How to Install ImageMagick on Debian 11

ImageMagick is a free, open-source application installed as a binary distribution or as a source code. ImageMagick can convert, read, write and process raster images. ImageMagick is also available across all major platforms, including Android, BSD, Linux, Windows, Mac OSX, iOS, and many others.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install ImageMagick on Debian 11 Bullseye using the APT or Source installation method.


  • Recommended OS: Debian 11 Bullseye
  • User account: A user account with sudo or root access.
  • Required: git

Update Operating System

Update your Debian operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

The tutorial will be using the sudo command and assuming you have sudo status.

To verify sudo status on your account:

sudo whoami

Example output showing sudo status:

[joshua@debian~]$ sudo whoami

To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on Adding a User to Sudoers on Debian.

To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.


Install ImageMagick

Option 1 – Install ImageMagick from APT

The easiest and most recommended way to install is using the APT package manager for the average user. If this works correctly, stick with it and do not try and install the source method as it will complicate things more than you need.

First, install ImageMagick using the following command:

sudo apt install imagemagick

Option 2 – Install ImageMagick from Source

This installation choice isn’t recommended for the average user. However, for those wanting to use the source version, follow the steps below.

Firstly, make sure you have GIT installed:

apt install git -y

Now clone the GIT:

git clone /usr/local/src/ImageMagick

Note, depending on how you set your GIT up, and you may need to use the sudo command.

Next, CD into the directory:

cd /usr/local/src/ImageMagick

Now install the dependencies required:

apt install make build-essential automake 

You will now need to use the ./configure command:


Advanced users want more from ImageMagick it is recommended to use –with-modules build:

./configure --with-modules

Now that you have built and configured the environment, it is time to compile it with the command make.


A handy trick is to specify the -j <number of cpu> as this can significantly increase compiling speed if you have a powerful server. For example, the LinuxCapable server has 6 CPUs, and I can use all 6 or at least use 4 to 5 to increase speed.

make -j 6

After compiling the source code, now run the installation command in your terminal:

sudo make install

After the installation, you need to configure the dynamic linker run-time bindings:

sudo ldconfig /usr/local/lib

Now verify the installation and build:

magick --version

Example output:

Copyright: (C) 1999-2021 ImageMagick Studio LLC
Features: Cipher DPC HDRI Modules OpenMP(4.5) 
Delegates (built-in): fontconfig freetype jbig jng jpeg ltdl lzma png tiff x xml zlib

Updating ImageMagick from Source

If you installed ImageMagick from source using git, re-peat the installation process after you have pulled any new changes from the sources Github using the following terminal command:

sudo git pull

Testing & Verify ImageMagick

The quickest way to test if ImageMagick is working is to use the convert logo command as follows:

convert logo: logo.gif

If you installed ImageMagick using either the default Debian repository or the ImageMagick source, the test logo.gif would be located in the home directory.

First CD to your home directory, replacing username with your own:

cd /home/username/

Then list the directory using the ls command:



How to Install ImageMagick on Debian 11

If you installed from source, look in the source directory you installed ImageMagick in, then confirm if logo.gif has been created.

First, CD to the installation directory, for the tutorial it was:

cd /usr/local/src/ImageMagick

Then, use the ls command to see if logo.gif is created:



How to Install ImageMagick on Debian 11

Example Terminal Commands:

Below is a table of commands and tools that can be used with ImageMagick:

animateDisplay an image sequence as an animation.
compareAnalyze two images, and visualize mathematical differences between them.
compositeCompose one image over another with variable transparency to create a composite image.
conjureInterpret and execute scripts written in MSL, the Magick Scripting Language.
convertConvert images from one file format to another. This tool can also blur, crop, despeckle, dither, and otherwise modify the content of an image.
displayA simple image viewer.
identifyDisplay the image dimensions, quality, and other image metadata.
importCapture the screen to an image file.
mogrifyModify an image. Similar to converting, but overwrites the original image.
montageCreate an image composed of smaller images. This command can create a single image containing thumbnails of many images.
streamProcess image data and store it in a file as it is being streamed from an input source. Useful for situations with slow data streams or huge images whose data processing should begin before the entire image is stored.

Commands and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned two ways to install ImageMagick on Debian 11 Bullseye. Overall, ImageMagick is still quite popular, especially around WordPress websites and plugins, and is a tried and tested option for displaying, creating, converting, modifying, and editing raster images.

For additional information, please visit the official ImageMagick website.

Not what you were looking for? Try searching for additional tutorials.

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