Image Processing

9 Best Free and Open Source Image Processing Libraries

When we think of great open source image processing software, tools like GIMP, Blender, and Inkscape instantly spring to mind.

We’ve covered a huge raft of graphics software for Linux with a splurge of recommended roundups. But there are some categories of graphics software which attract less exposure. Image processing libraries is a good example. This type of software performs image processing operations. They can perform arithmetic, histograms, convolution, morphological operations, frequency filtering, colour, resampling, statistics, and much more.

Good libraries support a wide range of image formats such as JPEG, TIFF, PNG, WebP, FITS, Matlab, OpenEXR, PDF, SVG, HDR, PPM, CSV, GIF, Analyze, NIfTI, DeepZoom, and OpenSlide.

In this article we recommend the finest image processing libraries. Our recommendations are captured in a legendary LinuxLinks chart. As you can see, there are many great libraries for developers. Only free and open source software is eligible for inclusion.

Best Free and Open Source Image Processing Libraries

Let’s explore the 9 image processing libraries. For each program we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.

Image Processing Libraries
VIPSFast image processing library with low memory requirements
OpenCVLibrary that includes several hundreds of computer vision algorithms
Pillow-SIMDHighly optimized downstream Pillow fork
PillowFork of the Python Imaging Library
ImageMagickUses multiple computational threads to increase performance
LibGDLibrary for the dynamic creation of images by developers
GraphicsMagickBilled as the Swiss army knife of image processing.
NetpbmToolkit for manipulation of graphic images
GEGLGeneric Graphics Library

Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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