The latest version of this FAQ should be available from the Ghostscript WWW page http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/
Table of Contents
What is Ghostscript?
What is the current version of Ghostscript?
What is the difference between AFPL Ghostscript and GNU Ghostscript?
Where can I get Ghostscript?
Where can I find a list of post-release problems?
Which USENET newsgroups are relevant to Ghostscript?
How do I display a particular page?
Without FTP access to the Internet. How can I get Ghostscript?
Why won't Ghostscript read piped PDF files?
Why isn't GIF supported in Ghostscript?
Ghostscript is the name of a set of software that provides:
There are three versions of Ghostscript currently available.
The current AFPL Ghostscript version is 8.00.
The current GNU Ghostscript version is 7.05.
Artifex Ghostscript is an OEM version licensed commercially from Artifex Software.
AFPL Ghostscript is distributed with a license called the Aladdin Ghostscript Free Public License that allows free use, copying, and distribution by end users, but does not allow commercial distribution. AFPL Ghostscript was previously known as Aladdin Ghostscript.
GNU Ghostscript is distributed with the GNU General Public License, which allows free use, and free copying and redistribution under certain conditions (including, in some cases, commercial distribution). GNU Ghostscript versions are usually released shortly after the next AFPL Ghostscript version.
See the Ghostscript web page http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/ or go direct to one of these locations:
You can get GNU Ghostscript from mirror.cs.wisc.edu from the directory pub/mirrors/ghost/gnu or from prep.ai.mit.edu. Please try first one of the usual mirrors (for example: germany.eu.net). The URL is ftp://mirror.cs.wisc.edu/pub/mirrors/ghost/gnu/
You can get AFPL Ghostscript from ftp://mirror.cs.wisc.edu/pub/mirrors/ghost/AFPL/ or from any CTAN mirror in /support/ghostscript/AFPL/
For a list of problems and fixes, see the SourceForge site http://sourceforge.net/projects/ghostscript/
Discussion about AFPL Ghostscript and GSview can be found in the USENET newsgroup comp.lang.postscript
Discussion about GNU Ghostscript and Ghostview can be found in the USENET newsgroup gnu.ghostscript.bug
You need a previewer based on Ghostscript. These are described in the Ghostscript New-user.htm
Some previewers are:
GNU Ghostscript is included in the GNU distribution from the Free Software Foundation; e-mail to email@example.com for information on ordering their tapes, floppies, or CD-ROMs. Ghostscript is generally included in less-commercial Unix systems such as Linux and BSDI, and also appears on some freeware CD-ROMs.
If you do not have convenient access to the Internet, you can order AFPL Ghostscript on a CD-R disc, along with some useful related programs and documentation: for more information, see http://www.ghostgum.com.au/cd.htm or contact Russell Lang at the address below. Please note that this is not "commercial licensing"; you are still getting freely redistributable software, with no support and no warranty.
Portable Document Format is a file format which contains forward and backward links. It is not a stream format like PostScript. You cannot pipe PDF files to the stdin of Ghostscript. Instead you must either give the PDF filename on the command line, or use it as the argument of the Ghostscript run command. Ghostscript 8.00 and later can read piped PDF by copying to a temporary file.
Some servers do not implement backing pixmaps properly, or do not have enough memory for them. If you get strange behavior or "out of memory" messages, try setting the useBackingPixmap resource to false.
Some servers do not implement bitmap/pixmap displaying properly. This may show up as white or black rectangles where characters should appear, or characters may appear in "inverse video" (e.g., white on a black rectangle). If this happens, try setting the useXPutImage resource to false.
If you are running 32-bit Windows you don't want a DOS version. Ghostscript for MS-Windows includes a Windows console mode executable named gswin32c.exe.
The last 16-bit DOS version was either GS 2.61 or 3.33. The last 32-bit DOS extended version was GS 5.10.
L. Peter Deutsch of Aladdin Enterprises writes:
Because of actions by CompuServe and Unisys related to a patent that claims to cover the data compression method used in GIF, anyone who distributes any new GIF software (even readers, but definitely software that creates GIF files) after January 1, 1995 may be subject to legal action if they do not get a license from Unisys, and/or unpredictable payment requirements if they do get such a license. I cannot run the risk of having this happen. If you wish to run this risk, you may extract the GIF software (gdevgif.c and a small part of devs.mak) from Aladdin Ghostscript 3.12, which was originally released in 1994.
Consider using alternative image formats such as PNG or JPEG.
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