ImageMagick: no longer runs on OS X, except Lion

The IM maintainers seem to be taking a leaf out of Apple’s book: if you don’t purchase the latest Apple OS upgrade (that most people don’t need), you can no longer use their software.

If you follow their 4-line install instructions, you’ll get:

dyld: Library not loaded: /usr/X11/lib/libpng15.15.dylib
Referenced from: …. /ImageMagick-6.7.2/bin/convert
Reason: image not found

…because that precise version of that library isn’t included in OS X generally, it’s only part of Lion, and it’s not included with ImageMagick – and ImageMagick for some reason has been compiled to refuse to run with anything except that precise version. Why? no explanation of this on the download page. I assume it’s just someone wasn’t paying attention, and went and linked a specific library. If so, it’s very frustrating that a simple noob mistake has just locked out anyone who’s not running Lion. Sigh.

Yes – I could go and download the source, and debug it, and fix it myself, because it’s Open Source. But if I’m going to consider that, then it would be cheaper to:

  1. Buy a new Mac
  2. Buy an extra copy of Photoshop
  3. Buy lots of RAM
  4. Throw away IM

And what about if I were running this on a server (which, after all, is what IM is really here for)? Basically, I’d just be screwed :(. Unless I was happy building from source, with all the pain and suffering that entails.

Overall, it gives me the strong feeling: stop using ImageMagick. It’s too risky. Which is very sad, because in the past it’s been very popular in some (server) teams I’ve worked on, where it helped us do lots of great things (and, IIRC, some of the people I worked with contributed some small minor fixes back to IM. Although this was so long ago I might be imagining that).

3 Replies to “ImageMagick: no longer runs on OS X, except Lion”

  1. Could you not use a recent stable version that runs on previous versions of OS X? You’d lose future enhancements but you could still use what’s there now.

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