Starting GeneWeb and its components

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GeneWeb's distribution comes with standard tools for starting GeneWeb in a minimal configuration. To start Geneweb:

  • start gwd.
  • start gwsetup.
  • open the START.html page with your preferred browser.

In the tree below, the scripts have extension .bat for Windows, and .command for macOS.

    • directory gw
    • file CHANGES.txt: changelog
    • script file geneweb: (macOS only) launch script for gwsetup, gwd and START.html page in a single command.
    • script file gwd: minimal launch script for gwd
    • script file gwsetup: minimal launch script for gwsetup
    • file LICENSE.txt
    • file LIZEZMOI.txt
    • file README.txt
    • file START.htm : a minimal start page (assumes that gwd and gwsetup have been started)

Alternatively, you may launch the execution of the various components of GeneWeb with command lines in a terminal window as described below.

Command lines operation

Using GeneWeb with command lines assumes that you are familiar with the notions of files, folders and that you are not afraid of entering commands directly in a terminal window. If this was not the case, you should limit yourself to the use of gwsetup which provides a web based interface for most of the needed actions.

Starting a terminal window under Windows 7.

In order to configure and launch GeneWeb, you may use interactive commands in terminal window:

  • with a xterm virtual console under Unix/Linux or a terminal window under OS X,
  • with cmd.exe under Windows (various ways to start cmd.exe depending on Windows version).

In this window, type the command to position yourself in the folder where GeneWeb is installed (see GeneWeb installation) which could be:

  • under Unix or OSX:
cd /home/user/gw-7.00-alpha-linux/gw/
  • under Windows,:
cd c:\"program files (x86)"\gw-7.00-alpha-win\gw

./program -help will return the help documentation with a list of possible parameters.

Main components

The following programs perform the following tasks:

  • gwd: act as a HTTP server processing requests end returning results.
  • gwc: read a GWformat file to create a GeneWeb base.
  • ged2gwb: read a GED file to create a GeneWeb base
  • gwu: outputs the content of a base in the GeneWeb format
  • gwb2ged: outputs the content of a base in the GED format.


  • consang: computes the consanguinity in a base and performs a base clean-up.
  • update_nldb: create the index of the various auxiliary pages created in notes with the wiki syntax [[[linked_page/displayed text]]] (see wikitext). A listing of these pages is obtained with the m=MISC_NOTES command. Usage: ./update_nldb <base_name>.

GeneWeb Manual

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Use and manage genealogical databases

Technical annex