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Installing SpatiaLite

SpatiaLite adds spatial support to SQLite, turning it into a full-featured spatial database.

First, check if you can install SpatiaLite from system packages or binaries.

For example, on Debian-based distributions that package SpatiaLite 4.3+, try to install the libsqlite3-mod-spatialite package. For older releases install spatialite-bin.

For macOS, follow the instructions below.

For Windows, you may find binaries on the Gaia-SINS home page.

In any case, you should always be able to install from source.

Installing from source

GEOS and PROJ should be installed prior to building SpatiaLite.


Check first if SQLite is compiled with the R*Tree module. Run the sqlite3 command line interface and enter the following query:

sqlite> CREATE VIRTUAL TABLE testrtree USING rtree(id,minX,maxX,minY,maxY);

If you obtain an error, you will have to recompile SQLite from source. Otherwise, skip this section.

To install from sources, download the latest amalgamation source archive from the SQLite download page, and extract:

$ wget https://www.sqlite.org/YYYY/sqlite-amalgamation-XXX0000.zip
$ unzip sqlite-amalgamation-XXX0000.zip
$ cd sqlite-amalgamation-XXX0000

Next, run the configure script – however the CFLAGS environment variable needs to be customized so that SQLite knows to build the R*Tree module:

$ make
$ sudo make install
$ cd ..

SpatiaLite library (libspatialite)

Get the latest SpatiaLite library source bundle from the download page:

$ wget https://www.gaia-gis.it/gaia-sins/libspatialite-sources/libspatialite-X.Y.Z.tar.gz
$ tar xaf libspatialite-X.Y.Z.tar.gz
$ cd libspatialite-X.Y.Z
$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install


For macOS users building from source, the SpatiaLite library and tools need to have their target configured:

$ ./configure --target=macosx

macOS-specific instructions

To install the SpatiaLite library and tools, macOS users can use Homebrew.


Homebrew handles all the SpatiaLite related packages on your behalf, including SQLite, SpatiaLite, PROJ, and GEOS. Install them like this:

$ brew update
$ brew install spatialite-tools
$ brew install gdal

Finally, for GeoDjango to be able to find the SpatiaLite library, set the SPATIALITE_LIBRARY_PATH setting to its path. This will be within your brew install path, which you can check with:

$ brew --prefix

Using this brew install path, the full path can be constructed like this:

SPATIALITE_LIBRARY_PATH = "/opt/homebrew/lib/mod_spatialite.dylib"
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