the
time? Back to square one!
There are packages and distributions already.
Why did we reinvent the wheel?

 Many of the solutions are vaporware. HostGIS Linux is here now.

 Packages are often incompatible with your Linux system.
 Packages are often lacking features.
 Live CDs are ill-suited for being a server.
 A full OS is a big download, then come those packages.
HostGIS Linux saves time!
 The download is only 220 MB, compared to 650 for most OSs.
 Simple installation, less than 10 minutes of interactive time.
 Web-based administration tools.
 MWC displays good-looking maps.
 And of course, the big one: Everything already works!

HostGIS Linux is lean and mean!

 Only 1 GB installation, about the same as other OSs.

 Runs great on minimal hardware, or in VMWare.
 No X Windows, no desktop GIS. Other distros do that.
 It's really Slackware! Slackware packages work just fine.
Where do you want to go tomorrow?
• What's missing that HostGIS needs?
• Input/Output formats? Utilities?
• Is X Windows and desktop GIS appropriate for this distro?
• Comments and comparisons to other distributions and packages?
(this slide added after the conference)
The following questions and points were brought up at the conference:

- PDFlib Lite is not free for commercial use, only for open source,
and research/educational use. It's legal for us to distribute, but not
for anyone else to use! What truly free alternatives exist to PDFlib?

- Support for 64-bit platforms? I'll have to figure that out!

- GDAL can use the ER Mapper ECW SDK for JPEG2000 support,
and is superior to JasPer. Definitely, the next release will use
ER's SDK instead of JasPer.

- Chameleon? No, it just doesn't work. A dozen people can't get it to

work, so it'll have to wait until the installation is better documented.

- Other software to bundle? Cartoweb? Mapbuilder? Sure, I'd love to!