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** Background
libjpeg-turbo is a JPEG image codec that uses SIMD instructions (MMX, SSE2,
NEON) to accelerate baseline JPEG compression and decompression on x86, x86-64,
and ARM systems. On such systems, libjpeg-turbo is generally 2-4x as fast as
libjpeg, all else being equal. On other types of systems, libjpeg-turbo can
still outperform libjpeg by a significant amount, by virtue of its
highly-optimized Huffman coding routines. In many cases, the performance of
libjpeg-turbo rivals that of proprietary high-speed JPEG codecs.
libjpeg-turbo implements both the traditional libjpeg API as well as the less
powerful but more straightforward TurboJPEG API. libjpeg-turbo also features
colorspace extensions that allow it to compress from/decompress to 32-bit and
big-endian pixel buffers (RGBX, XBGR, etc.), as well as a full-featured Java
libjpeg-turbo was originally based on libjpeg/SIMD, an MMX-accelerated
derivative of libjpeg v6b developed by Miyasaka Masaru. The TigerVNC and
VirtualGL projects made numerous enhancements to the codec in 2009, and in
early 2010, libjpeg-turbo spun off into an independent project, with the goal
of making high-speed JPEG compression/decompression technology available to a
broader range of users and developers.
** License
Most of libjpeg-turbo inherits the non-restrictive, BSD-style license used by
libjpeg (see README.) The TurboJPEG wrapper (both C and Java versions) and
associated test programs bear a similar license, which is reproduced below:
Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
- Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice,
this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
- Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice,
this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation
and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
- Neither the name of the libjpeg-turbo Project nor the names of its
contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this
software without specific prior written permission.
** Using libjpeg-turbo
libjpeg-turbo includes two APIs that can be used to compress and decompress
JPEG images:
TurboJPEG API: This API provides an easy-to-use interface for compressing
and decompressing JPEG images in memory. It also provides some functionality
that would not be straightforward to achieve using the underlying libjpeg
API, such as generating planar YUV images and performing multiple
simultaneous lossless transforms on an image. The Java interface for
libjpeg-turbo is written on top of the TurboJPEG API.
libjpeg API: This is the de facto industry-standard API for compressing and
decompressing JPEG images. It is more difficult to use than the TurboJPEG
API but also more powerful. The libjpeg API implementation in libjpeg-turbo
is both API/ABI-compatible and mathematically compatible with libjpeg v6b.
It can also optionally be configured to be API/ABI-compatible with libjpeg v7
and v8 (see below.)
There is no significant performance advantage to either API when both are used
to perform similar operations.
Installation Directory
This document assumes that libjpeg-turbo will be installed in the default
directory (/opt/libjpeg-turbo on Un*x and Mac systems and
c:\libjpeg-turbo[-gcc][64] on Windows systems. If your installation of
libjpeg-turbo resides in a different directory, then adjust the instructions
Replacing libjpeg at Run Time
If a Un*x application is dynamically linked with libjpeg, then you can replace
libjpeg with libjpeg-turbo at run time by manipulating LD_LIBRARY_PATH.
For instance:
[Using libjpeg]
> time cjpeg <vgl_5674_0098.ppm >vgl_5674_0098.jpg
real 0m0.392s
user 0m0.074s
sys 0m0.020s
[Using libjpeg-turbo]
> export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/libjpeg-turbo/{lib}:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH
> time cjpeg <vgl_5674_0098.ppm >vgl_5674_0098.jpg
real 0m0.109s
user 0m0.029s
sys 0m0.010s
({lib} = lib32 or lib64, depending on whether you wish to use the 32-bit or the
64-bit version of libjpeg-turbo.)
System administrators can also replace the libjpeg symlinks in /usr/lib* with
links to the libjpeg-turbo dynamic library located in /opt/libjpeg-turbo/{lib}.
This will effectively accelerate every application that uses the libjpeg
dynamic library on the system.
If a Windows application is dynamically linked with libjpeg, then you can
replace libjpeg with libjpeg-turbo at run time by backing up the application's
copy of jpeg62.dll, jpeg7.dll, or jpeg8.dll (assuming the application has its
own local copy of this library) and copying the corresponding DLL from
libjpeg-turbo into the application's install directory. The official
libjpeg-turbo binary packages only provide jpeg62.dll. If the application uses
jpeg7.dll or jpeg8.dll instead, then it will be necessary to build
libjpeg-turbo from source (see "libjpeg v7 and v8 API/ABI Emulation" below.)
The following information is specific to the official libjpeg-turbo binary
packages for Visual C++:
-- jpeg62.dll requires the Visual C++ 2008 C run-time DLL (msvcr90.dll).
msvcr90.dll ships with more recent versions of Windows, but users of older
Windows releases can obtain it from the Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable
Package, which is available as a free download from Microsoft's web site.
