Table of contents
For other information, see the Ghostscript overview and "How to build Ghostscript from source code".
Overview of how to install Ghostscript
You must have three things to run Ghostscript:
- The Ghostscript executable file; on some operating systems, more than one file is required. These are entirely platform-specific. See below for details.
- Initialization files that Ghostscript reads in when it starts up; these are the same on all platforms.
.psunless Ghostscript was compiled using the "compiled initialization files" option. See the documentation of PostScript files distributed with Ghostscript.
.psif Ghostscript was compiled with the ability to interpret Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files, that is,
pdf.devwas included in
FEATURE_DEVSwhen Ghostscript was built.
Fontmap.GS(or the appropriate
Fontmap.xxx for your platform), unless you plan always to invoke Ghostscript with the
The usage documentation describes the search algorithms used to find initialization files and font files. The per-platform descriptions that follow tell you where to install these files.
Installing Ghostscript on Unix
Ghostscript uses the common configure, build and install method common to many modern software packages. In general the following with suffice to build ghostscript:
and then it may be installed in the default location with:
This last command may need to be performed with super user privileges.
You can set the installation directory by adding
to the configure invocation in the first step. The default prefix is
which is to say the gs executable is installed as
A list of similar configuration options is available via
For more detailed information on building Ghostscript see
how to build Ghostscript on Unix in
the documentation on building Ghostscript, especially regarding information
on using the older hand edited makefile
approach. Whatever configuration method you use, execute "
install" to install the executable and all the required and
ancillary files after the build is complete.
The makefile installs all the files except fonts under the directory
defined in the makefile as
prefix. Fonts need to be
installed separately. The fonts should be installed in
/usr/local/share/ghostscript/fonts/ if you used the default
If you have Adobe Acrobat installed, you can use the Acrobat fonts
in place of the ones distributed with with Ghostscript by adding the
Acrobat fonts directory to
GS_FONTPATH and removing these fonts from
Courier, Courier-Bold, Courier-BoldOblique, Courier-Oblique, Helvetica, Helvetica-Bold, Helvetica-BoldOblique, Helvetica-Oblique, Symbol, Times-Bold, Times-BoldItalic, Times-Italic, Times-Roman, ZapfDingbats
Similarly, you can have ghostscript use other fonts on your system by adding entries to the fontmap or adding the directories to the GS_FONTMAP environment variable. See the usage documentation for more information.
For example, many linux distributions place fonts under
Ghostscript as a shared object
If you've built Ghostscript as a shared object, instead of '
you must use '
See how to build Ghostscript
as a shared object for more details.
Additional notes on Linux
For Linux, you may be able to install or upgrade Ghostscript from precompiled RPM files using:
rpm -U ghostscript-N.NN-1.i386.rpm
rpm -U ghostscript-fonts-N.NN-1.noarch.rpm
However, please note that we do not create RPMs for Ghostscript, and we take no responsibility for RPMs created by others.
Installing Ghostscript on MS Windows
We usually distribute Ghostscript releases for Windows as a binary installer, for the convenience of most users.
Windows 3.1 (16-bit)
The last version to run on 16-bit Windows 3.1 was Ghostscript 4.03.
Windows 95, 98, Me
The last version to be available as a binary for Windows 95/98/Me was 8.60. Although building from source with Visual Studio 2003 should produce a working binary for those versions.
Windows NT4, 2000, XP, 2003 or Vista (32-bit)
The installer is normally named
where ### is the release number (e.g., 871 for Ghostscript 8.71,
910 for Ghostscript 9.10).
Windows XP x64 edition, 2003 or Vista (64-bit)
The x64 installer is normally named
This is for 64-bit Windows operating systems based on the x64 instruction set.
Do not use this on 64-bit processors running 32-bit Windows.
To install Ghostscript on Windows, you should run the installer executable.
The installer is NSIS-based (see also Release.htm) and
supports a few standard NSIS options:
/NCRC disables the CRC check,
/S runs the installer or uninstaller silently,
sets the default installation directory (It must be the last parameter
used in the command line and must not contain any quotes, even if the path
contains spaces. Only absolute paths are supported).
