A fast HEIF image converter aimed at thumbnailing
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Converts HEIF images created on iOS 11 devices as fast as humanly possible.

NOTE: While we do not have the time to actively maintain tifig anymore, it is functional at a very alpha state. We are open to new maintainers taking the lead.

Build Status

Build Dependencies

  • libvips >= 8.6
  • libavcodec >= 3.1 (ffmpeg)
  • libswscale >= 3.1 (ffmpeg)

macOS aka OSX

This one-liner should get you going:

brew install cmake vips ffmpeg pkg-config


First of all, to just try out tifig, the easiest way is to use our static builds.

However, if you do want to build from source, verify carefully that the minimally required versions are actually shipped and installed with your distro and release.

For ffmpeg, check the output of:

ffmpeg -version

Assuming you are using a ubuntu based system, this should help if your versions of 'libavcodec' and 'libswscale' is too old:

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:jonathonf/ffmpeg-3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libavcodec-dev libswscale-dev

Since tifig requires quite a modern version of libvips, building from source is probably required. Follow the instructions here .

Again on ubuntu, something like this should do the trick:

sudo apt-get install build-essential pkg-config libglib2.0-dev libexpat1-dev libjpeg-dev libexif-dev libpng-dev libtiff-dev
wget https://github.com/jcupitt/libvips/releases/download/v8.6.1/vips-8.6.1.tar.gz
tar xzf vips-8.6.1.tar.gz
cd vips-8.6.1
sudo make install


git clone --recursive https://github.com/monostream/tifig.git
mkdir tifig/build && cd tifig/build
cmake ..


Convert the fullsize picture:

# tifig -v -p image.heic output.jpg
Grid is 4032x3024 pixels in tiles 8x6
Export & decode HEVC: 97ms
Saving image: 55ms
Total Time: 160ms

Create a thumbnail with max width of 800px:

# tifig -v -p --width 800 image.heic thumbnail.jpg
Grid is 4032x3024 pixels in tiles 8x6
Export & decode HEVC: 113ms
Saving image: 100ms
Total Time: 243ms

Create a cropped thumbnail to match size exactly:

# tifig -v -p --crop --width 400 --height 400 1_portrait.heic thumbnail.jpg
Grid is 4032x3024 pixels in tiles 8x6
Export & decode HEVC: 105ms
Saving image: 125ms
Total Time: 234ms

When a size smaller or equal to 240x240 is requested, tifig will automatically use the embedded thumbnail.


We release tifig as static x86_64 binary that should work on any linux without installing dependencies. The only requirement is glibc with a minimal version of 2.14. Just copy the binary to /usr/local/bin or wherever you want to.


  • Testing
  • Create independant static binary
  • Keep exif metadata in coverted images
  • Cleanup and optimizing
  • Replace Nokia library with DigiDNAs ISOBMFF parser
  • Carry over color profiles
  • Support single image HEIC
  • Improve thumbnailing

Software Used / Libraries

Suggestions for improvements and Pull Requests highly welcome!