There are three basic steps to building and installing the
GIMP on unix:
1. You need to have installed GTK version 1.0.1 or better
2. You may want to install other third party libraries that
are needed for some of the available plugins: TIFF, PNG,
JPEG, MPEG, etc.
3. Configure the GIMP by running the `configure' script.
4. Build the GIMP by running `make'.
5. Install the GIMP by running `make install'.
6. Optionally install the separate gimp-data-extras package.
Please make sure you don't have any old GTK, jpeg, etc. libraries lying
around on your system, otherwise configure will fail to find the new
Generic instructions for configuring and compiling auto-configured
packages are included below. Here is an illustration of commands that
might be used to build and install the GIMP. The actual configuration,
compilation and installation output is not shown.
% tar xvfz gimp-1.0.0.tar.gz # unpack the sources
% cd gimp-1.0.0 # change to the toplevel directory
% ./configure # run the `configure' script
% make # build the GIMP
% make install # install the GIMP
The `configure' script examines your system, and adapts the GIMP to
run on it. The script has many options, some of which are described in
the generic instructions included at the end of this file. All of the
options can be listed using the command `./configure --help'. There
are six commands special options the GIMP `configure' script
recognizes. These are:
1. --enable-shared and --disable-shared. This option affects whether
shared libraries will be built or not. Shared libraries provide
for much smaller executables, but they are difficult to debug
with. If you are interested in doing development, it is probably
wise to specify `--disable-shared'. The default is to enable
2. --enable-debug and --disable-debug. This option causes the build
process to compile with debugging enabled. If debugging is
disabled, the GIMP will instead be compiled with optimizations turned
on. The default is for debugging to be disabled. NOTE: This
option is intended primarily as a convenience for developers.
3. --enable-ansi and --disable-ansi. This options causes stricter
ANSI C checking to be performed when compiling with GCC. The
default is for strict checking to be disabled. NOTE: This option
is intended primarily as a convenience for developers.
4. --enable-gimpdir=DIR. This option changes the default directory
the gimp uses to search for its configuration files from ~/.gimp (the
directory .gimp in the users home directory) to DIR.
The `make' command builds several things:
- The libraries `libgimp/libgimp.la', `libgimp/libgimpi.la' and
`libgimp/libgimpui.la'. The `.la' suffix is used by libtool, the
program used to ease the compilation of shared libraries on
- The plug-in programs in the `plug-ins' subdirectory.
- The main GIMP program in `app/gimp'.
The `make install' commands installs the glib, gdk and gtk header
files and libraries, the gimp header files associated with libgimp and
the libgimp library, the plug-ins, and the GIMP executable. After
running `make install' and assuming the build process was successful
you should be able to run `gimp'.
When ./configure fails
'configure' tries to compile and run a short GTK program. There are
several reasons why this might fail:
* The 'gtk-config' script installed with GTK could not be found.
(This script is used to get information about where GTK is
Fix: Either make sure that this program is in your path, or set
the environment variable GTK_CONFIG to the full pathname to
this program before running configure.
* The GTK libraries were not found at run time. The details
of how to fix this problem will depend on the system:
Fix: On Linux and other systems using ELF libraries, add the
directory to /etc/ld.so.conf or to the environment variable
LD_LIBRARY_PATH, and run 'ldconfig'.
On other systems, it may be necessary to encode this path
into the executable, by setting the LDFLAGS environment variable
before running configure. For example:
LDFLAGS="-Wl,-rpath -Wl,/home/joe/lib" ./configure
* An old version of the GTK libraries was found instead of
your newly installed version. This commonly happens if a
binary package of GTK was previously installed on your system,
and you later compiled GTK from source.
Fix: remove the old libraries and include files.
A detailed log of the ./configure output is written to the file
config.log. This may help diagnose problems.
If you are sure of what you're doing, you can bypass the sanity check and
just go by what gtk-config by using the --disable-gtktest option. Please
only use this in dire circumstances.
After fixing a problem, it is safest to delete the file 'config.cache'
before re-running ./configure.
