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Mapnik installation on Slackware 12.1

Here are the steps that I managed to install Mapnik 0.5.1 on Slackware 12.1, it’s for personal documentation but might be helpful for some of you out there.

Depends on your current installed packages, you may be required to install some other packages, for details of the dependencies, please refer to it’s wiki

Mapnik requires the Boost libraries, International Components for Unicode, Freetype, Proj4, and a variety of image libraries.

Installing Boost is often new to mapnik users, but the majority of remaining dependencies are more familiar.

If you have previously built or installed other open source graphics or mapping applications it is likely that most of the remaining dependencies are already installed.

Currently detailed notes on mapnik dependencies are included in each platform specific installation instructions.

See MapnikInstallation for more information.

Before installation, check your boost lib compatibility here
The boost lib I got from LinuxPackages.Net for Slackware 12.1 is at version 1.36, which is not compatible with mapnik 0.5.1 (I got error while compiling), so I took boost version 1.35 from here

– Install boost lib package
– Install scons package (from, requiredbuilder (from )
– Download SlackBuild of Mapnik for Slackware 12.1 from , put everything in the same folder (e.x /home/download/mapnik-slackbuild/)
– running #./mapnik.SlackBuild
– If everything is ok, you will get mapnik package at the same folder with the slackbuild scripts, install it like other Slackware packages.

Test your Mapnik:

Once the installation is completed, you can test your installation by running a Python Hello World with Mapnik (You can see detailed instruction from here). Here is my summarization

1. Download the data, put it in /home/work/mapnik/data/ & unzip it
2. Copy the python code below, put in it a file name at /home/work/mapnik/

#!/usr/bin/env python

from mapnik import *
m = Map(600,300,“+proj=latlong +datum=WGS84”)
m.background = Color(‘steelblue’)
s = Style()
m.append_style(‘My Style’,s)
lyr = Layer(‘world’)
lyr.datasource = Shapefile(file=‘/home/work/mapnik/data/world_borders’)
lyr.styles.append(‘My Style’)
render_to_file(m,‘world.png’, ‘png’)

3. Go to /home/work/mapnik/ and run the script #python, if you get the world.png file in the same folder then everything is fine, mean the installation was successful

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  1. Dane

    Nice writeup.

    Another great way of testing your installation is to go into the ‘demo/python’ folder within the source distribution of mapnik (ie. in trunk that is here: That will automatically output all the three possible AGG rendering formats (32 bit png, 8 bit png, and jpeg).

    There is also a tool I’ve written called which can read in a mapfile and auto-generate all AGG renderer formats with a special flag (the version in mapnik-util trunk does both Agg and Cairo renderer formats). Find that script here:

  2. number.0

    Thanks Dane for the information. I will definitely check them out, it was just my first step to approach Mapnik.

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