Install ImageMagick 5.5.7 on Debian

ImageMagick is a set of programs to manipulate various image formats (JPEG, TIFF, PhotoCD, PBM, XPM, etc…). All manipulations can be achieved through shell commands as well as through an X11 graphical interface. Possible effects: colormap manipulation, channel operations, thumbnail creation, image annotation, limited drawing, image distortion, etc…

Normally with any software I will try to use the latest available version because: the application should be better in newer versions, should be maintained more actively for security issues compared to legacy versions, etc. Still in this case, I had to install several times an older version of ImageMagick. Why? Not for the application itself, but because of some applications that relied on the php wrapper (the imagick pecl module). This compiles fine with ImageMagick 6, but many functions fail. So in order to have the php module working properly I had to first install imagemagick 5 that is the last version the php module works fine.

I will show how to install ImageMagick 5.5.7 (the latest version available from the 5 branch) from sources on a Debian Etch system. Debian obviously contains packages for ImageMagick (v. 6.2.4 at the time of writing this post), that can be installed as easy as

apt-get install imagemagick

but there is no package for version 5. So we have to install it from source. First download the source from imagemagick ftp:


Uncompress it somewhere, and you are now ready to compile it. This is no different than

./compile; make; make install

that any Linux user is familiar with. But the tricky part is to install the required packages for the compile to be successful and to use most of the functionalities that we need.

On our Debian system we can install all the required packages to compile the imagemagick debian package:

apt-get build-dep imagemagick

(just make sure you have a deb-src line in your sources.list). Depending from the state of the system and what packages is has already installed the result of this command will be different. For example on a stripped down Debian Etch system it looks like this:

apt-get build-dep imagemagick
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed
binutils build-essential cpp cpp-4.1 debhelper defoma dpkg-dev fontconfig-config g++ g++-4.1 gcc gcc-4.1 gettext graphviz gs-common gs-gpl gsfonts html2text intltool-debian libbz2-dev libc6-dev libexif-dev libexif12 libexpat1 libexpat1-dev libfontconfig1 libfreetype6 libfreetype6-dev libice-dev libice6 libjasper-1.701-1 libjasper-1.701-dev libjpeg62 libjpeg62-dev liblcms1 liblcms1-dev libltdl3 libltdl3-dev libpaper1 libperl5.8 libpng12-0 libpng12-dev libsm-dev libsm6 libssp0 libstdc++6-4.1-dev libtiff4 libtiff4-dev libtiffxx0c2 libwmf-dev libwmf0.2-7 libx11-6 libx11-data libx11-dev libxau-dev libxau6 libxaw7 libxdmcp-dev libxdmcp6 libxext-dev libxext6 libxml2 libxml2-dev libxmu6 libxpm4 libxt6 linux-kernel-headers make patch po-debconf tcl8.4 tk8.4 ttf-dejavu ucf x11-common x11proto-core-dev x11proto-input-dev x11proto-kb-dev x11proto-xext-dev xtrans-dev zlib1g-dev
0 upgraded, 81 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 46.6MB/46.6MB of archives.
After unpacking 148MB of additional disk space will be used.

Now we have all what we need to compile imagemagick from source. Use configure with the options you need. For example, for default options you would use just:


but you might need some special parameters (check the installation docs for details on all the configurations available parameters)… for ex.:

./configure --with-perl=no --with-magick-plus-plus=no --enable-shared --with-gs-font-dir=/usr/share/fonts/type1/gsfonts --x-includes=/usr/include/X11 --x-libraries=/usr/lib/X11

After the configure script finishes verify the result and see if all looks as expected. The output in my case looks like:

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

Host system type : x86_64-debian-linux-gnu

Option            Configure option              Configured value
Shared libraries  --enable-shared=yes           yes
Static libraries  --enable-static=yes           yes
GNU ld            --with-gnu-ld=yes             yes
LZW support       --enable-lzw=yes              yes
Quantum depth     --with-quantum-depth=16       16

