Interactive help

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Your journey starts here

Hi. Welcome to Navit's interactive help. Follow the steps below. After each question, choose the answer that matches best your needs, and you will jump to the next step. This guide will cover from code downloading to the problems you might encounter when using Navit, and possible solutions.

Do you want to learn more about Navit?

Learn more

Navit is an open source car navigation software product with a routing engine.

Its modular design is capable of using vector maps of various formats for routing and rendering of the displayed map. It's even possible to use multiple maps at a time.

The GTK+ or SDL user interfaces are designed to work well with touch screen displays. Points of Interest in various formats can be displayed on the map.

The current vehicle position can be read from gpsd, gypsy or directly from NMEA GPS sensors.

The routing engine not only calculates an optimal route to your destination, but also generates directions and even speaks to you using speechd, or the speech synthesizer of your choice.

Navit currently speaks more than 30 languages. For more information about translations, take a look at launchpad.

Do you want to start using Navit now?

Let's start

Please, make sure you check the prerequisites. If you miss one of them, Navit may build, but you may have no GUI.

Before continuing, ensure that you have the following installed.

See the list detailed per distro:

If your distro is not listed, feel free to add a dedicated page like above. Otherwise, here is what you will need:

Compilation tools:

  • gcc
  • libtool
  • automake
  • autoconf

You will need the following libraries. If you're using Gentoo, install simply the package. If you use a rpm-based distro, also install the <package>-devel.

  • gettext
  • glib2
  • libxt-dev

Now, about the GUIs:

If you want to use the GTK GUI (great on low-power devices):

  • gtk2
  • libgtk2-dev

If you want to use the SDL GUI (best looking, but eat more resources and not as complete as the GTK GUI):

GPS receiver: If you want to be able to connect to a GPS receiver, you will need:

Fonts: Navit will use the first font found in this list to draw the road names:

Ok, we're ready to start.

What code do you want to use?

If you don't know what to choose, SVN is currently recommended.

Fetch a release

You can get the latest official release from here:

Download the file, and extract it.

Fetch from SVN

Obtaining the code via svn.

svn co

Fetch a package

What is your distribution?

Fetch: Archlinux

Fetch: Gentoo

An ebuild is available for Gentoo in the overlay sunrise. This ebuild is based on the svn version of navit to have an up to date version.

Once you install navit using this ebuild, you can follow the rest of this help. The only difference is that you will find the default navit.xml file in /usr/share/navit.

You should copy it to the ~/.navit/ directory (create it if it doesn't exists) or to your home directory. NavIt will look in both these places.



See also Download Navit#Debian.

Packages for Debian are available for the following versions ( may be more up to date than this list):

  • lenny (i386 and amd64)
  • sid (i386 and amd64)

Those packages are based on the SVN and are regularly updated.



See also Download Navit#Ubuntu.

Packages for Ubuntu are available for the following versions ( may be more up to date than this list):

  • gutsy (i386 only - builds stoped at svn rev 2301, please upgrade your OS)
  • hardy (i386 and amd64)
  • intrepid (i386 and amd64)
  • jaunty (i386 and amd64)
  • karmic (i386)

Those packages are based on the SVN and are regularly updated.


Ubuntu 7.10 Glues

Testing with Ubuntu 7.10 showed up the following (may vary depending on what is installed or what not)

  • the X-libraries are not complete for navit, install libxmu-dev additionally from repository
  • prebuild package quesoglc did not work because it has a dependency to /usr/lib/ which is not present (also after installing libmesa*)
  • so build package quesoglc from tarball with --prefix=/usr
  • repository package libcegui* did not work because using XERCES as xml-parser

REMARK the XERCES problem should be fixed in svn as of April 2008. Please give feedback so building from tarball with disabling nearly all but TGA and TinyXML and --prefix=/usr

  • therefore additional libraries like libpcre3-dev are needed
  • installed libgarmin from subversion because not found in repository
  • installed libspeechd-dev from repository
  • installed libtiff-dev from repository
  • installed libdevil-dev from repository (unresolved external libILU..)
  • installed gpsd (should provide libgps-dev)



Get the stable download, or the bleeding edge compiled daily from SVN.

More information at Navit on Windows.


Windows Mobile

Get the stable download (CAB) or the bleeding edge compiled daily from SVN.



We are sorry, we don't have pre-built binaries for MacOS at this time. Please see Navit on MacOS.

If you need help about this, please contact us.

Building Navit

This should be pretty easy.

Go in to the Navit directory:

cd navit

Now, launch the compilation:

./ && ./configure

Now, you sould have a summary like this:

Summary of your installation:
 GTK gui     : ENABLED
 SDL gui     : ENABLED
 GPS support : ENABLED
 Garmin IMG  : ENABLED
 Samplemap   : ENABLED

In some cases (for example ubuntu 7.10) there are some problems with python. Then type:

./ && ./configure --disable-binding-python

If you're not happy, try to change the settings. If you're happy, you can run


This build Navit, and will also download the demo map of München (20Mo)

If you want a feature which is disabled, please go back and check the dependencies.

If you are eager to try navit now, run



Configure Navit

NavIt needs to know some little things before it can be useful for you. First, you need maps.

If you don't know, the best choice is probably OpenStreetMap.

If you just want to use the default demo map of München, you can continue:

For more information about configuring Navit, see:

Configure your receiver

Using a GPS receiver isn't mandatory, but... without it, you won't go far :)

Please see the following link:

When done, you can go back here to continue your journey.

If you have a recent Garmin GPS you could use it for testing Navit with gpsd in the following way (works for me on a E-Trex Vista)

- power on Garmin
- connect it via USB or Serial cable to your PC
- disable GPS at the Garmin
- Select Find a Waypoint, Select demonstration mode and follow road (even on a basemap)
- start gpsd at the PC (e.g. gpsd -N -D 3 /dev/ttyUSB0 for USB-cable - check tty device for garmin)

Your Garmin should now simulate a vehicle and give the simulated data to the usb or serial interface.

Probably you want to check your GPS manual if the device has a Simulation mode.

Hints are welcome for other devices.

Maps: Garmin

Warning: this driver is still experimental.

The following link should tell you everything you need to know about Garmin maps: Garmin_maps


We are sorry that this help didn't solve your case. Everything is not lost: join us on IRC, we'll help you and enhance this help.

You can also search previous IRC chat logs. The logs are currently unavailable.

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