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A fast image processing library with low memory needs.

forgot to set image mode for direct draw

the direct image draw functions need to set vips_image_inplace()
latest commit 21f18ce0d2
John Cupitt authored
Octocat-spinner-32 benchmark fix im_benchmark() November 29, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 doc small fixes March 17, 2014
Octocat-spinner-32 libvips forgot to set image mode for direct draw April 15, 2014
Octocat-spinner-32 libvipsCC clean up buffer recycle fix December 13, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 man update man pages December 18, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 po update translation files April 09, 2014
Octocat-spinner-32 python Update address for Free Software Foundation March 07, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 swig fix VImage.PIL_mode_from_vips() June 07, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 tools vipsthumbnail fix March 18, 2014
Octocat-spinner-32 .gitignore remove the orc stuff from arithmetic December 02, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 AUTHORS updated German translation May 07, 2011
Octocat-spinner-32 COPYING Update address for Free Software Foundation March 07, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 ChangeLog 8 and 16-bit paletter TIFFs can have alpha April 14, 2014
Octocat-spinner-32 INSTALL update configure system January 23, 2013
Octocat-spinner-32 version bump for 7.38 January 18, 2014
Octocat-spinner-32 NEWS split to trunk/branches August 29, 2007
Octocat-spinner-32 tiny fixes March 20, 2014
Octocat-spinner-32 THANKS split to trunk/branches August 29, 2007
Octocat-spinner-32 TODO add "%%" escape April 11, 2014
Octocat-spinner-32 acinclude.m4 works! March 26, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 add "mode" to vips_draw_image() March 28, 2014
Octocat-spinner-32 tiny fixes March 23, 2014
Octocat-spinner-32 gtk-doc.make put gtk-doc.make back March 28, 2014
Octocat-spinner-32 libvips.supp stats operations are sequential February 08, 2014
Octocat-spinner-32 vipsCC required the wrong version of vips October 18, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 vipsCC required the wrong version of vips October 18, 2012

libvips : an image processing library

libvips is a 2D image processing library. Compared to similar libraries, libvips runs quickly and uses little memory.

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, FITS, Matlab, OpenEXR, 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 API documentation, plus a tutorial-style manual.

There's a GUI 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://

Then for a debug build:

$ ./
$ CFLAGS="-g -Wall" CXXFLAGS="-g -Wall" \
    ./configure --prefix=/home/john/vips --enable-gtk-doc
$ 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.


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 your TIFF library includes ZIP compression, you'll need this too.


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, 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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