How to Install ImageMagick on Debian 11 or 10

ImageMagick is an incredibly powerful open-source software that provides users with the tools to create, edit, and manipulate images. It is a versatile software commonly used by graphic designers, photographers, and web developers for various image-related tasks, ranging from resizing images to adding special effects. Its extensive features and capabilities make ImageMagick an indispensable tool for anyone working with images in their projects.

ImageMagick is feature-rich and versatile software that offers various capabilities for image-related tasks. Here are some of the key features of ImageMagick:

  • Advanced Image Editing: With ImageMagick, you can edit images using a broad range of tools, such as resizing, cropping, and adding special effects. This feature is particularly useful for graphic designers and photographers who need to produce high-quality images.
  • Format Compatibility: ImageMagick is compatible with an extensive range of image formats, including JPEG, PNG, GIF, and TIFF. This compatibility makes it an all-in-one solution for managing different image formats.
  • Command Line Interface: ImageMagick provides a command-line interface that streamlines the automation of image-related tasks. This feature is particularly useful for users who frequently handle repetitive image-processing tasks.
  • Batch Processing: The batch processing feature of ImageMagick allows you to process multiple images simultaneously. This capability is ideal for managing large projects that involve a high volume of images.
  • Scripting Support: ImageMagick’s scripting feature allows you to automate complex image-related tasks. Developers can use this feature to create custom scripts that perform specific image-processing tasks.
  • Open-Source License: ImageMagick is an open-source tool that is freely available to everyone. This license allows developers and users to modify and distribute the software without restrictions.

This guide will walk you through installing ImageMagick on Debian 11 Bullseye or Debian 10 Buster. You can install it using the APT default repository or download the source and compile it via the command line terminal.

Step 1: Update Debian

Before installing ImageMagick on Debian, it is important to ensure that your system is up to date. Updating your system guarantees that your system is compatible with ImageMagick and ensures that you have installed the latest security updates. To update your system, open the terminal and run the following command.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Install Required Libraries

To ensure the correct functioning of ImageMagick, several libraries must be installed. To install these libraries, execute the following command.

sudo apt install libpng-dev libjpeg-dev libtiff-dev

Method 1: Install ImageMagick with APT

For the average user, using the APT package manager is the easiest and most recommended method to install ImageMagick. If this method works correctly, it is advisable to stick with it and avoid installing ImageMagick via the source method. The latter can be more complicated than necessary and may result in additional problems.

To install ImageMagick using the APT method, use the following command.

sudo apt install imagemagick

And that’s it! The following section will cover how to compile ImageMagick if you are looking for alternative installation methods.

Method 2: Install ImageMagick with Source

If you prefer an alternative installation method, you can opt for cloning the ImageMagick GIT repository and compiling the application. However, this method is more advanced and may not be suitable for the average user. If you want to utilize the source version and access the latest release or a specific older release, follow the steps below.

Before you proceed with the alternative installation method, you must ensure that GIT is installed on your system. You can verify this by running the following command in the terminal.

git --version

When you run this command, the terminal will display the version of GIT currently installed on your system. If GIT is not installed, you can install it by running the following command.

sudo apt install git

To clone the repository, navigate to the location where you want to store the cloned repository in the terminal, and then run the following command.

git clone

If you want, you can specify the location of the cloned repository to “/usr/local/src/ImageMagick” by using the following command.

git clone /usr/local/src/ImageMagick

It is important to note that depending on your GIT or user privilege configuration, you may need to use the sudo command while cloning the repository. For instance, you may encounter permission errors if your current user does not have the required permissions to access the desired location for cloning the repository. In such cases, using the sudo command can help you overcome these issues.

sudo git clone /usr/local/src/ImageMagick

Once you have successfully cloned the ImageMagick repository, the next step is to navigate to the directory where it was cloned. Please note that the location may vary depending on your specific setup. However, the general steps to follow are as follows:

cd ImageMagick

Alternatively, if you cloned the repository to “/usr/local/src/ImageMagick,” you can navigate to the directory by running the following command:

cd /usr/local/src/ImageMagick

Before you can continue with the installation process, you must install the dependencies necessary to compile ImageMagick. These dependencies include various libraries and tools required for the compilation process. You can install them by running the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt install build-essential libltdl-dev libjpeg-dev libpng-dev libtiff-dev libgif-dev libfreetype6-dev liblcms2-dev libxml2-dev

Now that the dependencies are installed, the next step is to run the ./configure command to prepare the ImageMagick source for compilation. This command will check the system and set up the necessary configuration files for the compilation process.


The ./configure command checks for any missing dependencies or configurations required to compile ImageMagick. An error message will be displayed if any dependencies or configurations are missing. In such cases, it is necessary to install the missing dependencies or resolve the configuration issues before proceeding to the next step.

For advanced users seeking to extract more functionality from ImageMagick, it is recommended to build the application with the –with-modules option. This option enables the installation of additional optional features and modules, providing a more comprehensive and versatile ImageMagick experience. To build ImageMagick with the –with-modules option, include it in the ./configure command.