Delegate Configuration:
BZLIB             --with-bzlib=yes              yes
DPS               --with-dps=yes                no
EXIF              --with-exif=yes               yes
FlashPIX          --with-fpx=yes                no
FreeType 2.0      --with-ttf=yes                yes
Ghostscript       None                          /usr/bin/gs (unknown)
Ghostscript fonts --with-gs-font-dir=/usr/share/fonts/type1/gsfonts
Ghostscript lib   --with-gslib=no               no
JBIG              --with-jbig=yes               no
JPEG v1           --with-jpeg=yes               yes
JPEG-2000         --with-jp2=yes                yes
LCMS              --with-lcms=yes               yes
Magick++          --with-magick-plus-plus=no    no
PERL              --with-perl=no                no
PNG               --with-png=yes                yes
TIFF              --with-tiff=yes               yes
Windows fonts     --with-windows-font-dir=      none
WMF               --with-wmf=yes                yes
X11               --with-x=                     yes
XML               --with-xml=yes                yes
ZLIB              --with-zlib=yes               yes

X11 Configuration:
X_CFLAGS     = -I/usr/include/X11
X_LIBS       = -L/usr/lib/X11

Options used to compile and link:
CC       = gcc
CFLAGS   = -g -O2 -Wall
CPPFLAGS = -I/usr/include/freetype2 -D_REENTRANT -I/usr/include/X11
CXX      = g++
LDFLAGS  = -L/usr/lib/X11 -lfreetype -lz -L/usr/lib
LIBS     = -llcms -ltiff -lfreetype -ljasper -ljpeg -lpng -lexif -lwmflite
-lXext -lSM -lICE -lX11 -lbz2 -lxml2 -lz -lpthread -lm

Now we can proceed with the actual compilation:


and if there are no errors with the installation:

make install

(this will install the files under /usr/local, since we have not overwritten the default –prefix).

As a reminder that older software might not compile on newer and modern OS’s (compilers, libraries, etc) the compilation fails on recent Debian Etch versions with:

png.c: In function 'WriteOneJNGImage':
png.c:7639: warning: dereferencing type-punned pointer will break strict-aliasing rules
png.c:7705: warning: dereferencing type-punned pointer will break strict-aliasing rules
make[1]: *** [png.lo] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory

make: *** [all-recursive] Error 1

This is caused by newer versions of libpng12, and in order to compile imagemagick successfully I had to install version 1.2.8rel-7 (opposed to the latest version that is currently installed on etch 1.2.13-4)

Once the installation is completed we can verify the version we installed is working fine with:

/usr/local/bin/identify -version
Version: ImageMagick 5.5.7 12/21/06 Q16
Copyright: Copyright (C) 2003 ImageMagick Studio LLC


/usr/local/bin/convert -version
Version: ImageMagick 5.5.7 12/21/06 Q16
Copyright: Copyright (C) 2003 ImageMagick Studio LLC

and to get the listing of which image formats are supported on our system:

