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Installation instructions for PIKA @PIKA_APP_VERSION@
There are some basic steps to building and installing PIKA.
PIKA @PIKA_APP_VERSION@ replaces earlier PIKA 2.99.x versions. It is advised to
uninstall them before installing PIKA @PIKA_APP_VERSION@. Since libpika* libraries
and data are all versionned anyway, it is possible to keep your older
PIKA 2.x installation in parallel to PIKA @PIKA_APP_VERSION@ on a same prefix.
PIKA @PIKA_APP_VERSION@ is not backward compatible with PIKA 2.10 and earlier
versions. Plug-ins and scripts written for PIKA 2.10, 2.8, 2.6 or
earlier PIKA 2.x versions will not work because the API changed.
The most important part is to make sure the requirements for a build
are fulfilled. We depend on a number of tools and libraries which are
listed below. For libraries this means you need to also have the
header files installed.
This file is generated (versions are filled by our build system) and
focuses on keeping an up-to-date list of dependencies intended to
packagers, contributors or whoever wants to compile PIKA from source.
Building and running self-built software often requires more setup, in
particular environment variables so that your system knows where to
find the various pieces of the software. The following document can
help in that regard:
* Unless you are experienced with building software from source, *
* you should not attempt to build all these libraries yourself! *
* We suggest that you check if your distributor has development *
* packages of them and use these instead. *
1. You need to have installed a recent version of pkg-config (>= @PIKA_PKGCONFIG_VERSION@) available
from https://www.freedesktop.org/software/pkgconfig/.
The compatible pkgconf utility would also work.
2. You need gettext version 0.19.8 or newer. Older versions did not have support yet
for certain file formats.
3. You need to have GEGL version @GEGL_REQUIRED_VERSION@ or newer and babl version
@BABL_REQUIRED_VERSION@ or newer. You can get them from https://gegl.org/ or clone
them from the GNOME git repository:
GEGL must be built with Cairo support, i.e. -Dcairo=enabled option (required
for some mandatory operations such as "gegl:npd").
Introspection must be enabled for both babl and GEGL with -Denable-gir=true
and -Dintrospection=true respectively. The only case where we don't build
GIR data is when cross-compiling because of the difficulty to make cross-tools
for GObject Introspection.
Nevertheless if you have working GIR cross-tools, you can force the expected
behavior with PIKA's meson option -Dcan-crosscompile-gir=true
- build GEGL with libumfpack (SuiteSparse) (`-Dumfpack=enabled`)
for alternative Matting engine "gegl:matting-levin" and OpenEXR
library (`-Dopenexr=enabled`) for OpenEXR format support.
- build GEGL with maxflow (https://github.com/gerddie/maxflow) and
the option -Dworkshop=true in order to be able to select the
experimental Paint Select tool in the Playground (operation
"gegl:paint-select" is needed).
- The "Show Image Graph" item in the "Debug" menu (hidden by
default on stable release) requires the GEGL operation
"gegl:introspect" which is always built but deactivated unless
the `dot` tool from graphviz is available (runtime dependency).
4. You need to have installed GTK version @GTK_REQUIRED_VERSION@ or newer.
PIKA also needs a recent version of GLib (>= @GLIB_REQUIRED_VERSION@), GDK-Pixbuf
(>= @GDK_PIXBUF_REQUIRED_VERSION@), and Pango (>= @PANGO_REQUIRED_VERSION@). Sources for these can be grabbed
from https://download.gnome.org/sources/.
5. We use cairo >= @CAIRO_REQUIRED_VERSION@, which is hosted at
6. We require PangoCairo, a Pango backend using Cairo. Make sure you
have Cairo, FreeType2 and fontconfig installed before you compile
Pango. PIKA depends on freetype2 being newer than version @FREETYPE2_REQUIRED_VERSION@
and fontconfig @FONTCONFIG_REQUIRED_VERSION@ or newer. Older versions are known to have
bugs that seriously affect the stability of PIKA.
On Windows, we recommend fontconfig 2.13.95 (or over) where support
of fonts in user directory (Windows 1809 feature) appeared.
We also require HarfBuzz @HARFBUZZ_REQUIRED_VERSION@ or newer, an OpenType text shaping
tool. As this is a dependency for Pango, you will likely have it
installed, but you may have to install a development package for
the headers.
7. The file-compressor plug-in requires zlib, libbzip2, and liblzma to
be installed. All these libraries are required dependencies.
