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 4.2+, 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.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
$ unzip
$ 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
$ 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 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 Tools package for macOS, and install spatialite in a location available in your PATH. For example:

$ curl -O
$ unzip
$ cd Spatialite\ Tools/tools
$ 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



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, add the following to your

Back to Top