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librsvg logo
Original author(s) Raph Levien
Developer(s) GNOME Project
Stable release 2.40.1 (19 November 2013; 7 months ago (2013-11-19)) [±][1]
Development status Active
Written in C
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Graphics library

librsvg is a free software SVG rendering library written as part of the GNOME project, intended to be lightweight and portable.[2]


librsvg uses two other libraries to perform tasks from reading the file to rendering to the screen.

  • libxml is used to parse the XML code orientation of an SVG file into a form that can be accessed quickly by the library.
  • cairo is used to render the information obtained by libxml to a block of memory.


librsvg is developed for the GNOME desktop environment and as such is used by GNOME Files but is also intended to be used in other software applications. As a notable example, wikis hosted by Wikimedia use librsvg to render SVG images.[3] It was once picked for these web applications because it was decidedly "fast but not very accurate", according to MediaWiki.[3][4]

Upon switching to the cairo vector rendering engine, librsvg became more accurate and more visually pleasing. RSVG-Convert and RSVG-View were also available as Win32 console tools.[5]


  1. ^ download mirror, 19 November 2013, retrieved 12 February 2014 
  2. ^ "librsvg is a library to render SVG files using cairo". librsvg. GNOME Live. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Lucideer (April 27, 2009). "Manual:Image Administration - MediaWiki". MediaWiki. MediaWiki. Retrieved April 6, 2011. 
  4. ^ "SVG benchmarks - MediaWiki". MediaWiki. MediaWiki. Retrieved April 6, 2011. 
  5. ^ TumaGonx Zakkum (2012-06-10). "RSVG-Convert SVG image conversion tool". Open Source Software and Windows 32-bit. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 

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