GPL Ghostscript 8.63

Artifex Software, Inc. is pleased to announce the release of GPL Ghostscript 8.63.

This is the fourth scheduled release in the stable Ghostscipt 8.6x series. It corresponds to the 1.53 release of GhostPDL.

Source packages are available from the usual locations:

MD5 checksums

SHA-1 checksums

Approximately 238 bugs have been fixed since version 8.62. Of particular note are robustness and performance improvements with large files, invalid PDF, and font handling. The major new feature of this release is multithreaded rendering. This can be requested by passing -dNumRenderingThreads=n on the command line. The input document is first parsed, and then each page is split into n bands which are rendered concurrently. This can provide a significant reduction in processing time on multi-core systems. Images are now always interpolated in their source colorspace. This improves correctness for XPS documents and avoids bypassing the custom color management callbacks for interpolated images. Interpolation and color management are both expensive operations, so this affects performance with large images. The effect can be positive or negative depending on the file and the target resolution. If performance is a problem, we suggest running with -dNOINTERPOLATION. Support for OpenPrinting Vector devices has been upgraded to version 1.0. There are two new devices in this release, both experimental. Behdad Esfahbod has contributed a cairo output device which uses the cairo graphics library to generate PDF, SVG, EPS, or PNG files, based on the requested filename extension. The svgwrite device directly outputs Scalable Vector Graphics, the W3C XML vector graphics format. Both support only vector art at this point; text and images will not be represented efficiently.

Thanks to everyone whose hard work made this release possible!

Post-release news

After you get this version of Ghostscript, we suggest that you track news, updates, and fixes here or at the Ghostscript website,

Incompatible changes

The maximum number of color components has been reduced to 8 (from 252) as a performance improvement. Eight is the largest number commonly used and the largest number for which we support continuous tone images. Users with special needs can restore the previous behavior by setting the GS_CLIENT_COLOR_MAX_COMPONENTS preprocessor symbol to the required number of components at compile time.

The -Z: debugging option now uses 'realtime' instead of 'usertime' when reporting timing information on unix-like systems. This has always been the case on windows-like systems.

Obsolete makefiles for the DesqView environment have been removed.

Mirror sites

The primary site for the Ghostscript source code is The primary FTP site for the full Ghostscript release is Ghostscript is also available from many mirror sites which may be closer to you and provide faster access. Ghostscript is also available on CD-R.

Microsoft Windows

You will need to obtain and run the self-extracting EXE

gs863w32.exe, GPL Ghostscript 8.63 for 32-bit Windows (the common variety).
gs863w64.exe, GPL Ghostscript 8.63 for 64-bit Windows (x86_64).


If using MS-Windows it is strongly recommended that you also get GSview, which provides a graphical interface to Ghostscript.

To unpack ZIP files, you will need an unzip program such as Info-ZIP unzip.

Last update 2008-08-04