Pillow and PIL cannot co-exist in the same environment. Before installing Pillow, please uninstall PIL.


Pillow >= 1.0 no longer supports “import Image”. Please use “from PIL import Image” instead.


Pillow >= 2.1.0 no longer supports “import _imaging”. Please use “from PIL.Image import core as _imaging” instead.



Pillow < 2.0.0 supports Python versions 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7.


Pillow >= 2.0.0 < 4.0.0 supports Python versions 2.6, 2.7, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5


Pillow >= 4.0.0 supports Python versions 2.7, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6

Basic Installation


The following instructions will install Pillow with support for most common image formats. See External Libraries for a full list of external libraries supported.


The basic installation works on Windows and macOS using the binaries from PyPI. Other installations require building from source as detailed below.

Install Pillow with pip:

$ pip install Pillow

Or use easy_install for installing Python Eggs as pip does not support them:

$ easy_install Pillow

Windows Installation

We provide Pillow binaries for Windows compiled for the matrix of supported Pythons in both 32 and 64-bit versions in wheel, egg, and executable installers. These binaries have all of the optional libraries included:

> pip install Pillow


> easy_install Pillow

macOS Installation

We provide binaries for macOS for each of the supported Python versions in the wheel format. These include support for all optional libraries except OpenJPEG:

$ pip install Pillow

Linux Installation

We do not provide binaries for Linux. Most major Linux distributions, including Fedora, Debian/Ubuntu and ArchLinux include Pillow in packages that previously contained PIL e.g. python-imaging. Please consider using native operating system packages first to avoid installation problems and/or missing library support later.

FreeBSD Installation

Pillow can be installed on FreeBSD via the official Ports or Packages systems:


$ cd /usr/ports/graphics/py-pillow && make install clean


$ pkg install py27-pillow


The Pillow FreeBSD port and packages are tested by the ports team with all supported FreeBSD versions and against Python 2.x and 3.x.

Building From Source

Download and extract the compressed archive from PyPI.

External Libraries


You do not need to install all supported external libraries to use Pillow’s basic features. Zlib and libjpeg are required by default.


There are scripts to install the dependencies for some operating systems included in the depends directory.

Many of Pillow’s features require external libraries:

  • libjpeg provides JPEG functionality.
    • Pillow has been tested with libjpeg versions 6b, 8, 9, 9a, and 9b and libjpeg-turbo version 8.
    • Starting with Pillow 3.0.0, libjpeg is required by default, but may be disabled with the --disable-jpeg flag.
  • zlib provides access to compressed PNGs
    • Starting with Pillow 3.0.0, zlib is required by default, but may be disabled with the --disable-zlib flag.
  • libtiff provides compressed TIFF functionality
    • Pillow has been tested with libtiff versions 3.x and 4.0
  • libfreetype provides type related services
  • littlecms provides color management
    • Pillow version 2.2.1 and below uses liblcms1, Pillow 2.3.0 and above uses liblcms2. Tested with 1.19 and 2.7.
  • libwebp provides the WebP format.
    • Pillow has been tested with version 0.1.3, which does not read transparent WebP files. Versions 0.3.0 and above support transparency.
  • tcl/tk provides support for tkinter bitmap and photo images.
  • openjpeg provides JPEG 2000 functionality.
    • Pillow has been tested with openjpeg 2.0.0 and 2.1.0.
    • Pillow does not support the earlier 1.5 series which ships with Ubuntu and Debian.
  • libimagequant provides improved color quantization
    • Pillow has been tested with libimagequant 2.6.0
    • Libimagequant is licensed GPLv3, which is more restrictive than the Pillow license, therefore we will not be distributing binaries with libimagequant support enabled.
    • Windows support: Libimagequant requires VS2013/MSVC 18 to compile, so it is unlikely to work with any Python prior to 3.5 on Windows.

Once you have installed the prerequisites, run:

$ pip install Pillow

If the prerequisites are installed in the standard library locations for your machine (e.g. /usr or /usr/local), no additional configuration should be required. If they are installed in a non-standard location, you may need to configure setuptools to use those locations by editing or setup.cfg, or by adding environment variables on the command line:

$ CFLAGS="-I/usr/pkg/include" pip install pillow

If Pillow has been previously built without the required prerequisites, it may be necessary to manually clear the pip cache or build without cache using the --no-cache-dir option to force a build with newly installed external libraries.

Build Options

  • Environment variable: MAX_CONCURRENCY=n. By default, Pillow will use multiprocessing to build the extension on all available CPUs, but not more than 4. Setting MAX_CONCURRENCY to 1 will disable parallel building.
  • Build flags: --disable-zlib, --disable-jpeg, --disable-tiff, --disable-freetype, --disable-tcl, --disable-tk, --disable-lcms, --disable-webp, --disable-webpmux, --disable-jpeg2000, --disable-imagequant. Disable building the corresponding feature even if the development libraries are present on the building machine.
  • Build flags: --enable-zlib, --enable-jpeg, --enable-tiff, --enable-freetype, --enable-tcl, --enable-tk, --enable-lcms, --enable-webp, --enable-webpmux, --enable-jpeg2000, --enable-imagequant. Require that the corresponding feature is built. The build will raise an exception if the libraries are not found. Webpmux (WebP metadata) relies on WebP support. Tcl and Tk also must be used together.
  • Build flag: --disable-platform-guessing. Skips all of the platform dependent guessing of include and library directories for automated build systems that configure the proper paths in the environment variables (e.g. Buildroot).
  • Build flag: --debug. Adds a debugging flag to the include and library search process to dump all paths searched for and found to stdout.