-- Features of the libjpeg API that require passing a C run-time structure,
such as a file handle, from an application to the library will probably not
work with jpeg62.dll, unless the application is also built to use the Visual
C++ 2008 C run-time DLL. In particular, this affects jpeg_stdio_dest() and
Mac applications typically embed their own copies of the libjpeg dylib inside
the (hidden) application bundle, so it is not possible to globally replace
libjpeg on OS X systems. Replacing the application's version of the libjpeg
dylib would generally involve copying libjpeg.*.dylib from libjpeg-turbo into
the appropriate place in the application bundle and using install_name_tool to
repoint the libjpeg-turbo dylib to its new directory. This requires an
advanced knowledge of OS X and would not survive an upgrade or a re-install of
the application. Thus, it is not recommended for most users.
Using libjpeg-turbo in Your Own Programs
For the most part, libjpeg-turbo should work identically to libjpeg, so in
most cases, an application can be built against libjpeg and then run against
libjpeg-turbo. On Un*x systems and Cygwin, you can build against libjpeg-turbo
instead of libjpeg by setting
({lib} = lib32 or lib64, depending on whether you are building a 32-bit or a
64-bit application.)
If using MinGW, then set
Building against libjpeg-turbo is useful, for instance, if you want to build an
application that leverages the libjpeg-turbo colorspace extensions (see below.)
On Un*x systems, you would still need to manipulate LD_LIBRARY_PATH or create
appropriate symlinks to use libjpeg-turbo at run time. On such systems, you
can pass -R /opt/libjpeg-turbo/{lib} to the linker to force the use of
libjpeg-turbo at run time rather than libjpeg (also useful if you want to
leverage the colorspace extensions), or you can link against the libjpeg-turbo
static library.
To force a Un*x or MinGW application to link against the static version of
libjpeg-turbo, you can use the following linker options:
-Wl,-Bstatic -ljpeg -Wl,-Bdynamic
On OS X, simply add /opt/libjpeg-turbo/lib/libjpeg.a to the linker command
To build Visual C++ applications using libjpeg-turbo, add
c:\libjpeg-turbo[64]\include to the system or user INCLUDE environment
variable and c:\libjpeg-turbo[64]\lib to the system or user LIB environment
variable, and then link against either jpeg.lib (to use the DLL version of
libjpeg-turbo) or jpeg-static.lib (to use the static version of libjpeg-turbo.)
Colorspace Extensions
libjpeg-turbo includes extensions that allow JPEG images to be compressed
directly from (and decompressed directly to) buffers that use BGR, BGRX,
RGBX, XBGR, and XRGB pixel ordering. This is implemented with ten new
colorspace constants:
JCS_EXT_RGB /* red/green/blue */
JCS_EXT_RGBX /* red/green/blue/x */
JCS_EXT_BGR /* blue/green/red */
JCS_EXT_BGRX /* blue/green/red/x */
JCS_EXT_XBGR /* x/blue/green/red */
JCS_EXT_XRGB /* x/red/green/blue */
JCS_EXT_RGBA /* red/green/blue/alpha */
JCS_EXT_BGRA /* blue/green/red/alpha */
JCS_EXT_ABGR /* alpha/blue/green/red */
JCS_EXT_ARGB /* alpha/red/green/blue */
Setting cinfo.in_color_space (compression) or cinfo.out_color_space
(decompression) to one of these values will cause libjpeg-turbo to read the
red, green, and blue values from (or write them to) the appropriate position in
the pixel when compressing from/decompressing to an RGB buffer.
Your application can check for the existence of these extensions at compile
time with:
At run time, attempting to use these extensions with a libjpeg implementation
that does not support them will result in a "Bogus input colorspace" error.
Applications can trap this error in order to test whether run-time support is
available for the colorspace extensions.
When using the RGBX, BGRX, XBGR, and XRGB colorspaces during decompression, the
X byte is undefined, and in order to ensure the best performance, libjpeg-turbo
can set that byte to whatever value it wishes. If an application expects the X
byte to be used as an alpha channel, then it should specify JCS_EXT_RGBA,
JCS_EXT_BGRA, JCS_EXT_ABGR, or JCS_EXT_ARGB. When these colorspace constants
are used, the X byte is guaranteed to be 0xFF, which is interpreted as opaque.