identify -list format
Format  Mode  Description
8BIM*  rw-  Photoshop resource format
8BIMTEXT*  rw-  Photoshop resource text format
8BIMWTEXT*  rw-  Photoshop resource wide text format
APP1*  rw-  Raw application information
APP1JPEG*  rw-  Raw JPEG binary data
ART*  r--  PFS: 1st Publisher
Format originally used on the Macintosh (MacPaint?) and later
used for PFS: 1st Publisher clip art.  NOT the AOL ART format.
AVI*  r--  Microsoft Audio/Visual Interleaved
AVS*  rw+  AVS X image
BIE*  ---  Joint Bi-level Image experts Group interchange format
BMP*  rw-  Microsoft Windows bitmap image
BMP2*  -w-  Microsoft Windows bitmap image v2
BMP3*  -w-  Microsoft Windows bitmap image v3
CACHE*  ---  Magick Persistent Cache image format
CAPTION*  r--  Image caption
CMYK*  rw+  Raw cyan, magenta, yellow, and black samples
CMYKA*  rw+  Raw cyan, magenta, yellow, black, and opacity samples
CUR*  r--  Microsoft icon
CUT*  r--  DR Halo
DCM*  r--  Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine image
DICOM is used by the medical community for images like X-rays.
The specification, "Digital Imaging and Communications in
Medicine (DICOM)", is available at
In particular, see part 5 which describes the image encoding (RLE,
JPEG, JPEG-LS), and supplement 61 which adds JPEG-2000 encoding.
DCX*  rw+  ZSoft IBM PC multi-page Paintbrush
DPS   r--  Display Postscript Interpreter
DPX*  rw+  Digital Moving Picture Exchange
EPDF   rw-  Encapsulated Portable Document Format
EPI*  rw-  Adobe Encapsulated PostScript Interchange format
EPS*  rw-  Adobe Encapsulated PostScript
EPS2*  -w-  Adobe Level II Encapsulated PostScript
EPS3*  -w+  Adobe Level III Encapsulated PostScript
EPSF*  rw-  Adobe Encapsulated PostScript
EPSI*  rw-  Adobe Encapsulated PostScript Interchange format
EPT   rw-  Adobe Encapsulated PostScript with TIFF preview
EXIF*  rw-  Exif digital camera binary data
FAX*  rw+  Group 3 FAX
See TIFF format.  Note that FAX machines use non-square pixels
which are 1.5 times wider than they are tall but computer displays
use square pixels, so FAX images may appear to be narrow unless
they are explicitly resized using a resize specification of
FITS*  rw-  Flexible Image Transport System
FPX*  rw-  FlashPix Format
FRACTAL*  r--  Plasma fractal image
G3*  rw-  Group 3 FAX
GIF*  rw+  CompuServe graphics interchange format
GIF87*  rw-  CompuServe graphics interchange format (version 87a)
GRADIENT*  r--  Gradual passing from one shade to another
GRANITE*  r--  Granite texture
GRAY*  rw+  Raw gray samples
HISTOGRAM*  -w-  Histogram of the image
HTM*  -w-  Hypertext Markup Language and a client-side image map
HTML*  -w-  Hypertext Markup Language and a client-side image map
ICB*  rw+  Truevision Targa image
ICC*  rw-  ICC Color Profile
ICM*  rw-  ICC Color Profile
ICO*  r--  Microsoft icon
ICON*  r--  Microsoft icon
IPTC*  rw-  IPTC Newsphoto
IPTCTEXT*  rw-  IPTC Newsphoto text format
IPTCWTEXT*  rw-  IPTC Newsphoto text format
JBG*  ---  Joint Bi-level Image experts Group interchange format
JBIG*  ---  Joint Bi-level Image experts Group interchange format
JNG*  rw-  JPEG Network Graphics
See for details about the JNG
format. The JNG 1.0 specification is available there and at
JP2*  rw-  JPEG-2000 JP2 File Format Syntax
JPC*  rw-  JPEG-2000 Code Stream Syntax
JPEG*  rw-  Joint Photographic Experts Group JFIF format (62)
JPG*  rw-  Joint Photographic Experts Group JFIF format
LABEL*  r--  Image label
LOGO*  rw-  ImageMagick Logo
M2V   rw+  MPEG Video Stream
MAGICK*  r--  Predefined Magick Image