Sample usage:

$ MAX_CONCURRENCY=1 python build_ext --enable-[feature] install

or using pip:

$ pip install pillow --global-option="build_ext" --global-option="--enable-[feature]"

Building on macOS

The Xcode command line tools are required to compile portions of Pillow. The tools are installed by running xcode-select --install from the command line. The command line tools are required even if you have the full Xcode package installed. It may be necessary to run sudo xcodebuild -license to accept the license prior to using the tools.

The easiest way to install external libraries is via Homebrew. After you install Homebrew, run:

$ brew install libtiff libjpeg webp little-cms2

Install Pillow with:

$ pip install Pillow

or from within the uncompressed source directory:

$ python install

Building on Windows

We don’t recommend trying to build on Windows. It is a maze of twisty passages, mostly dead ends. There are build scripts and notes for the Windows build in the winbuild directory.

Building on FreeBSD


Only FreeBSD 10 tested

Make sure you have Python’s development libraries installed.:

$ sudo pkg install python2

Or for Python 3:

$ sudo pkg install python3

Prerequisites are installed on FreeBSD 10 with:

$ sudo pkg install jpeg tiff webp lcms2 freetype2

Building on Linux

If you didn’t build Python from source, make sure you have Python’s development libraries installed.

In Debian or Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt-get install python-dev python-setuptools

Or for Python 3:

$ sudo apt-get install python3-dev python3-setuptools

In Fedora, the command is:

$ sudo dnf install python-devel redhat-rpm-config

Or for Python 3:

$ sudo dnf install python3-devel redhat-rpm-config


redhat-rpm-config is required on Fedora 23, but not earlier versions.

Prerequisites are installed on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or Raspian Wheezy 7.0 with:

$ sudo apt-get install libtiff4-dev libjpeg8-dev zlib1g-dev \
    libfreetype6-dev liblcms2-dev libwebp-dev tcl8.5-dev tk8.5-dev python-tk

Prerequisites are installed on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with:

$ sudo apt-get install libtiff5-dev libjpeg8-dev zlib1g-dev \
    libfreetype6-dev liblcms2-dev libwebp-dev tcl8.6-dev tk8.6-dev python-tk

Prerequisites are installed on Fedora 23 with:

$ sudo dnf install libtiff-devel libjpeg-devel zlib-devel freetype-devel \
    lcms2-devel libwebp-devel tcl-devel tk-devel

Platform Support

Current platform support for Pillow. Binary distributions are contributed for each release on a volunteer basis, but the source should compile and run everywhere platform support is listed. In general, we aim to support all current versions of Linux, macOS, and Windows. Note that Android is not currently supported, but there have been reports of success.

Continuous Integration Targets

These platforms are built and tested for every change.

Operating system Tested Python versions Tested Architecture
Alpine 2.7 x86-64
Arch 2.7 x86-64
Debian Stretch 2.7 x86
Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite* 2.7, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6 x86-64
Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS 2.7 x86-64
Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS

2.7, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, pypy, pypy3




Ubuntu Linux 12.04 LTS 2.7 x86-64
Windows Server 2012 R2 2.7,3.3,3.4 x86, x86-64

* Mac OS X CI is not run for every commit, but is run for every release.

Other Platforms

These platforms have been reported to work at the versions mentioned.


Contributors please test Pillow on your platform then update this document and send a pull request.

Operating system Tested Python versions Latest tested Pillow version Tested processors
macOS 10.12 Sierra 3.4,3.5,3.6 4.0.0 x86-64
Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan 2.7,3.3,3.4,3.5 4.1.0 x86-64
Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks 2.7,3.2,3.3,3.4 3.0.0 x86-64
Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion 2.6,2.7,3.2,3.3   x86-64
Redhat Linux 6 2.6   x86
CentOS 6.3 2.7,3.3   x86
Fedora 23 2.7,3.4 3.1.0 x86-64
Ubuntu Linux 12.04 LTS

2.6,2.7,3.2,3.3,3.4,3.5 PyPy5.3.1,PyPy3 v2.4.0






Ubuntu Linux 10.04 LTS 2.6 2.3.0 x86,x86-64
Debian 8.2 Jessie 2.7,3.4 3.1.0 x86-64
Raspian Jessie 2.7,3.4 3.1.0 arm
Gentoo Linux 2.7,3.2 2.1.0 x86-64
FreeBSD 10.2 2.7,3.4 3.1.0 x86-64
Windows 8.1 Pro 2.6,2.7,3.2,3.3,3.4 2.4.0 x86,x86-64
Windows 8 Pro 2.6,2.7,3.2,3.3,3.4a3 2.2.0 x86,x86-64
Windows 7 Pro 2.7,3.2,3.3 3.4.1 x86-64
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 3.3   x86-64

Old Versions

You can download old distributions from PyPI. Only the latest major releases for Python 2.x and 3.x are visible, but all releases are available by direct URL access e.g.