Your application can check for the existence of the alpha channel colorspace
extensions at compile time with:
jcstest.c, located in the libjpeg-turbo source tree, demonstrates how to check
for the existence of the colorspace extensions at compile time and run time.
libjpeg v7 and v8 API/ABI Emulation
With libjpeg v7 and v8, new features were added that necessitated extending the
compression and decompression structures. Unfortunately, due to the exposed
nature of those structures, extending them also necessitated breaking backward
ABI compatibility with previous libjpeg releases. Thus, programs that were
built to use libjpeg v7 or v8 did not work with libjpeg-turbo, since it is
based on the libjpeg v6b code base. Although libjpeg v7 and v8 are still not
as widely used as v6b, enough programs (including a few Linux distros) made
the switch that there was a demand to emulate the libjpeg v7 and v8 ABIs
in libjpeg-turbo. It should be noted, however, that this feature was added
primarily so that applications that had already been compiled to use libjpeg
v7+ could take advantage of accelerated baseline JPEG encoding/decoding
without recompiling. libjpeg-turbo does not claim to support all of the
libjpeg v7+ features, nor to produce identical output to libjpeg v7+ in all
cases (see below.)
By passing an argument of --with-jpeg7 or --with-jpeg8 to configure, or an
argument of -DWITH_JPEG7=1 or -DWITH_JPEG8=1 to cmake, you can build a version
of libjpeg-turbo that emulates the libjpeg v7 or v8 ABI, so that programs
that are built against libjpeg v7 or v8 can be run with libjpeg-turbo. The
following section describes which libjpeg v7+ features are supported and which
Support for libjpeg v7 and v8 Features:
Fully supported:
-- libjpeg: IDCT scaling extensions in decompressor
libjpeg-turbo supports IDCT scaling with scaling factors of 1/8, 1/4, 3/8,
1/2, 5/8, 3/4, 7/8, 9/8, 5/4, 11/8, 3/2, 13/8, 7/4, 15/8, and 2/1 (only 1/4
and 1/2 are SIMD-accelerated.)
-- libjpeg: arithmetic coding
-- libjpeg: In-memory source and destination managers
See notes below.
-- cjpeg: Separate quality settings for luminance and chrominance
Note that the libpjeg v7+ API was extended to accommodate this feature only
for convenience purposes. It has always been possible to implement this
feature with libjpeg v6b (see rdswitch.c for an example.)
-- cjpeg: 32-bit BMP support
-- cjpeg: -rgb option
-- jpegtran: lossless cropping
-- jpegtran: -perfect option
-- jpegtran: forcing width/height when performing lossless crop
-- rdjpgcom: -raw option
-- rdjpgcom: locale awareness
Not supported:
NOTE: As of this writing, extensive research has been conducted into the
usefulness of DCT scaling as a means of data reduction and SmartScale as a
means of quality improvement. The reader is invited to peruse the research at and draw his/her own conclusions,
but it is the general belief of our project that these features have not
demonstrated sufficient usefulness to justify inclusion in libjpeg-turbo.
-- libjpeg: DCT scaling in compressor
cinfo.scale_num and cinfo.scale_denom are silently ignored.
There is no technical reason why DCT scaling could not be supported when
emulating the libjpeg v7+ API/ABI, but without the SmartScale extension (see
below), only scaling factors of 1/2, 8/15, 4/7, 8/13, 2/3, 8/11, 4/5, and
8/9 would be available, which is of limited usefulness.
-- libjpeg: SmartScale
cinfo.block_size is silently ignored.
SmartScale is an extension to the JPEG format that allows for DCT block
sizes other than 8x8. Providing support for this new format would be
feasible (particularly without full acceleration.) However, until/unless
the format becomes either an official industry standard or, at minimum, an
accepted solution in the community, we are hesitant to implement it, as
there is no sense of whether or how it might change in the future. It is
our belief that SmartScale has not demonstrated sufficient usefulness as a
lossless format nor as a means of quality enhancement, and thus, our primary
interest in providing this feature would be as a means of supporting
additional DCT scaling factors.
-- libjpeg: Fancy downsampling in compressor
cinfo.do_fancy_downsampling is silently ignored.
This requires the DCT scaling feature, which is not supported.
-- jpegtran: Scaling
This requires both the DCT scaling and SmartScale features, which are not
-- Lossless RGB JPEG files
This requires the SmartScale feature, which is not supported.
What About libjpeg v9?
libjpeg v9 introduced yet another field to the JPEG compression structure
(color_transform), thus making the ABI backward incompatible with that of
libjpeg v8. This new field was introduced solely for the purpose of supporting
lossless SmartScale encoding. Further, there was actually no reason to extend
the API in this manner, as the color transform could have just as easily been
activated by way of a new JPEG colorspace constant, thus preserving backward
ABI compatibility.
