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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, try to install the spatialite-bin package. For distributions that package SpatiaLite 4.2+, install libsqlite3-mod-spatialite.

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.

SPATIALITE_LIBRARY_PATH setting required for SpatiaLite 4.2+

If you’re using SpatiaLite 4.2+, you must put this in your settings:

SPATIALITE_LIBRARY_PATH = 'mod_spatialite'

Installing from source

GEOS and PROJ.4 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, just skip this section.

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

$ wget https://sqlite.org/sqlite-amalgamation-
$ tar xzf sqlite-amalgamation-
$ cd sqlite-

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-4.1.0.tar.gz
$ tar xaf libspatialite-4.1.0.tar.gz
$ cd libspatialite-4.1.0
$ ./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 choose between KyngChaos packages and Homebrew.


First, follow the instructions in the KyngChaos packages section.

When creating a SpatiaLite database, the spatialite program is required. However, instead of attempting to compile the SpatiaLite tools from source, download the SpatiaLite Binaries for macOS, and install spatialite in a location available in your PATH. For example:

$ curl -O https://www.gaia-gis.it/spatialite/spatialite-tools-osx-x86-2.3.1.tar.gz
$ tar xzf spatialite-tools-osx-x86-2.3.1.tar.gz
$ cd spatialite-tools-osx-x86-2.3.1/bin
$ sudo cp spatialite /Library/Frameworks/SQLite3.framework/Programs

Finally, for GeoDjango to be able to find the KyngChaos SpatiaLite library, add the following to your settings.py:



Homebrew handles all the SpatiaLite related packages on your behalf, including SQLite3, 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, add the following to your settings.py:

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