Gnome Maps is an excellent alternative to proprietary services like Google Maps or Bing Maps. One of the best features of Gnome Maps is the ability for Linux users to download directions directly to a PDF file.
In this guide, we’ll go over how to save Gnome Map directions to a PDF file. We’ll also go over how to set up the app on your Linux PC. To start the installation, ensure you are using a Gnome-based desktop environment and follow along below.
Note: Gnome Maps will work on Qt-based Linux desktop environments like KDE Plasma or LXQt. However, you should install the Flatpak release of Gnome Maps so that it won’t pollute your Qt environment.
Install Gnome Maps on Linux
Gnome Maps is a core Gnome Shell application. With that said, it doesn’t always come pre-installed, so we must go over how to set up the app before continuing. To start the installation, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. From there, follow the command-line installation instructions that correspond with the Linux OS you currently use.
On Ubuntu, you can get Gnome Maps working with the Apt command.
sudo apt install gnome-maps
Need to get Gnome Maps for your Debian Linux PC? Run the Apt-get command.
sudo apt-get install gnome-maps
On Arch Linux, the Gnome Maps application is available for installation on Arch Linux as well as Manjaro Linux. To get the app working, use the following Pacman command.
sudo pacman -S gnome-maps
Fedora Linux is a Linux distribution that ships the latest Gnome Shell technologies. Gnome Maps may already be set up and installed on your computer. However, if it is not, you can easily install it with the following Dnf command in a terminal.
sudo dnf install gnome-maps
OpenSUSE usually has relatively new Gnome tools pre-installed. That said, if your PC does not have Gnome Maps, you can quickly install it. To get Gnome Maps working on your OpenSUSE Linux computer, run the following Zypper installation command.
sudo zypper install gnome-maps
Gnome Maps, like many of the other Gnome tools, are available as a Flatpak. To start the installation of Gnome Maps as a Flatpak, you must install the Flatpak runtime. To do this, follow the guide here. When the runtime is installed, enter the commands below.
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo flatpak install flathub org.gnome.Maps
Finding directions with Gnome Maps
Navigation with Gnome Maps is easy as the app has a pretty simple user interface. To find directions in Gnome Maps, open up the program via the app menu on your Linux desktop. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions below.
Step 1: Inside of Gnome Maps, look for the direction button and click on it with the mouse. If you cannot find it, it is directly to the right of the star button. Look to the screenshot below for help.
Step 2: After clicking on the directions button, you will see two text boxes. The first text box is the location you are originating from. The second one is your destination.
Find the first text box and type in the address of where you are departing from. Be sure to be as accurate as possible, so the map can generate exact directions.
Step 3: Find the second text box and type in the exact address of where you plan to arrive at. Once again, be sure to be as accurate as possible with the address information. The more precise your address is, the better the directions with Gnome Maps.
Step 4: Look at the four transportation icons at the top above the two text boxes. Select the transportation icon that best suits the mode of travel you plan to use. Keep in mind that the method of travel you select will significantly affect the directions that Gnome Maps give you, so do not skip this step!
When all location information is filled out into Gnome Maps, and the transportation icon is selected, the app will generate directions for you. To learn how to save these directions to a PDF file, go to the next section of the guide.
Downloading directions as a PDF
To save your Gnome Maps as a PDF file, follow the step-by-step instructions below.
Step 1: Locate the printer button in the top-right section of the app and click on it with the mouse. If you cannot find the print button, it is directly to the left of the star icon.
Step 2: Look through the printer list for the “Print to File” option, and click on it with the mouse. Then, find “File” and click on the button next to it. Change “output.pdf” to a filename more suitable. Then, click “select.”
Step 3: Find the “Print” button, and click on it with the mouse. By selecting “Print,” you will tell Gnome Maps to save the directions to a PDF file.