8. For metadata access PIKA requires the gexiv2 @GEXIV2_REQUIRED_VERSION@ or newer library.
It is hosted at: https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/gexiv2
9. libpng, libjpeg, libtiff, librsvg and lcms are hard dependencies
that can not be disabled.
There might be some issues with librsvg, based on the fact newer
versions are in Rust which is not buildable on all platforms. Yet
SVG support was deemed too important to be considered "optional"
for a decent graphics activity. Nevertheless a packager really
intent to have PIKA running on an architecture with no Rust support
could still:
1) easily patch out the file-svg plug-in from build system;
2) build PIKA with -Dvector-icons=false. Ironically librsvg is
needed at build time for this option, in order to create PNG
variants of icons (making librsvg unneeded at runtime). So all it
takes is to have a build machine with librsvg to create the PNG
icons, package and deliver them for machines without librsvg.
This is the compromise we came with, i.e. officially making SVG a
first-class file format, yet explaining how you could ignore it if
you really wanted or needed to.
10. For MyPaint brushes, brushlib (libmypaint) @LIBMYPAINT_REQUIRED_VERSION@ is used.
The libmypaint repository is hosted at:
If installing from repository, do not install the master branch!
Checkout the last tag "v1.y.z" from `libmypaint-v1` branch instead
(for instance "v1.6.1" tag at time of writing), or simply install
from a tarball or from your favorite package manager.
In particular, do NOT install tags or release tarballs versioned
"v2.y.z". PIKA depends on the version 1 of libmypaint and is
incompatible with the version 2 (which is still experimental anyway
and has no stable release at time of writing).
11. We also need the mypaint-brushes data package:
If installing from repository, install from branch "v1.3.x" or the
last tag "v1.y.z" (e.g. "v1.3.1" at time of writing).
In particular do NOT install from `master` branch which installs
brushes incompatible with PIKA (the `master` branch and v2 brushes
are targeted to software using recent libmypaint which PIKA wasn't
ported to yet).
Also this is a data packages and therefore it will install the
pkg-config file inside `$PREFIX/share/pkgconfig/`. If you install
mypaint-brushes from repository in a non-standard prefix, you will
have to make sure your $PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable also
lists `$PREFIX/share/pkgconfig/`.
12. PIKA uses GLib's GIO library to handle file URIs and any I/O in
general, transparently, regardless where the file is stored, i.e.
locally, remotely, with which scheme, and so on. GIO in turn
supports various backends through modules. We don't know all the
modules available but since HTTP and HTTPS are so pervasive
nowadays, we kind of consider a least GIO modules for these schemes
mandatory (it allows to open from a pasted URL or just drag'n drop
from e.g. a browser).
For HTTP support (and many other schemes), on Linux at least, you
should install `gvfs`:
It is unclear whether `gvfs` can be built and installed on other
platforms such as Windows and macOS.
For HTTPS support, you should install `glib-networking`:
Of course there might be more modules providing support of more
storage backends. Ideally PIKA would have support to load from any
backend so packaging together with more GIO modules or recommending
them in a package manager would be ideal. In any case, installing
the ones for HTTP and HTTPS seems like the minimum nowadays.
13. You may want to install other third party libraries or programs
that are needed for some of the available plug-ins. We recommend
to check that the following libraries are installed: openjpeg,
libmng, libwmf, libaa and libgs (Ghostscript).
14. HEIF support depends on the libheif library. If you don't have
access to pre-built packages, the code is available at:
Make sure you build libheif with libde265 and libx265 support (for
respectively decoding and encoding of HEVC, i.e. HEIC files), and
libaom decoder and encoder (for AV1, i.e. AVIF files), otherwise
the plug-in is mostly useless.
15. GObject Introspection requires the following dependencies to be
built and installed with introspection as well: babl, cairo,
GdkPixbuf, GEGL, GIO, GLib, GObject and GTK.
16. Windows builds can now generate backtrace logs upon a crash.
The logs will be available in: %APPDATA%\PIKA\@PIKA_APP_VERSION@\CrashLog\
The feature depends on Dr.MinGW's ExcHndl library:
17. Configure PIKA by running `meson _build`. You may want to pass some
options to it, see below.
18. Build PIKA by running `ninja -C _build'.
19. Install PIKA by running `ninja -C _build install'. In order to
avoid clashes with other versions of PIKA, we install a binary
called pika-@PIKA_APP_VERSION@. By default there's also a link created so that
you can type 'pika' to start pika-@PIKA_APP_VERSION@.
