ImageMagick or GraphicsMagick?
The ImageMagick (IM) suite of command-line graphics tools is a free software staple; Linux, other Unix-like operating systems, and proprietary OSes like Windows have supported IM for close to two decades. But there is also an alternative tool called GraphicsMagick (GM) that covers much of the same functionality. How do you know which one is right for you?
Though IM traces its own history back to 1987, when it was an internal tool developed at DuPont, the first public source code release was in 1990. The core package is a collection of roughly a dozen separate command-line tools: animate, compare, display, identify, mogrify, and so on.
Because its command-line interface exposes so much functionality, IM has long been employed in scripts and automated routines. It handles the server-side image manipulation duties in Web applications as diverse as personal photo galleries and Wikipedia. Over time, interfaces to many popular programming languages sprang up, opening up IM to programmers like a system library.
And in a sense, that was where the trouble began.