When ./configure fails on plug-ins
There are some GIMP plug-ins that need additional third-party libraries
installed on your system. For example to compile the plug-ins that load
and save JPEG, PNG or TIFF files you need the related libraries and header
files installed, otherwise you'll get a message that plugin xyz will not
If you are sure that those libraries are correctly installed, but configure
fails to detect them, the following might help:
Set your LDFLAGS environment variable to look for the library in a certain
place, e.g. if you are working in a bash shell you would say:
export LDFLAGS="-L<path_to_library> -L<path_to_another_one>"
before you run configure.
Set your CPPFLAGS environment variable to look for the header file in a
certain place, e.g. if you are working in a bash shell you would say:
export CPPFLAGS="-I<path_to_header_file> -I<path_to_another_one>"
before you run configure.
It's wise to remove the file 'config.cache' before re-running configure.
Generic Instructions for Building Auto-Configured Packages
To compile this package:
1. Configure the package for your system. In the directory that this
file is in, type `./configure'. If you're using `csh' on an old
version of System V, you might need to type `sh configure' instead to
prevent `csh' from trying to execute `configure' itself.
The `configure' shell script attempts to guess correct values for
various system-dependent variables used during compilation, and
creates the Makefile(s) (one in each subdirectory of the source
directory). In some packages it creates a C header file containing
system-dependent definitions. It also creates a file `config.status'
that you can run in the future to recreate the current configuration.
Running `configure' takes a minute or two.
To compile the package in a different directory from the one
containing the source code, you must use GNU make. `cd' to the
directory where you want the object files and executables to go and
run `configure' with the option `--srcdir=DIR', where DIR is the
directory that contains the source code. Using this option is
actually unnecessary if the source code is in the parent directory of
the one in which you are compiling; `configure' automatically checks
for the source code in `..' if it does not find it in the current
By default, `make install' will install the package's files in
/usr/local/bin, /usr/local/lib, /usr/local/man, etc. You can specify
an installation prefix other than /usr/local by giving `configure' the
option `--prefix=PATH'. Alternately, you can do so by changing the
`prefix' variable in the Makefile that `configure' creates (the
Makefile in the top-level directory, if the package contains
You can specify separate installation prefixes for machine-specific
files and machine-independent files. If you give `configure' the
option `--exec-prefix=PATH', the package will use PATH as the prefix
for installing programs and libraries. Normally, all files are
installed using the same prefix.
`configure' ignores any other arguments that you give it.
If your system requires unusual options for compilation or linking
that `configure' doesn't know about, you can give `configure' initial
values for some variables by setting them in the environment. In
Bourne-compatible shells, you can do that on the command line like
CC='gcc -traditional' DEFS=-D_POSIX_SOURCE ./configure
The `make' variables that you might want to override with environment
variables when running `configure' are:
(For these variables, any value given in the environment overrides the
value that `configure' would choose:)
CC C compiler program.
Default is `cc', or `gcc' if `gcc' is in your PATH.
INSTALL Program to use to install files.
Default is `install' if you have it, `cp' otherwise.
INCLUDEDIR Directory for `configure' to search for include files.
Default is /usr/include.
(For these variables, any value given in the environment is added to
the value that `configure' chooses:)
DEFS Configuration options, in the form '-Dfoo -Dbar ...'
LIBS Libraries to link with, in the form '-lfoo -lbar ...'
If you need to do unusual things to compile the package, we encourage
you to teach `configure' how to do them and mail the diffs to the
address given in the README so we can include them in the next
2. Type `make' to compile the package.
3. Type `make install' to install programs, data files, and
4. You can remove the program binaries and object files from the
source directory by typing `make clean'. To also remove the
Makefile(s), the header file containing system-dependent definitions
(if the package uses one), and `config.status' (all the files that
`configure' created), type `make distclean'.
The file `configure.in' is used as a template to create `configure' by
a program called `autoconf'. You will only need it if you want to
regenerate `configure' using a newer version of `autoconf'.