20. Summary of required packages and what version you need:
Package Name Version
gvfs (on Linux)
21. Summary of optional packages:
Package Name Version Feature
cfitsio - FITS
ExcHndl - Crash logs on Windows with Dr. MinGW
gs - ghostscript
libaa - ASCII art
libilbm - Amiga IFF/ILBM
libmng - MNG
libwebp @WEBP_REQUIRED_VERSION@ WebP (built with --enable-libwebpmux and --enable-libwebpdemux)
libXcursor - X11 Mouse Cursor
libxpm - XPM
qoi - QOI
webkit @WEBKITGTK_REQUIRED_VERSION@ Help browser & webpage
vala - Vala plug-ins
22. Summary of optional runtime dependencies:
darktable >= 1.7, with lua support enabled for raw loading
RawTherapee >= 5.2 for raw loading
xdg-email for sending emails
sendmail for sending emails if --with-sendmail enabled
gdb or lldb for our new bug-reporting dialog
"gegl:matting-levin" GEGL operation for alternative matting engine
Python @PYTHON3_REQUIRED_VERSION@ and PyGObject for Python 3 plug-ins
GJS for Javascript plug-ins
LuaJIT and LGI for Lua plug-ins
dot for "Show Image Graph" (unstable branches)
xdg-desktop-portal implemented for your desktop for various D-Bus API (screenshot, color-picking…)
Generic instructions for configuring and compiling auto-configured
packages are included below. Here is an illustration of commands that
might be used to build and install PIKA. The actual configuration,
compilation and installation output is not shown.
% tar xvf pika-@PIKA_VERSION@.tar.xz # unpack the sources
% cd pika-@PIKA_VERSION@ # change to the toplevel directory
% meson _build # `configure' step
% ninja -C _build # build PIKA
% ninja -C _build install # install PIKA
The `configure' step examines your system, and adapts PIKA to run on
it. The script has many options, some of which are described in the
generic instructions included at the end of this file. All of the
options can be listed using the command `meson configure' if you
successfully configured already, or by reading the file `meson_options.txt`.
There are several special options the PIKA configure script recognizes.
These are:
-Dvector-icons=false This option installs raster icons instead of
vector icons.
-Drelocatable-bundle=yes This option forces PIKA to search some
resources (e.g. MyPaint brushes or libwmf fonts) relatively to the
running prefix, rather than using build-time paths.
-Dansi=true This option causes stricter ANSI C checking to be
performed when compiling with GCC. The default is for strict
checking to be disabled. NOTE: This option is intended primarily as
a convenience for developers.
-Dpikadir=DIR. This option changes the default directory PIKA uses to
search for its configuration files from ~/.config/PIKA/@PIKA_APP_VERSION@ (the
directory .config/PIKA/@PIKA_APP_VERSION@ in the user's home directory) to
If DIR is an absolute path, the directory will be changed to DIR.
-Dshmem-type=[none|sysv|posix|win32|auto]. This option allows you to
specify how image data is transported between the core and plug-ins.
Usually the best way to do this is detected automatically.
-Daa=disabled The AA plug-in needs libaa and configure checks for
its presence. Use -Daa=disabled if you run into problems.
-Dxpm=disabled The XPM plug-in needs libxpm and configure checks
for its presence. If for some reason you don't want to build the
XPM plug-in even though the library is installed, use
-Dxpm=disabled to disable it explicitly.
-Dmng=disabled The MNG plug-in needs libmng and configure checks
for its presence. If for some reason you don't want to build the
MNG plug-in even though the library is installed, use
-Dmng=disabled to disable it explicitly.
-Dwmf=disabled The WMF plug-in needs libwmf2 and configure checks for
its presence. Use -Dwmf=disabled if you run into problems.
-Dwebkit-unmaintained=true We do not recommend to install the Help
browser and Webpage plug-ins anymore. If for some reason you want
these anyway, you can force the build with this explicit option.
-Dprint=false If for some reason you don't want to build the Print
plug-in based on the GtkPrint API, you can build with -Dprint=false.
-Dalsa=disabled If you don't want to compile ALSA support into the
MIDI input controller module, you can use the -Dalsa=disabled option.
-Dlinux-input=disabled If you don't want to compile the Linux Input
controller module, you can use the -Dlinux-input=disabled option.
-Dgi-docgen=enabled|disabled This option controls whether the libpika
C API references will be created using gi-docgen.
-Dg-ir-doc=true This option controls whether the libpika API
references for some binding languages will be created using
g-ir-doc-tool and yelp-build.
