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Download & Unpack
ImageMagick builds on a variety of Unix and Unix-like operating systems
including Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and others. A compiler is
required and fortunately almost all modern Unix systems have one. Download
ImageMagick.tar.gz from or its mirrors and verify the
distribution against its message digest.
Unpack the distribution it with this command:
$magick> tar xvfz ImageMagick.tar.gz
Now that you have the ImageMagick Unix/Linux source distribution unpacked,
let's configure it.
The configure script looks at your environment and decides what it can cobble
together to get ImageMagick compiled and installed on your system. This
includes finding a compiler, where your compiler header files are located
(e.g. stdlib.h), and if any delegate libraries are available for ImageMagick
to use (e.g. JPEG, PNG, TIFF, etc.). If you are willing to accept configure's
default options, and build from within the source directory, you can simply
$magick> cd ImageMagick-7.0.9
$magick> ./configure
Watch the configure script output to verify that it finds everything that
you think it should. Pay particular attention to the last lines of the script
output. For example, here is a recent report from our system:
ImageMagick is configured as follows. Please verify that this configuration
matches your expectations.
Host system type: x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu
Build system type: x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu
Option Value
Shared libraries --enable-shared=yes yes
Static libraries --enable-static=yes yes
Module support --with-modules=yes yes
GNU ld --with-gnu-ld=yes yes
Quantum depth --with-quantum-depth=16 16
High Dynamic Range Imagery
--enable-hdri=no no
Delegate Configuration:
BZLIB --with-bzlib=yes yes
Autotrace --with-autotrace=yes yes
DJVU --with-djvu=yes no
DPS --with-dps=yes no
FlashPIX --with-fpx=yes no
FontConfig --with-fontconfig=yes yes
FreeType --with-freetype=yes yes
GhostPCL None pcl6 (unknown)
GhostXPS None gxps (unknown)
Ghostscript None gs (8.63)
Ghostscript fonts --with-gs-font-dir=default
Ghostscript lib --with-gslib=yes no (failed tests)
Graphviz --with-gvc=yes yes
JBIG --with-jbig= no
JPEG v1 --with-jpeg=yes yes
JPEG-2000 --with-jp2=yes yes
LCMS v1 --with-lcms=yes yes
LCMS v2 --with-lcms2=yes yes
LQR --with-lqr=yes no
Magick++ --with-magick-plus-plus=yes yes
OpenEXR --with-openexr=yes yes
PERL --with-perl=yes /usr/bin/perl
PNG --with-png=yes yes
RSVG --with-rsvg=yes yes
TIFF --with-tiff=yes yes
Windows fonts --with-windows-font-dir=
WMF --with-wmf=yes yes
X11 --with-x= yes
XML --with-xml=yes yes
ZLIB --with-zlib=yes yes
X11 Configuration:
Options used to compile and link:
PREFIX = /usr/local
EXEC-PREFIX = /usr/local
VERSION = 6.4.8
CC = gcc -std=gnu99
CFLAGS = -fopenmp -g -O2 -Wall -W -pthread
MAGICK_CFLAGS = -fopenmp -g -O2 -Wall -W -pthread
CPPFLAGS = -I/usr/local/include/ImageMagick
PCFLAGS = -fopenmp
LDFLAGS = -lfreetype
MAGICK_LDFLAGS = -L/usr/local/lib -lfreetype
LIBS = -lMagickCore -llcms -ltiff -lfreetype -ljpeg
-lfontconfig -lXext -lSM -lICE -lX11 -lXt -lbz2 -lz
-lm -lgomp -lpthread -lltdl
CXX = g++
CXXFLAGS = -g -O2 -Wall -W -pthread
You can influence choice of compiler, compilation flags, or libraries of the
configure script by setting initial values for variables in the configure
command line. These include, among others:
Name of C compiler (e.g. cc -Xa) to use.
Name of C++ compiler to use (e.g. CC).
Compiler flags (e.g. -g -O2) to compile C code.
Compiler flags (e.g. -g -O2) to compile C++ code.
Include paths (.e.g. -I/usr/local) to look for header files.
