GNU Ghostscript is now known as GPL
This page refers only to older releases that were part of the GNU project. In 2004 Ghostscript left the
GNU project and the name of the Free Software releases were changed to
GPL Ghostscript to reflect this.
Ghostscript is the name of a set of software that provides:
- An interpreter for the PostScript (TM) language and the Adobe
Portable Document Format (PDF -- sometimes confused with Acrobat,
Adobe's PDF browser/editor product), and
- A set of C procedures (the Ghostscript library) that implement
the graphics and filtering (data compression / decompression
/ conversion) capabilities that appear as primitive operations
in the PostScript language and in PDF.
Obtaining GNU Ghostscript
Ghostscript is a copyrighted work (artofcode LLC owns the copyright);
it is not shareware or in the public domain.
Versions entitled "GNU Ghostscript" are distributed with the GNU
General Public License, which allows free use, and free copying and
redistribution under certain conditions (including, in some cases,
You can always get the current version of GNU Ghostscript by Internet FTP
or from any of the GNU
distribution sites, such as ftp.uu.net:/systems/gnu
or gatekeeper.dec.com:/pub/GNU; you can also get GNU Ghostscript on tape
or CD-ROM from the Free Software Foundation.
The Ghostscript source code distribution, and the Ghostscript executable
code, include the following libraries obtained from other parties:
These libraries do NOT fall under either the GNU License or the Aladdin
Ghostscript Free Public License; they come with their own licenses, which
also allow free use and redistribution under appropriate circumstances and
which appear in the files referenced just above. These libraries are
entirely original works of their respective authors, and are provided "AS
IS" with NO WARRANTY and NO SUPPORT.
- The Independent JPEG Group (IJG) library. The executable versions
of Ghostscript are based in part on the work of the Independent JPEG Group.
For more information, please see the file jpeg.mak in the main Ghostscript
source directory, and the README file in the jpeg subdirectory of the
Ghostscript source code.
- The PNG library created by Dave Martindale, Guy Eric Schalnat,
Paul Schmidt, and Tim Wegner, of Group 42, Inc. For more information,
please see the libpng.mak file in the main Ghostscript source directory, and
the files readme.txt and png.h in the libpng subdirectory of the Ghostscript
- The zlib library created by Jean-loup Gailly and Mark Adler. For
more information, please see the zlib.mak file in the main Ghostscript
source directory, and the README file in the zlib subdirectory of the
Ghostscript source code.
What platforms does Ghostscript run on?
Ghostscript is written entirely in C (with some optional assembly-language
accelerators for MS-DOS platforms), with special care taken to make it run
properly on systems of either byte order and of various word lengths.
GNU Ghostscript is known to run on the following platform families:
- A wide variety of Unix systems using X Windows version 11, release
4, 5, and 6, including Sun-3, Sun-4, Sun-386i, and Sun
SPARCStation; generic 80386/486/Pentium machines running Linux,
386/ix, FreeBSD, ISC Unix, SCO Unix, and Solaris; H-P 9000/300 and
9000/800; DECStation 2100 and 3100; VAX running Ultrix and OSF/1;
Sequent Symmetry; Convex C1 and C2; Tektronix 4300; SGI Iris
Indigo; 4.4bsd Unix systems (FreeBSD (intel), NetBSD (intel,
sparc, m68k (apple, amiga, sun & hp) and vax) and 386BSD (intel)).
- Sun workstations (Sun-3, SPARC, Sun-386i) running SunView;
- VAX or AXP systems running VMS with X11R4/5 and DEC C or gcc.
Newsgroups for GNU Ghostscript
Discussion about GNU Ghostscript and Ghostview can be found in the
USENET gnu.ghostscript.bug newsgroup.
Other information on the WWW
- There is a Ghostscript World Wide Web home page at
- GPL Ghostscript 8.01
- GNU Ghostscript 7.07
- GNU Ghostscript 7.06
- GNU Ghostscript 7.05
- GNU Ghostscript 6.53
- GNU Ghostscript 6.52
- GNU Ghostscript 6.51
- GNU Ghostscript 5.50
- GNU Ghostscript 5.10
- GNU Ghostscript 4.03
is a freely available X Windows screen previewer based on Ghostscript.
is a modified version of Ghostview, generally preferred to the
- Introduction to GNU Ghostscript
This information was mostly obtained from the GNU Ghostscript
Last updated $Date$.