-Denable-multiproc=false This option allows you to disable support for
multiple processors. It is enabled by default.
-Dwith-sendmail[=PATH] This option is used to tell PIKA to send email
through sendmail instead of xdg-email. You can optionally indicate
where to find the sendmail command. Otherwise sendmail will simply
be searched in your $PATH at runtime.
-Denable-default-bin=false Use this option if you don't want to make
pika-@PIKA_APP_VERSION@ the default PIKA installation. Otherwise a link called
pika pointing to the pika-@PIKA_APP_VERSION@ executable will be installed.
-Denable-console-bin=false Use this option if you don't want the
pika-console binary to be built in addition to the standard binary.
pika-console is useful for command-line batch mode or as a server.
-Dpython=false If for some reason you don't want to install the
Python plug-ins, you can use -Dpython=false.
-Djavascript=false If for some reason you don't want to install the
JavaScript plug-ins, you can use -Djavascript=false.
-Dlua=false If for some reason you don't want to install the
Lua plug-ins, you can use -Dlua=false.
-Dvala-plugins=disabled If for some reason you don't want to install the
Vala plug-ins, you can use -Dvala-plugins=disabled.
This list is manually maintained. To get an exhaustive listing of options,
read `meson_options.txt'.
Additionally meson supports a wide range of common built-in options. See
documentation: https://mesonbuild.com/Builtin-options.html
The `ninja' command builds several things:
- A bunch of public libraries in the directories starting with 'libpika'.
- The plug-in programs in the 'plug-ins' directory.
- Some modules in the 'modules' subdirectory.
- The main PIKA program 'pika-@PIKA_APP_VERSION@' in `app'.
The `ninja install' command installs the PIKA header files associated
with the libpika libraries, the plug-ins, some data files and the PIKA
executable. After running `ninja install' and assuming the build process
was successful you should be able to run `pika'.
When configure fails
The configuration step uses pkg-config, a tool that replaces the old foo-config
scripts. The most recent version is available from
'configure' tries to compile and run a short GTK program. There are
several reasons why this might fail:
* pkg-config could not find the file 'gtk+-3.0.pc' that gets installed
with GTK. (This file is used to get information about where GTK+ is
Fix: Either make sure that this file is in the path where pkg-config
looks for it (try 'pkg-config --debug' or add the location of
gtk+-3.0.pc to the environment variable PKG_CONFIG_PATH before running
* Libraries you installed are not found when you attempt to start PIKA.
The details of how to fix this problem will depend on the system:
On Linux and other systems using ELF libraries, add the directory to
holding the library to /etc/ld.so.conf or to the environment variable
LD_LIBRARY_PATH, and run 'ldconfig'.
On other systems, it may be necessary to encode this path
into the executable, by setting the LDFLAGS environment variable
before running configure. For example:
LDFLAGS="-R/home/joe/lib" ./configure
LDFLAGS="-Wl,-rpath -Wl,/home/joe/lib" ./configure
* An old version of the GTK libraries was found instead of
your newly installed version. This commonly happens if a
binary package of GTK was previously installed on your system,
and you later compiled GTK from source.
Fix: Remove the old libraries and include files. If you are afraid
that removing the old libraries may break other packages supplied by
your distributor, you can try installing GLib, GTK and other
libraries in a different prefix after setting the environment
variable PKG_CONFIG_LIBDIR to point to lib/pkgconfig/ in that new
prefix so that it does not try to read the *.pc files from the
default directory (/usr/lib/pkgconfig). However, removing the old
packages is often the easier solution.
A detailed log of the meson output is written to the file meson-logs/meson-log.txt.
This may help diagnose problems.
When meson configure fails on plug-ins
There are some PIKA plug-ins that need additional third-party libraries
installed on your system. For example to compile the plug-ins that load
and save JPEG, PNG or TIFF files you need the related libraries and header
files installed, otherwise you'll get a message that plug-in xyz will not
be built.
If you are sure that those libraries are correctly installed, but configure
fails to detect them, the following might help:
Set your LDFLAGS environment variable to look for the library in a certain
place, e.g. if you are working in a bash shell you would say:
export LDFLAGS="-L<path_to_library> -L<path_to_another_one>"
before you run configure.
Set your CPPFLAGS environment variable to look for the header file in a
certain place, e.g. if you are working in a bash shell you would say:
export CPPFLAGS="-I<path_to_header_file> -I<path_to_another_one>"
before you run meson.