Introduction to Ghostscript

Ghostscript is a versatile processor for PostScript data with the ability to render PostScript to different targets. It is a mandatory part of the cups printing stack.



Development versions of BLFS may not build or run some packages properly if LFS or dependencies have been updated since the most recent stable versions of the books.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

If you wish, you can download additional fonts.

Standard Fonts

Other Fonts

Ghostscript Dependencies



Cairo-1.18.0, GTK+-3.24.43, libidn-1.42, libpaper-2.2.5, libwebp-1.4.0, and a graphical environment

Installation of Ghostscript



The Ghostscript build system is not user-friendly. In order to use system copies of various graphics libraries, you must do it using unconventional methods.

Ghostscript includes (old) copies of several libraries. Some of these seem to have been patched to fix known vulnerabilities, but others of these copies are less-well maintained. To ensure that any future fixes are applied throughout the whole system, it is recommended that you first install the released versions of these libraries and then configure Ghostscript to link to them.

If you have installed the recommended dependencies on your system, remove the copies of freetype, lcms2, libjpeg, libpng, and openjpeg:

rm -rf freetype lcms2mt jpeg libpng openjpeg

Compile Ghostscript:

rm -rf zlib &&

./configure --prefix=/usr           \
            --disable-compile-inits \
            --with-system-libtiff   &&


The shared library depends on GTK+-3.24.43. It is only used by external programs like asymptote-2.90, dvisvgm-3.3, and ImageMagick-7.1.1-28.

To compile the shared library, run the following additional command as an unprivileged user:

make so

This package does not come with a test suite. A set of example files may be used for testing, but it is only possible after installation of the package.

Now, as the root user:

make install

If you want the shared library too:

make soinstall &&
install -v -m644 base/*.h /usr/include/ghostscript &&
ln -sfvn ghostscript /usr/include/ps

Now make the documentation accessible from a standard place:

mv -v /usr/share/doc/ghostscript/10.03.1 /usr/share/doc/ghostscript-10.03.1 &&
rmdir /usr/share/doc/ghostscript &&
cp -r examples/ -T /usr/share/ghostscript/10.03.1/examples

If you have downloaded the fonts, unpack them to /usr/share/ghostscript and ensure the ownership of the files are root: root.

tar -xvf ../ghostscript-fonts-std-8.11.tar.gz -C /usr/share/ghostscript --no-same-owner &&
tar -xvf ../gnu-gs-fonts-other-6.0.tar.gz     -C /usr/share/ghostscript --no-same-owner &&
fc-cache -v /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/

You can now test the rendering of various postscript and pdf files from the /usr/share/ghostscript/10.03.1/examples . To do this, run the following command (in a X Windows display):

gs -q -dBATCH /usr/share/ghostscript/10.03.1/examples/tiger.eps

Command Explanations

rm -rf zlib : zlib was installed as part of LFS.

--disable-compile-inits: This option makes gs and slightly smaller.

--with-system-libtiff: Remove this option if you've not installed libtiff-4.6.0.

install -v -m644 base/*.h... : Some packages (ImageMagick is one) need the Ghostscript interface headers in place to link to the shared library. These commands install the headers.

ln -sfvn ghostscript /usr/include/ps: Some packages expect to find the interface headers in an alternate location.

mv -v /usr/share/doc/ghostscript/10.03.1 /usr/share/doc/ghostscript-10.03.1: This moves the documentation where it is expected to be found.

--disable-cups: this option will save a tiny amount of space by not linking gs and to the Cups-2.4.10 libraries if you have installed those.


Installed Programs: dvipdf, eps2eps, gs, gsbj, gsc (from soinstall), gsdj, gsdj500, gslj, gslp, gsnd, gsx (from soinstall),, pdf2dsc, pdf2ps, pf2afm, pfbtopfa, pphs, printafm, ps2ascii, ps2epsi, ps2pdf, ps2pdf12, ps2pdf13, ps2pdf14, ps2pdfwr, ps2ps, ps2ps2, and
Installed Library:
Installed Directories: /usr/include/ghostscript, /usr/share/ghostscript, and /usr/share/doc/ghostscript-10.03.1

Short Descriptions


is an interpreter for Adobe Systems' PostScript(tm) and Portable Document Format (PDF)

provides Ghostscript functionality to other programs, such as GSView, ImageMagick, and libspectre

Ghostscript provides many different scripts used to convert PostScript, PDF, and other formats. Please refer to the HTML documentation or the man pages for information about the capabilities provided.