General Windows configuration
The installer includes files in these subdirectories:
The actual executable files for the 32-bit Windows install, in the
Ghostscript as a 32-bit Windows command line program. This is usually the preferred executable.
32-bit Ghostscript using its own window for commands
32-bit dynamic link library containing most of Ghostscript's functionality
For the 64-bit Windows install, also in the
subdirectory, they are:
Ghostscript as a 64-bit Windows command line program. This is usually the preferred executable.
64-bit Ghostscript using its own window for commands
64-bit dynamic link library containing most of Ghostscript's functionality
For printer devices, the default output is the default printer. This can be modified as follows:
- Output to the named printer. If your printer is named "HP DeskJet 500" then you would use
-sOutputFile="%printer%HP DeskJet 500".
If Ghostscript fails to find an environment variable, it looks for a registry value of the same name under the key
or if that fails, under the key
where #.## is the Ghostscript version number.
Ghostscript will attempt to load the Ghostscript dynamic link library
GSDLL32.DLL in the following order:
- In the same directory as the Ghostscript executable.
- If the environment variable
GS_DLLis defined, Ghostscript tries to load the Ghostscript dynamic link library (DLL) with the name given.
- Using the standard Windows library search method: the directory from which the application loaded, the current directory, the Windows system directory, the Windows directory and the directories listed in the PATH environment variable.
The Ghostscript installer will create registry values
for the environment variables
Uninstalling Ghostscript on Windows
To uninstall Ghostscript, use the Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs and remove "Ghostscript #.##" and "Ghostscript Fonts". (The entries may be called "GPL Ghostscript" or "AFPL Ghostscript", rather than just "Ghostscript", depending on what version of Ghostscript was installed). Alternatively, an uninstall shortcut is also available in the Start Menu group.
Installing Ghostscript on OpenVMS
Support for OpenVMS has stagnated (and almost certainly bit-rotted), and as the core development team has no access to an OpenVMS environment, we are unable to bring it up to date. We will consider patches from contributors if any wish to take on the task of getting it working again. Given the very limited appeal of OpenVMS these days, however, we are unlikely to consider patches with invasive code changes.
You need the file
GS.EXE to run Ghostscript on OpenVMS, and
installing Ghostscript on an OpenVMS system requires building it first:
please read how to build Ghostscript on VMS
in the documentation on building Ghostscript.
The following installation steps assume that the Ghostscript directory is
DISK1:[DIR.GHOSTSCRIPT]. Yours will almost certainly be in
a different location so adjust the following commands accordingly.
- Download the fonts and unpack them into
- Enable access to the program and support files for all users with:
- Optionally, add the Ghostscript help instructions to your system wide help file:
- Lastly, add the following lines to the appropriate system wide or user specific login script.
$ set file/prot=w:re DISK1:[DIR]GHOSTSCRIPT.dir $ set file/prot=w:re DISK1:[DIR.GHOSTSCRIPT...]*.*
$ lib/help sys$help:HELPLIB.HLB DISK1:[DIR.GHOSTSCRIPT.DOC]GS-VMS.HLP
$ define gs_exe DISK1:[DIR.GHOSTSCRIPT.BIN] $ define gs_lib DISK1:[DIR.GHOSTSCRIPT.EXE] $ gs :== $gs_exe:gs.exe
If you have DECWindows/Motif installed, you may wish to replace the
FONTMAP.GS file with
FONTMAP.VMS. Read the
comment at the beginning of the latter file for more information.
Copyright © 2000-2021 Artifex Software, Inc. All rights reserved.
This software is provided AS-IS with no warranty, either express or implied. This software is distributed under license and may not be copied, modified or distributed except as expressly authorized under the terms of that license. Refer to licensing information at https://www.artifex.com or contact Artifex Software, Inc., 1305 Grant Avenue - Suite 200, Novato, CA 94945, U.S.A., +1(415)492-9861, for further information.
Ghostscript version 9.54.0, 30 March 2021