Linux Graphics Tools

Following are the top 5 graphics tools that can be called from the command−line. Zgv (  is the only one can be used from the command line but it is not much useful. All the tools listed use the X windowing system to work and simply run from the command line (so they can be scripted/automated if necessary).




Creates a ‘montage‘, an image created of many other images, arranged in a random fashion.

Syntax :

  • # montage r34.jpg r32.jpg skylines* skyline_images.miff

The above would create a “montage” of images (it would tile a certain number of images) into a composite image called “skyline_images.miff”, you could always use display to view the image.

Man page :




To convert the file format of an image to another image format. convert is used to change a files format, for example from a jpeg to a bitmap or one of many other formats. convert can also manipulate the images as well (see the man page or the ImageMagick  site).

Example from Jpeg to PNG format:

  • # convert JPEG: thisfile.jpg PNG: thisfile.png




Captures screen−shots from the X server and saves them to a file. A screen−dump of what X is doing.

Command syntax:

  • # import file_name

Man page :




display is used to display (output) images on the screen. Once open you are can also perform editing functions and are able to read/write images. It has various interesting options such as the ability to display images as a slide show and the ability to capture screenshots of a single window on−screen.

Command syntax (for displaying an image):

  • # display image_name

To display a slide show of images, open the images you want possibly using a wildcard, for example:

  • # display *.jpg




Will identify the type of image as well as it’s size, colour depth and various other information. Use the −verbose option to show detailed information on the particular file(s).

Command syntax:

  • # identify image_name