Console or menu?

GRASS commands can be given both via console (text terminal where it is possible to type commands with the keyboard) and via menu (selecting an item with a mouse).

The console and a command typed using the keyboard

At the beginning of GRASS development it was possible to use only the console. Nowadays, a graphic interface has been developed: gis.m through which it is possible to run almost all GRASS commands. Another interface written in Python is experimental. The choice of the work method (console or graphic interface) depends on you. As a general advice, console use allows a better comprehension of the single steps of a procedure, while menu may be easier especially to carry out some particular operations. While the experience of the user grows, some operations will become easier if carried out via console and some others via menu (zoom, pan) or using the buttons in the display manager

Gis manager or gis.m

The structure of the menu must be mentioned. As an example, please select in gis.m the path to r.slope.aspect command: Raster-> Terrain analysis-> Slope and aspect. A window with all the available options for the command appears. The first text line contains a general description of the command.

Interface of a command

Once you have launched a command, a text string with the corresponding command line for the console appears. In this way, it is possible to reconstruct the syntax of the commands even if they are launched via menu. This is very useful also to build scripts.
When a command is started by clicking the button Run with the mouse, a green bar displays the progress of the data processing.

The icon allows to copy the command line (with all the selected option) in the clipboard, so it can be used again in a terminal or in a script. If the button Help is selected, the man page of the corresponding command is displayed in the browser.

The GIS.m Output window contains the commands run with GRASS and their output messages. It is possible to save the current output in a text file, by selecting the button Save. The button Clear wipes the window from previous output.

Output window- GIS.m
The bottom part of the window works as a console: commands can be written and launched with the button Run.

Command g.region launched from Output window of GIS.m
The button Run (Background) runs the command in background, while Run in UI and Run in Xterm launch the graphic interface to the command or open a terminal.
If launched from menu, command output is displayed in output window. If launched from terminal a the output will be displayed in a tab Output in the command's window. Anyway, the result has the same content.


Some commands can be stopped by clicking with the right mouse button in the active monitor. If a window has been closed in a wrong way or if you experience command failure please visit the Troubleshooting section.