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It's possible you don't want to concern yourself with advanced installation under Unix or Linux systems. If so, you also have the option of installing a pre-compiled binary release or if you still want to install from source without all the fuss see the simple Install From Source instructions. However, if you want to customize the configuration and installation of ImageMagick under Unix or Linux systems, lets begin.

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 unpack it with this command:

gunzip -c ImageMagick.tar.gz | tar xvf -

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 type:

cd ImageMagick-6.2.2

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 what our system reports:

ImageMagick is configured as follows.
Please verify that this configuration matches your expectations.

Host system type : i686-magick-linux-gnu

                  Option                        Value
Shared libraries  --enable-shared=yes           yes
Static libraries  --enable-static=yes           yes
Module support    --with-modules=no             no
GNU ld            --with-gnu-ld=yes             yes
Quantum depth     --with-quantum-depth=16       16

Delegate Configuration:
BZLIB             --with-bzlib=yes              yes
DPS               --with-dps=yes                yes
FlashPIX          --with-fpx=no         no
FreeType 2.0      --with-ttf=yes                yes
Ghostscript       None                          gs (7.07)
Ghostscript fonts --with-gs-font-dir=default    /usr/local/share/ghostscript/fonts/
Ghostscript lib   --with-gslib=no               no
Graphviz          --with-dot=yes                no
JBIG              --with-jbig=yes               no
JPEG v1           --with-jpeg=yes               yes
JPEG-2000         --with-jp2=yes                no
LCMS              --with-lcms=yes               yes
Magick++          --with-magick-plus-plus=yes   yes
PERL              --with-perl=yes               /usr/local/bin/perl
PNG               --with-png=yes                yes
TIFF              --with-tiff=yes               yes
Windows fonts     --with-windows-font-dir=      none
WMF               --with-wmf=yes                no
X11               --with-x=                     yes
XML               --with-xml=yes                yes
ZLIB              --with-zlib=yes               yes

X11 Configuration:
  X_CFLAGS     = -I/usr/X11R6/include
  X_PRE_LIBS   = -lSM -lICE
  X_LIBS       = -L/usr/X11R6/lib

Options used to compile and link:
  PREFIX      = /usr/local
  EXEC-PREFIX = /usr/local
  VERSION     = 6.2.0
  CC          = gcc
  CFLAGS      = -g -O2 -Wall -pthread
  CPPFLAGS    = -I/usr/local/include
  PCFLAGS     =
  LDFLAGS     = -L/usr/local/lib -L/usr/X11R6/lib -lfreetype
                -lz -L/usr/lib
  LIBS        = -lMagick -llcms -ltiff -lfreetype -ljpeg -lpng
                -ldpstk -ldps -lXext -lXt -lSM -lICE -lX11
                -lbz2 -lxml2 -lz -lpthread -lm -lpthread
  CXX         = g++
  CXXFLAGS    = -pthread

You can influence choice of compiler, compilation flags, or libraries of the configure script by setting initial values for variables in the 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:

./configure CC=c89 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 automatically, 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 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 is not necessary is if the platform compiles code as PIC by default.

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 libraries!).
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 libraries.
disable building an installed ImageMagick (default enabled).

By default the ImageMagick build is configured to formally install into a directory tree. This is 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 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:

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.

QuantumDepth  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 * QuantumDepth * Rows * Columns) / 8. This is 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:

  QuantumDepth  Virtual Memory
       8              3MB
      16              8MB
      32             15MB


enable 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 is 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 is 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 is 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.
disable build/install of PerlMagick, or

By default, PerlMagick is conveniently compiled and installed as part of ImageMagick's normal configure, make, 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 is 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 'make install' step tries to install into a directory tree that you don't have write permissions to. This is 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.
enable Ghostscript library support.
disable JBIG support.
disable JPEG support.
disable JPEG v2 support.
disable LCMS support.
disable PNG support.
disable TIFF support.
disable TrueType 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 automatically by configure and specifying this option is not necessary. Specify this option if the Ghostscript fonts fail to be located automatically, or the location needs to be overridden.
directory containing MS-Windows fonts.
Specify the directory containing MS-Windows-compatible fonts. This is 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.
make install
install ImageMagick.
make check
Run tests using the installed ImageMagick (make install must be done first).
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 is useful if you want to start over from scratch.
make uninstall
Remove all files from the system which are (or would be) installed by make install using the current configuration. Note that this target is imperfect for PerlMagick since Perl no longer supports an uninstall target.
In most cases you will simply wand to compile ImageMagick with this command:



Now that ImageMagick is configured and built, type:

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 is 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:


The ImageMagick logo is displayed on your X11 display.

For a more comprehensive test, you run the ImageMagick test suite by typing:

make check

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.

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

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 options.

On some systems, ImageMagick may not find its shared library, Try running the ldconfig with the library path:

/sbin/ldconfig /usr/local/lib

If the build complains about missing dependencies (e.g. .deps/source.PLO), add --disable-dependency-tracking to your configure command line.

If you receive complaints about delegate libraries (e.g. JPEG) at build or run time, you may resolve these by simply updating to the latest release of the delegate library. For Linux system, it may be as simple as installing the latest delegate library RPM.

Some systems may fail to link at build time due to unresolved symbols. Try adding the LDFLAGS to the configure command line:

configure LDFLAGS='-L/usr/local/lib -R/usr/local/lib'

Solaris and Linux systems have the ldd command which is useful to track which libraries ImageMagick depends on:

ldd `which convert`

[C]Copyright 1999-2005 ImageMagick Studio LLC