Library paths (.e.g. -L/usr/local) to look for libraries systems that
support the notion of a library run-path may require an additional
argument in order to find shared libraries at run time. For example,
the Solaris linker requires an argument of the form -R/path. Some
Linux systems will work with -rpath /usr/local/lib, while some other
Linux systems who's gcc does not pass -rpath to the linker, require
an argument of the form -Wl,-rpath,/usr/local/lib.
Extra libraries (.e.g. -l/usr/local/lib) required to link.
Here is an example of setting configure variables from the command line:
$magick> ./configure CC=c99 CFLAGS=-O2 LIBS=-lposix
Any variable (e.g. CPPFLAGS or LDFLAGS) which requires a directory path must
specify an absolute path rather than a relative path.
Configure can usually find the X include and library files automagically,
but if it doesn't, you can use the --x-includes=path and --x-libraries=path
options to specify their locations.
The configure script provides a number of ImageMagick specific
options. When disabling an option --disable-something is equivalent to
specifying --enable-something=no and --without-something is equivalent to
--with-something=no. The configure options are as follows (execute configure
--help to see all options).
ImageMagick options represent either features to be enabled, disabled,
or packages to be included in the build. When a feature is enabled (via
--enable-something), it enables code already present in ImageMagick. When a
package is enabled (via --with-something), the configure script will search
for it, and if is properly installed and ready to use (headers and built
libraries are found by compiler) it will be included in the build. The
configure script is delivered with all features disabled and all packages
enabled. In general, the only reason to disable a package is if a package
exists but it is unsuitable for the build (perhaps an old version or not
compiled with the right compilation flags).
Here are the optional features you can configure:
build the shared libraries and support for loading coder and process
modules. Shared libraries are preferred because they allow programs
to share common code, making the individual programs much smaller. In
addition shared libraries are required in order for PerlMagick to be
dynamically loaded by an installed PERL (otherwise an additional PERL
(PerlMagick) must be installed.
ImageMagick built with delegates (see MAGICK PLUG-INS below) can pose
additional challenges. If ImageMagick is built using static libraries (the
default without --enable-shared) then delegate libraries may be built as
either static libraries or shared libraries. However, if ImageMagick is
built using shared libraries, then all delegate libraries must also be
built as shared libraries. Static libraries usually have the extension
.a, while shared libraries typically have extensions like .so, .sa, or
.dll. Code in shared libraries normally must compiled using a special
compiler option to produce Position Independent Code (PIC). The only
time this not necessary is if the platform compiles code as PIC by
PIC compilation flags differ from vendor to vendor (gcc's is
-fPIC). However, you must compile all shared library source with the
same flag (for gcc use -fPIC rather than -fpic). While static libraries
are normally created using an archive tool like ar, shared libraries
are built using special linker or compiler options (e.g. -shared for gcc).
If --enable-shared is not specified, a new PERL interpreter (PerlMagick)
is built which is statically linked against the PerlMagick extension. This
new interpreter is installed into the same directory as the ImageMagick
utilities. If --enable-shared is specified, the PerlMagick extension is
built as a dynamically loadable object which is loaded into your current
PERL interpreter at run-time. Use of dynamically-loaded extensions is
preferable over statically linked extensions so use --enable-shared if
possible (note that all libraries used with ImageMagick must be shared
static archive libraries (with extension .a) are not built. If you
are building shared libraries, there is little value to building static
libraries. Reasons to build static libraries include: 1) they can be
easier to debug; 2) clients do not have external dependencies (i.e.; 3) building PIC versions of the delegate libraries may
take additional expertise and effort; 4) you are unable to build shared
disable building an installed ImageMagick (default enabled).
By default the ImageMagick build is configured to formally install
into a directory tree. This the most secure and reliable way to install
ImageMagick. Use this option to configure ImageMagick so that it doesn't
use hard-coded paths and locates support files by computing an offset path
from the executable (or from the location specified by the MAGICK_HOME
environment variable. The uninstalled configuration is ideal for binary
distributions which are expected to extract and run in any location.
enable 'ccmalloc' memory debug support (default disabled).
enable 'prof' profiling support (default disabled).
enable 'gprof' profiling support (default disabled).
enable 'gcov' profiling support (default disabled).
disable OpenMP (default enabled).
Certain ImageMagick algorithms, for example convolution, can achieve
a significant speed-up with the assistance of the OpenMP API when
running on modern dual and quad-core processors.
disable support for large (64 bit) file offsets.
By default, ImageMagick is compiled with support for large files (>
2GB on a 32-bit CPU) if the operating system supports large files. Some
applications which use the ImageMagick library may also require support
for large files. By disabling support for large files via
--disable-largefile, dependent applications do not require special
compilation options for large files in order to use the library.
Here are the optional packages you can configure:
install legacy command-line utilities (default disabled).
number of bits in a pixel quantum (default 16).
Use this option to specify the number of bits to use per pixel quantum
(the size of the red, green, blue, and alpha pixel components). For
example, --with-quantum-depth=8 builds ImageMagick using 8-bit quantums.
Most computer display adapters use 8-bit quantums. Currently supported
arguments are 8, 16, or 32. We recommend the default of 16 because
some image formats support 16 bits-per-pixel. However, this option is
important in determining the overall run-time performance of ImageMagick.
The number of bits in a quantum determines how many values it may
contain. Each quantum level supports 256 times as many values as the
previous level. The following table shows the range available for various
quantum sizes.
Quantum Depth Valid Range (Decimal) Valid Range (Hex)
8 0-255 00-FF
16 0-65535 0000-FFFF
32 0-4294967295 00000000-FFFFFFFF
Larger pixel quantums can cause ImageMagick to run more slowly and to
require more memory. For example, using sixteen-bit pixel quantums can
cause ImageMagick to run 15% to 50% slower (and take twice as much memory)
than when it is built to support eight-bit pixel quantums.
The amount of virtual memory consumed by an image can be computed by
the equation (5 * Quantum Depth * Rows * Columns) / 8. This an important
consideration when resources are limited, particularly since processing
an image may require several images to be in memory at one time. The
following table shows memory consumption values for a 1024x768 image:
Quantum Depth Virtual Memory
8 3MB
16 8MB
32 15MB
accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels (experimental).
build a universal binary on OS X.
disable support for dynamically loadable modules.
Image coders and process modules are built as loadable modules which are
installed under the directory [prefix]/lib/ImageMagick-X.X.X/modules-QN
(where 'N' equals 8, 16, or 32 depending on the quantum depth) in the
subdirectories coders and filters respectively. The modules build option
is only available in conjunction with --enable-shared. If --enable-shared
is not also specified, support for building modules is disabled. Note that
if --enable-shared and --disable-modules are specified, the module loader
is active (allowing extending an installed ImageMagick by simply copying
a module into place) but ImageMagick itself is not built using modules.
set pixel cache threshold (defaults to available memory).
Specify a different image pixel cache threshold with this option. This
sets the maximum amount of heap memory that ImageMagick is allowed to
consume before switching to using memory-mapped temporary files to store
raw pixel data.
disable threads support.
By default, the ImageMagick library is compiled with multi-thread
support. If this undesirable, specify --without-threads.
enable frozen delegate paths.
Normally, external program names are substituted into the delegates.xml
configuration file without full paths. Specify this option to enable
saving full paths to programs using locations determined by configure.
This useful for environments where programs are stored under multiple
paths, and users may use different PATH settings than the person who
builds ImageMagick.
disable build/install of Magick++.
Disable building Magick++, the C++ application programming interface
to ImageMagick. A suitable C++ compiler is required in order to build
Magick++. Specify the CXX configure variable to select the C++ compiler
to use (default g++), and CXXFLAGS to select the desired compiler
optimization and debug flags (default -g -O2). Antique C++ compilers
will normally be rejected by configure tests so specifying this option
should only be necessary if Magick++ fails to compile.
encode this name into the shared library name (see libtools -release
disable build/install of PerlMagick, or
By default, PerlMagick is conveniently compiled and installed as part
of ImageMagick's normal configure, make, sudo make install process. When
--without-perl is specified, you must first install ImageMagick, change to
the PerlMagick subdirectory, build, and finally install PerlMagick. Note,
PerlMagick is configured even if --without-perl is specified. If the
argument --with-perl=/path/to/perl is supplied, /../path/to/perl is be
taken as the PERL interpreter to use. This important in case the perl
executable in your PATH is not PERL5, or is not the PERL you want to use.
use specified Perl binary to configure PerlMagick.
options to pass on command-line when generating PerlMagick's Makefile
from Makefile.PL.
The PerlMagick module is normally installed using the Perl interpreter's
installation PREFIX, rather than ImageMagick's. If ImageMagick's
installation prefix is not the same as PERL's PREFIX, then you
may find that PerlMagick's sudo make install step tries to install
into a directory tree that you don't have write permissions to. This
common when PERL is delivered with the operating system or on Internet
Service Provider (ISP) web servers. If you want PerlMagick to install
elsewhere, then provide a PREFIX option to PERL's configuration step
via "--with-perl-options=PREFIX=/some/place". Other options accepted by
MakeMaker are 'LIB', 'LIBPERL_A', 'LINKTYPE', and 'OPTIMIZE'. See the
ExtUtils::MakeMaker(3) manual page for more information on configuring
PERL extensions.
disable BZLIB support.
disable Display Postscript support.
enable FlashPIX support.
disable TrueType support.
enable Ghostscript library support.
disable JBIG support.
disable JPEG support.
disable JPEG v2 support.
disable lcms (v1.1X) support
disable lcms (v2.X) support
disable LZMA support.
disable PNG support.
disable TIFF support.
disable WMF support.
prepend to default font search path.
directory containing Ghostscript fonts.
Specify the directory containing the Ghostscript Postscript Type 1 font
files (e.g. n022003l.pfb) so that they can be rendered using the FreeType
library. If the font files are installed using the default Ghostscript
installation paths (${prefix}/share/ghostscript/fonts), they should
be discovered automagically by configure and specifying this option is
not necessary. Specify this option if the Ghostscript fonts fail to be
located automagically, or the location needs to be overridden.
directory containing MS-Windows fonts.
Specify the directory containing MS-Windows-compatible fonts. This not
necessary when ImageMagick is running under MS-Windows.
disable XML support.
disable ZLIB support.
don't use the X Window System.
By default, ImageMagick uses the X11 delegate libraries if they are
available. When --without-x is specified, use of X11 is disabled. The
display, animate, and import sub-commands are not included. The remaining
sub-commands have reduced functionality such as no access to X11 fonts
(consider using Postscript or TrueType fonts instead).
Alternate path to share directory (default share/ImageMagick).
use libstdc++ in DIR (for GNU C++).
While configure is designed to ease installation of ImageMagick, it often
discovers problems that would otherwise be encountered later when compiling
ImageMagick. The configure script tests for headers and libraries by
executing the compiler (CC) with the specified compilation flags (CFLAGS),
pre-processor flags (CPPFLAGS), and linker flags (LDFLAGS). Any errors are
logged to the file config.log. If configure fails to discover a header or
library please review this log file to determine why, however, please be
aware that *errors in the config.log are normal* because configure works by
trying something and seeing if it fails. An error in config.log is only a
problem if the test should have passed on your system.
Common causes of configure failures are: 1) a delegate header is not in the
header include path (CPPFLAGS -I option); 2) a delegate library is not in
the linker search/run path (LDFLAGS -L/-R option); 3) a delegate library is
missing a function (old version?); or 4) compilation environment is faulty.
If all reasonable corrective actions have been tried and the problem appears
be due to a flaw in the configure script, please send a bug report to the
ImageMagick Defect Support Forum. All bug reports should contain the operating
system type (as reported by uname -a) and the compiler/compiler-version. A
copy of the configure script output and/or the relevant portion of config.log
file may be valuable in order to find the problem. If you post portions
of config.log, please also send a script of the configure output and a
description of what you expected to see (and why) so the failure you are
observing can be identified and resolved.
ImageMagick is now configured and ready to build
Once ImageMagick is configured, these standard build targets are available
from the generated make files:
build ImageMagick.
sudo make install
install ImageMagick.
make check
Run tests using the installed ImageMagick (sudo make install must be
done first). Ghostscript is a prerequisite, otherwise the EPS, PS,
and PDF tests will fail.
make clean
Remove everything in the build directory created by make.
make distclean
remove everything in the build directory created by configure and
make. This useful if you want to start over from scratch.
make uninstall
Remove all files from the system which are (or would be) installed by sudo
make install using the current configuration. Note that this target is
imperfect for PerlMagick since Perl no longer supports an uninstall
In most cases you will simply want to compile ImageMagick with this command:
$magick> make
Once built, you can optionally install ImageMagick on your system as
discussed below.
Now that ImageMagick is configured and built, type:
$magick> make install
to install it.
By default, ImageMagick is installs binaries in /../usr/local/bin, libraries
in /../usr/local/lib, header files in /../usr/local/include and documentation
in /../usr/local/share. You can specify an alternative installation prefix
other than /../usr/local by giving configure the option --prefix=PATH. This
valuable in case you don't have privileges to install under the default
paths or if you want to install in the system directories instead.
To confirm your installation of the ImageMagick distribution was successful,
ensure that the installation directory is in your executable search path
and type:
$magick> display
The ImageMagick logo is displayed on your X11 display.
To verify the ImageMagick build configuration, type:
$magick> identify -list configure
To list which image formats are supported , type:
$magick> identify -list format
For a more comprehensive test, you run the ImageMagick test suite by typing:
$magick> make check
Ghostscript is a prerequisite, otherwise the EPS, PS, and PDF tests will
fail. Note that due to differences between the developer's environment and
your own it is possible that a few tests may fail even though the results are
ok. Differences between the developer's environment environment and your own
may include the compiler, the CPU type, and the library versions used. The
ImageMagick developers use the current release of all dependent libraries.
Linux-specific Build instructions
Download ImageMagick.src.rpm from or its mirrors and
verify the distribution against its message digest.
Build ImageMagick with this command:
$magick> rpmbuild --rebuild ImageMagick.src.rpm
After the build you, locate the RPMS folder and install the ImageMagick
binary RPM distribution:
$magick> rpm -ivh ImageMagick-7.0.0-?.*.rpm
MinGW-specific Build instructions
Although you can download and install delegate libraries yourself, many
are already available in the GnuWin32 distribution. Download and install
whichever delegate libraries you require such as JPEG, PNG, TIFF, etc. Make
sure you specify the development headers when you install a package. Next
$magick> tar jxvf ImageMagick-7.0.0-?.tar.bz2
$magick> cd ImageMagick-7.0.0
$magick> export CPPFLAGS="-Ic:/Progra~1/GnuWin32/include"
$magick> export LDFLAGS="-Lc:/Progra~1/GnuWin32/lib"
$magick> ./configure --without-perl
$magick> make $magick> sudo make install
Dealing with Unexpected Problems
Chances are the download, configure, build, and install of ImageMagick went
flawlessly as it is intended, however, certain systems and environments may
cause one or more steps to fail. We discuss a few problems we've run across
and how to take corrective action to ensure you have a working release
of ImageMagick
Build Problems
If the build complains about missing dependencies (e.g. .deps/source.PLO),
add --disable-dependency-tracking to your configure command line.
Some systems may fail to link at build time due to unresolved symbols. Try
adding the LDFLAGS to the configure command line:
$magick> configure LDFLAGS='-L/usr/local/lib -R/usr/local/lib'
Dynamic Linker Run-time Bindings
On some systems, ImageMagick may not find its shared library, Try
running the ldconfig with the library path:
$magick> /sbin/ldconfig /usr/local/lib
Solaris and Linux systems have the ldd command which is useful to track which
libraries ImageMagick depends on:
$magick> ldd `which convert`
Delegate Libraries
On occasion you may receive these warnings:
no decode delegate for this image format
no encode delegate for this image format
This exception indicates that an external delegate library or its headers
were not available when ImageMagick was built. To add support for the image
format, download and install the requisite delegate library and its header
files and reconfigure, rebuild, and reinstall ImageMagick. As an example,
lets add support for the JPEG image format. First we install the JPEG RPMS:
$magick> yum install libjpeg libjpeg-devel
Now reconfigure, rebuild, and reinstall ImageMagick. To verify JPEG is now
properly supported within ImageMagick, use this command:
$magick> identify -list format
You should see a mode of rw- associated with the JPEG tag. This mode means
the image can be read or written and can only support one image per image
If PerlMagick fails to link with a message similar to libperl.a is not found,
rerun configure with the --enable-shared or --enable-shared --with-modules