Gramps 5.0.0 Released

Gramps is a FREE genealogy program originally developed for Linux and UNIX-like operating systems. However, it has since been ported to Windows and Macintosh systems as well. It is an impressive program, both intuitive for hobbyists and feature-complete for professional genealogists. Not bad for a FREE program! Gramps has thousands of users all over the world.

Gramps is a community project, created, developed and governed by genealogists. It is not developed and sold by any commercial company. Instead, you can download this program online and start using it immediately. There is no registration required, no spyware, and no invasion of your privacy. In fact, you can even download the source code yourself and examine it for any flaws or bugs. Once you are satisfied with the source code, you can compile it on your own computer. However, for those who prefer an already packaged version, you can download the executable program itself and simply start using it immediately.

Gramps version 5.0.0 has just been released and the developers have billed it as a major update. It includes:

  1. The biggest change is that you can now choose to use alternative database backends. BSDDB is still the default, but Sqlite is now available. For power users, PostgreSql and MongoDB are available as experimental third-party addons.
  2. There is a new 2-way fan chart view.
  3. New colour schemes allow a light and dark choice.
  4. There are some new report options: date format, place format and privacy.
  5. The Re-order IDs tool has been enhanced.
  6. Enhancements to geography and places. Support for kml files. Ability to cut & paste co-ordinates into the place editor.
  7. There is a new tree report category. This was experimental in v4.2.8.
  8. Plus numerous bug fixes and translation updates of course.

For more information, go to the release 5.0.0 information page at and to the Gramps home page at:

My thanks to newsletter reader Adam Vazquez for telling me about the new release.


Again, how do they pay the rent? I assume some version of the beloved old shareware concept. But that concept seems to have atrophied.


    No, something that has even atrophied more: volunteer work. And from following the mailing list I think that a lot of the developers use it as well.


    —> Again, how do they pay the rent?

    Easy. There is no rent or at least almost no rent.

    Gramps (and many other free, open software projects) is written by volunteers. We can assume that most of them have day jobs. They all probably are skilled programmers. Then they write the Gramps software as a hobby, mostly on nights and weekends. I would assume that most of them are also genealogists and they take pleasure in developing a program that does things they way they want. All of them, or most all of them, work on the Gramps project from their homes. There is no “corporate office.”

    There are very, very low expenses simply because there is no office and I suspect there is no corporation. Therefore, there is no rent to pay, no utility bills, and almost no other expenses. Everyone works for the love of developing the program, not for the purpose of earning a salary. However, the Gramps project does accept donations to help pay the miscellaneous expenses. See for those details.

    The result for the rest of us? FREE software that works well. You can read more about Gramps on Wikipedia at

    Gramps is an excellent example of Free and Open-Source Software, often abbreviated as FOSS. There are hundreds of examples of FOSS software. You can read more about FOSS at and at


5.0 on Linux starts and runs. I haven’t tried out the sql database because I want to use data I don’t need at first, but regular data entry, etc., works. The web report, which I use to put my information online, seems to me to be much faster that 4.x, but I’ve seen another user report that it was slower. His tree was much larger than mine though. (I split up my parents’ and my wife’s family into separate databases.)


It appears to not be FamilySearch certified.


    Gramps never communicates with FamilySearch so there is no need to be certified with FamilySearch. The only programs that are so certified are those that communicate in some manner with FamilySearch. Gramps has no need to be certified.


I wonder how hard it would be to put my RootsMagic tree into Gramps. There are really only 2 programs that keep me using Windows: Microsoft OneNote (PC-based, not the dumbed down online version) and RootsMagic. If I could do without them, it would be “Goodbye, Windows!”


Is anyone using this on Windows XP? I read on their site that previous versions would work on it, but there is no way for me to ask a general question, or figure out which older version I can use.


Leave a Reply

Name and email address are required. Your email address will not be published.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: