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A fast image processing library with low memory needs.
C C++ Python

try to get C++ examples highlighted

looks like gtk-doc only supports C highlighting looking at the sources
... still, get the language= tags to match what source-highlight expects
latest commit 4e96db4216
@jcupitt authored
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benchmark fix use of header
cplusplus add more C++ convenience functions
doc try to get C++ examples highlighted
libvips start some notes on threading
libvipsCC cleanup and bump to 7.42
man remove deprecated stuff from vips help
po fix up translations
python add () overload to python
swig cleanup and bump to 7.42
test fix missing lib detect in tests
tools remove deprecated stuff from vips help
.gitignore tiff pyramid builder no longer copies base image
.travis.yml argh travis
AUTHORS updated German translation
COPYING Update address for Free Software Foundation
ChangeLog start some notes on threading
INSTALL update configure system sort out alpha going to and from 16-bit
NEWS split to trunk/branches typo
THANKS split to trunk/branches
TODO add more C++ convenience functions
acinclude.m4 works! hide benign message from gettextize
compile update build system files fix some compiler warnings
libvips.supp small bugs, start unit tests add gobject to Requires: line add gobject to Requires: line cleanup and bump to 7.42

libvips : an image processing library

Build Status

libvips is a 2D image processing library. Compared to similar libraries, libvips runs quickly and uses little memory. libvips is licensed under the LGPL 2.1+.

It has around 300 operations covering arithmetic, histograms, convolutions, morphological operations, frequency filtering, colour, resampling, statistics and others. It supports a large range of numeric formats, from 8-bit int to 128-bit complex. It supports a good range of image formats, including JPEG, TIFF, PNG, WebP, FITS, Matlab, OpenEXR, DeepZoom, and OpenSlide. It can also load images via ImageMagick or GraphicsMagick.

It has APIs for C and C++ and comes with a Python binding and a command-line interface. Bindings are available for Ruby, JavaScript and others. There is full documentation. There are several GUIs as well, see the VIPS website.

There are packages for most unix-like operating systems and binaries for Windows and OS X.

Building libvips from source

In the libvips directory you should just be able to do:

$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

By default this will install files to /usr/local.

See the Dependencies section below for a list of the things that libvips needs in order to be able to build.

We have detailed guides on the wiki for building on Windows and building on OS X.

Building libvips from git

Checkout the latest sources with:

$ git clone git://

Building from git needs more packages. You'll need at least swig and gtk-doc, see the dependencies section below. For example:

$ brew install gtk-doc swig

Then build the build system with:

$ ./

Debug build:

$ CFLAGS="-g -Wall" CXXFLAGS="-g -Wall" \
    ./configure --prefix=/home/john/vips 
$ make
$ make install

Leak check:

$ export G_DEBUG=gc-friendly
$ export G_SLICE=always-malloc
$ valgrind --suppressions=libvips.supp \
    --leak-check=yes \
    vips ... > vips-vg.log 2>&1

valgrind threading check:

$ valgrind --tool=helgrind vips ... > vips-vg.log 2>&1

Clang build:

$ CC=clang CXX=clang++ ./configure --prefix=/home/john/vips

Clang static analysis:

$ scan-build ./configure --disable-introspection
$ scan-build -o scan -v make 
$ scan-view scan/2013-11-22-2

Clang dynamic analysis:

$ FLAGS="-O1 -g -fsanitize=address"
$ FLAGS="$FLAGS -fno-omit-frame-pointer -fno-optimize-sibling-calls"
$ CC=clang CXX=clang++ LD=clang \
    CFLAGS="$FLAGS" CXXFLAGS="$FLAGS" LDFLAGS=-fsanitize=address \
    ./configure --prefix=/home/john/vips --disable-introspection

$ FLAGS="-O1 -g -fsanitize=thread"
$ FLAGS="$FLAGS -fPIC -pie"
$ FLAGS="$FLAGS -fno-omit-frame-pointer -fno-optimize-sibling-calls"
$ CC=clang CXX=clang++ LD=clang \
    LDFLAGS="-fsanitize=thread -fPIC -pie" \
    ./configure --prefix=/home/john/vips --disable-introspection

Build with the GCC auto-vectorizer and diagnostics (or just -O3):

$ FLAGS="-O2 -msse4.2 -ffast-math"
$ FLAGS="$FLAGS -ftree-vectorize -fdump-tree-vect-details"
    ./configure --prefix=/home/john/vips --disable-introspection \

Static analysis with:

$ cppcheck --force --enable=style . &> cppcheck.log


libvips has to have gettext, glib-2.x and libxml-2.0. The build system needs sh, pkg-config, swig, gtk-doc-tools, automake, gobject-introspection and gnu make.

Optional dependencies

If suitable versions are found, libvips will add support for the following libraries automatically. See ./configure --help for a set of flags to control library detection. Packages are generally found with pkg-config, so make sure that is working.

libtiff and libjpeg do not usually use pkg-config so libvips looks for them in the default path and in $prefix. If you have installed your own versions of these libraries in a different location, libvips will not see them. Use switches to libvips configure like:

./configure --prefix=/Users/john/vips \
    --with-tiff-includes=/opt/local/include \
    --with-tiff-libraries=/opt/local/lib \
    --with-jpeg-includes=/opt/local/include \

or perhaps:

CFLAGS="-g -Wall -I/opt/local/include -L/opt/local/lib" \
    CXXFLAGS="-g -Wall -I/opt/local/include -L/opt/local/lib" \
    ./configure --without-python --prefix=/Users/john/vips 

to get libvips to see your builds.


The IJG JPEG library.


If available, libvips adds support for EXIF metadata in JPEG files.


If available, libvips adds support for creating image pyramids with dzsave.


The TIFF library. It needs to be built with support for JPEG and ZIP compression. 3.4b037 and later are known to be OK.


If libvips finds this library, it uses it for fourier transforms. It can also use fftw2, but 3 is faster and more accurate.

lcms2, lcms

If present, im_icc_import(), _export() and _transform() are available for transforming images with ICC profiles. If lcms2 is available, it is used in preference to lcms since it is faster.

Large files

libvips uses the standard autoconf tests to work out how to support large files (>2GB) on your system. Any reasonably recent *nix should be OK.


If present, libvips can load and save png files.

libMagick, or optionally GraphicsMagick

if available, libvips adds support for loading all libMagick supported image file types (about 80 different formats). Use --with-magickpackage to build against graphicsmagick instead.


If available, libvips adds support for text rendering. You need the package pangoft2 in pkg-config --list-all.


If available, vips will accelerate some operations with this run-time compiler.


If available, vips can load images from Matlab save files.


If available, vips can load FITS images.


If available, vips can load and save WebP images.


If available, libvips will directly read (but not write, sadly) OpenEXR images.


If available, libvips can load OpenSlide-supported virtual slide files: Aperio, Hamamatsu, Leica, MIRAX, Sakura, Trestle, and Ventana.

swig, python, python-dev

If available, we build the python binding too.


No guarantees of performance accompany this software, nor is any responsibility assumed on the part of the authors. Please read the licence agreement.

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