MAP*  rw-  Colormap intensities and indices
MAT*  r--  MATLAB image format
MATTE*  -w+  MATTE format
MIFF*  rw+  Magick Image File Format
MNG*  rw+  Multiple-image Network Graphics (libpng 1.2.8)
See for details about the MNG
format. The MNG 1.0 specification is available there and at
MONO*  rw-  Bi-level bitmap in least-significant-byte first order
MPC*  rw+  Magick Persistent Cache image format
MPEG   rw+  MPEG Video Stream
MPG   rw+  MPEG Video Stream
MSL*  rw+  Magick Scripting Language
MTV*  rw+  MTV Raytracing image format
MVG*  rw-  Magick Vector Graphics
NETSCAPE*  r--  Netscape 216 color cube
NULL*  rw-  Constant image of uniform color
OTB*  rw-  On-the-air bitmap
P7*  rw+  Xv thumbnail format
PAL*  rw-  16bit/pixel interleaved YUV
PALM*  rw-  Palm pixmap
PATTERN*  r--  Predefined pattern
PBM*  rw+  Portable bitmap format (black and white)
PCD*  rw-  Photo CD
PCDS*  rw-  Photo CD
PCL*  -w-  Page Control Language
PCT*  rw-  Apple Macintosh QuickDraw/PICT
PCX*  rw-  ZSoft IBM PC Paintbrush
PDB*  rw+  Palm Database ImageViewer Format
PDF   rw+  Portable Document Format
PFA*  r--  Postscript Type 1 font (ASCII)
PFB*  r--  Postscript Type 1 font (binary)
PGM*  rw+  Portable graymap format (gray scale)
PGX*  r--  JPEG-2000 VM Format
PICON*  rw-  Personal Icon
PICT*  rw-  Apple Macintosh QuickDraw/PICT
PIX*  r--  Alias/Wavefront RLE image format
PLASMA*  r--  Plasma fractal image
PM*  rw-  X Windows system pixmap (color)
PNG*  rw-  Portable Network Graphics (libpng 1.2.8)
See for details about the PNG format.
The PNG 1.2 specification is available there and at
PNG24*  rw-  24-bit RGB PNG, opaque only (zlib 1.2.3)
PNG32*  rw-  32-bit RGBA PNG, semitransparency OK
PNG8*  rw-  8-bit indexed PNG, binary transparency only
PNM*  rw+  Portable anymap
PPM*  rw+  Portable pixmap format (color)
PREVIEW*  -w-  Show a preview an image enhancement, effect, or f/x
PS*  rw+  Adobe PostScript
PS2*  -w+  Adobe Level II PostScript
PS3*  -w+  Adobe Level III PostScript
PSD*  rw+  Adobe Photoshop bitmap
PTIF*  rw-  Pyramid encoded TIFF
PWP*  r--  Seattle Film Works
RAS*  rw+  SUN Rasterfile
RGB*  rw+  Raw red, green, and blue samples
RGBA*  rw+  Raw red, green, blue, and matte samples
RLA*  r--  Alias/Wavefront image
RLE*  r--  Utah Run length encoded image
SCT*  r--  Scitex HandShake
SFW*  r--  Seattle Film Works
SGI*  rw+  Irix RGB image
SHTML*  -w-  Hypertext Markup Language and a client-side image map
STEGANO*  r--  Steganographic image
SUN*  rw+  SUN Rasterfile
SVG*  rw+  Scalable Vector Gaphics (XML 2.6.27)
TEXT*  rw+  Text
TGA*  rw+  Truevision Targa image
TIF*  rw+  Tagged Image File Format (42)
TIFF*  rw+  Tagged Image File Format (42)
TILE*  r--  Tile image with a texture
TIM*  r--  PSX TIM
TTF*  r--  TrueType font
TXT*  rw+  Text
UIL*  -w-  X-Motif UIL table
UYVY*  rw-  16bit/pixel interleaved YUV
VDA*  rw+  Truevision Targa image
VICAR*  rw-  VICAR rasterfile format
VID*  rw+  Visual Image Directory
VIFF*  rw+  Khoros Visualization image
VST*  rw+  Truevision Targa image
WBMP*  rw-  Wireless Bitmap (level 0) image
WMF*  r--  Windows Meta File
WPG*  r--  Word Perfect Graphics
X*  rw-  X Image
XBM*  rw-  X Windows system bitmap (black and white)
XC*  r--  Constant image uniform color
XCF*  r--  GIMP image
XMP*  rw-  Adobe XML metadata
XPM*  rw-  X Windows system pixmap (color)
XV*  rw+  Khoros Visualization image
XWD*  rw-  X Windows system window dump (color)
YUV*  rw-  CCIR 601 4:1:1 or 4:2:2

* native blob support
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