Most unix-like operating systems have libvips packages, check your package manager. For macOS, there are packages in Homebrew, MacPorts and Fink. For Windows, there are pre-compiled binaries in the Download area.

Installing on macOS with homebrew

Install homebrew, then enter:

brew install vips

That will install vips with most optional add-ons included.

Installing the Windows binary

Download from the Download area and unzip somewhere. At the command-prompt, cd to vips-x.y.z/bin and run (for example):

vips.exe invert some/input/file.jpg some/output/file.jpg

If you want to run vips.exe from some other directory on your PC, you’ll need to set your PATH.

The zipfile includes all the libraries and headers for developing with C with any compiler. For C++, you must build with g++, or rebuild the C++ API with your compiler, or just use the C API.

The is built with a small set of relatively secure file format readers and can be used in a potentially hostile environment. The much larger includes all the file format readers that libvips supports and care should be taken before public deployment.

The Windows binary is built by build-win64-mxe. This is a containerised mingw build system: on any host, install Docker, clone the project, and type ./ The README has notes.

Building libvips from source

If the packaged version is too old, you can also build from source.

libvips uses the Meson build system, version 0.56 or later. Meson can use ninja, Visual Studio or XCode as a backend, so you’ll also need one of them.

libvips must have build-essential, pkg-config, libglib2.0-dev, libexpat1-dev. See the Dependencies section below for a full list of the libvips optional dependencies.

Download the sources from the Download area, then something like:

tar xf libvips-x.y.z.tar.gz
cd libvips-x.y.z
meson setup build-dir --prefix=/aaa/bbb/ccc
cd build-dir
ninja test
ninja install

Check the output of meson setup carefully and make sure it found everything you wanted it to find. Add arguments to meson setup to change the build configuration.

You’ll need the dev packages for the file format support you want. For basic jpeg and tiff support, you’ll need libtiff5-dev, libjpeg-turbo8-dev, and libgsf-1-dev. The optional dependencies section in the README lists all the things that libvips can be configured to use.

We have detailed guides on the wiki for building for Windows and building for macOS.