Our research (see link above) has shown that lossless SmartScale does not
generally accomplish anything that can't already be accomplished better with
existing, standard lossless formats. Thus, at this time, it is our belief that
there is not sufficient technical justification for software to upgrade from
libjpeg v8 to libjpeg v9, and therefore, not sufficient technical justification
for us to emulate the libjpeg v9 ABI.
In-Memory Source/Destination Managers
By default, libjpeg-turbo 1.3 and later includes the jpeg_mem_src() and
jpeg_mem_dest() functions, even when not emulating the libjpeg v8 API/ABI.
Previously, it was necessary to build libjpeg-turbo from source with libjpeg v8
API/ABI emulation in order to use the in-memory source/destination managers,
but several projects requested that those functions be included when emulating
the libjpeg v6b API/ABI as well. This allows the use of those functions by
programs that need them without breaking ABI compatibility for programs that
don't, and it allows those functions to be provided in the "official"
libjpeg-turbo binaries.
Those who are concerned about maintaining strict conformance with the libjpeg
v6b or v7 API can pass an argument of --without-mem-srcdst to configure or
an argument of -DWITH_MEM_SRCDST=0 to CMake prior to building libjpeg-turbo.
This will restore the pre-1.3 behavior, in which jpeg_mem_src() and
jpeg_mem_dest() are only included when emulating the libjpeg v8 API/ABI.
On Un*x systems, including the in-memory source/destination managers changes
the dynamic library version from 62.0.0 to 62.1.0 if using libjpeg v6b API/ABI
emulation and from 7.0.0 to 7.1.0 if using libjpeg v7 API/ABI emulation.
Note that, on most Un*x systems, the dynamic linker will not look for a
function in a library until that function is actually used. Thus, if a program
is built against libjpeg-turbo 1.3+ and uses jpeg_mem_src() or jpeg_mem_dest(),
that program will not fail if run against an older version of libjpeg-turbo or
against libjpeg v7- until the program actually tries to call jpeg_mem_src() or
jpeg_mem_dest(). Such is not the case on Windows. If a program is built
against the libjpeg-turbo 1.3+ DLL and uses jpeg_mem_src() or jpeg_mem_dest(),
then it must use the libjpeg-turbo 1.3+ DLL at run time.
Both cjpeg and djpeg have been extended to allow testing the in-memory
source/destination manager functions. See their respective man pages for more
** Mathematical Compatibility
For the most part, libjpeg-turbo should produce identical output to libjpeg
v6b. The one exception to this is when using the floating point DCT/IDCT, in
which case the outputs of libjpeg v6b and libjpeg-turbo are not guaranteed to
be identical (the accuracy of the floating point DCT/IDCT is constant when
using libjpeg-turbo's SIMD extensions, but otherwise, it can depend heavily on
the compiler and compiler settings.)
While libjpeg-turbo does emulate the libjpeg v8 API/ABI, under the hood, it is
still using the same algorithms as libjpeg v6b, so there are several specific
cases in which libjpeg-turbo cannot be expected to produce the same output as
libjpeg v8:
-- When decompressing using scaling factors of 1/2 and 1/4, because libjpeg v8
implements those scaling algorithms a bit differently than libjpeg v6b does,
and libjpeg-turbo's SIMD extensions are based on the libjpeg v6b behavior.
-- When using chrominance subsampling, because libjpeg v8 implements this
with its DCT/IDCT scaling algorithms rather than with a separate
downsampling/upsampling algorithm.
-- When using the floating point IDCT, for the reasons stated above and also
because the floating point IDCT algorithm was modified in libjpeg v8a to
improve accuracy.
-- When decompressing using a scaling factor > 1 and merged (AKA "non-fancy" or
"non-smooth") chrominance upsampling, because libjpeg v8 does not support
merged upsampling with scaling factors > 1.
** Performance Pitfalls
Restart Markers
The optimized Huffman decoder in libjpeg-turbo does not handle restart markers
in a way that makes the rest of the libjpeg infrastructure happy, so it is
necessary to use the slow Huffman decoder when decompressing a JPEG image that
has restart markers. This can cause the decompression performance to drop by
as much as 20%, but the performance will still be much greater than that of
libjpeg. Many consumer packages, such as PhotoShop, use restart markers when
generating JPEG images, so images generated by those programs will experience
this issue.
Fast Integer Forward DCT at High Quality Levels
The algorithm used by the SIMD-accelerated quantization function cannot produce
correct results whenever the fast integer forward DCT is used along with a JPEG
quality of 98-100. Thus, libjpeg-turbo must use the non-SIMD quantization
function in those cases. This causes performance to drop by as much as 40%.
It is therefore strongly advised that you use the slow integer forward DCT
whenever encoding images with a JPEG quality of 98 or higher.