./configure --with-modules

Example output if successful:

By including this option, you can ensure access to the full range of features and functionalities offered by ImageMagick.

Now that the environment is built and configured, the next step is to compile ImageMagick using the make command. This command will create the ImageMagick executable file from the source code.


Example output if successful:

The make command will compile the ImageMagick source code, creating a usable application. Depending on your system specifications, the compilation process may take several minutes. After the compilation is complete, you can proceed with the next step.

Once the source code is compiled, the next step is to run the installation command. This command will install ImageMagick on your Debian system.

sudo make install

Example output if successful:

The installation command will install ImageMagick on your system. After the installation is complete, you can start using ImageMagick.

After installing ImageMagick, the final step is configuring the dynamic linker run-time bindings. This step is crucial since it ensures that your system can locate and use the ImageMagick libraries at run-time.

sudo ldconfig /usr/local/lib

The ldconfig command will configure the dynamic linker run-time bindings, making ImageMagick accessible and usable on your system. Once you run this command, you should be able to use ImageMagick without any issues. Failure to perform this step may result in the following error in your terminal:

Example only:

magick: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

It is essential to note that the dynamic linker run-time bindings may need to be reconfigured if you upgrade or reinstall ImageMagick in the future. In such cases, repeat the above steps to reconfigure the dynamic linker run-time bindings.

After successfully installing ImageMagick, you can verify the installation by running the following command:

magick --version

Example output:

Version: ImageMagick 7.1.0-62 (Beta) Q16-HDRI x86_64

Another example of the commands above mentioned for visual purposes:

Examples of ImageMagick Commands

Converting an Image Format

ImageMagick can convert images from one format to another. For instance, to convert a JPG image to a PNG format, use the following command:

convert input.jpg output.png

Creating a Thumbnail

To create a thumbnail from an image, use the following command:

convert input.png -thumbnail 200x200 output.png

This command creates a 200×200 thumbnail from the “input.png” image and saves the result as “output.png.”

Resizing an Image

To resize an image to a specific dimension, use the following command:

convert input.png -resize 200x200 output.png

This command resizes the “input.png” image to a 200×200 size and saves the result as “output.png.”

Adding Text to an Image

To add text to an image using ImageMagick, use the following command:

convert input.png -font Arial -pointsize 36 -fill black -draw "text 20,50 'Hello World'" output.png

This command adds the text “Hello World” to the “input.png” image using Arial font and a 36-point font size. The text is black and located at the coordinates (20, 50). The result is saved as “output.png.”

Applying Special Effects

ImageMagick can apply special effects to images. For instance, to apply a sepia tone effect, use the following command:

convert input.png -sepia-tone 80% output.png

This command applies a sepia tone effect to the “input.png” image at a level of 80% and saves the result as “output.png.”

Blurring an Image

To blur an image using ImageMagick, use the following command:

convert input.png -blur 0x8 output.png

This command blurs the “input.png” image with a radius of 0 and a sigma of 8, producing a Gaussian blur effect. The result is saved as “output.png.”

Cropping an Image

To crop an image, use the following command:

convert input.png -crop 200x200+50+50 output.png

This command crops the “input.png” image to a 200×200 size, starting from the coordinates (50, 50), and saves the result as “output.png.”


In summary, installing ImageMagick on Debian is a simple process that can be accomplished through the terminal or by cloning the ImageMagick GIT repository. The former method is recommended for average users as it is more straightforward and less complex. At the same time, the latter is more advanced and provides the option to use the latest or specific older release.

It is essential to follow the steps accurately to ensure a successful installation regardless of your chosen method. Before proceeding, install the necessary dependencies, clone the repository (if applicable), and execute the appropriate commands in the terminal. After installation, running a few test commands is advisable to verify the successful installation and ensure that everything works as intended.

For additional information, please visit the official ImageMagick website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I install ImageMagick on other Linux distributions besides Debian?

Yes, ImageMagick is available for many Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Fedora, and CentOS.

Where does ImageMagick install on Debian?

ImageMagick installs in the /usr/bin/ directory on Debian.

What does ImageMagick do on Debian?

ImageMagick is a powerful tool for editing and manipulating images in Linux systems. It provides a range of features to help you create high-quality images.

What is the benefit of manually installing ImageMagick over the APT method on Debian?

The benefit of manually installing ImageMagick over the APT method is that you can install a specific version of ImageMagick that may not be available in the APT repository.

What is PHP ImageMagick on Debian?

PHP ImageMagick is a library that provides an interface between PHP and ImageMagick on Debian. It allows developers to use ImageMagick’s image manipulation capabilities within PHP scripts.

How popular is ImageMagick on Debian systems?

ImageMagick is a widely used tool in the Linux community and is particularly popular on Debian systems.

What are some commonly used ImageMagick commands on Debian?

Some commonly used ImageMagick commands on Debian include converting an image format, creating a thumbnail, resizing an image, and adding text to an image.

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