Sign up ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm on Linux and I'd like to take an SVG file and bake it into a PNG file at a given resolution (scaling). Is there a way to do this quickly and effectively from the command line?

I'm looking for something like this:

svg2png --width 128 --height 128 input.svg output.png

Is there a tool for this?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Use ImageMagick's convert:

convert -resize 128x128 input.svg output.png

If the input canvas size is less than the given size, this will up-scale the output without re-sampling. To get a higher quality result, add -density parameter:

convert -density 500 -resize 128x128 input.svg output.png

ImageMagick rasters vector images to their canvas resolution to a default density of 72 dpi.
To up-scale with proper sampling, you could specify an over high value, like 500 dpi in above sample.

Using a too high raster density can be a performance issue with large size canvas. The lowest and ideal raster density is: raster_density = raster_size / original_size * original_density

This ideal raster density will output image directly to the expected size (no -resize needed). But as float number approximations may occur, a slightly higher value and a resize are recommended for pixel-perfect result.

You can get original size and density using ImageMagick's percent escapes:

 convert input.svg -format "%w %h %[resolution.x] %[resolution.y]" info:

Note that ImageMagick doesn't handle the complete specifications of SVG. If having trouble with shapes rendered incorrectly, look at this thread about selecting ImageMagick SVG renderer.

share|improve this answer
Awesome, thanks. I found rsvg from the answer below on my own, but it's really time I start using ImageMagick. – Naftuli Tzvi Kay Dec 7 '12 at 17:17
Didn't work for my svg image. At first I received convert: unable to read font (null)' @ error/annotate.c/RenderFreetype/1153.` errors which I resolved by brew install gs, but even when convert ran cleanly the resulting image is garbage. – Lloyd Dewolf Feb 27 at 19:30
@LloydDewolf, you can try cleaning the svg first. – Mihai Rotaru Feb 27 at 19:44
I had to add -background transparent, otherwise convert uses white background. – hgoebl Nov 22 at 13:18

Both rsvg and inkscape can:

$ rsvg
Usage: rsvg [OPTIONS...] file.svg file.png
  -d, --dpi-x=<float>          pixels per inch
  -p, --dpi-y=<float>          pixels per inch
  -x, --x-zoom=<float>         x zoom factor
  -y, --y-zoom=<float>         y zoom factor
  -w, --width=<int>            width
  -h, --height=<int>           height
  -q, --quality=<int>          JPEG quality
  -f, --format=[png, jpeg]     save format
  -v, --version                show version information

Help options:
  -?, --help                   Show this help message
  --usage                      Display brief usage message


$ inkscape --help
Usage: inkscape [OPTIONS...] [FILE...]

Available options:
  -V, --version                             Print the Inkscape version number
  -z, --without-gui                         Do not use X server (only process
                                            files from console)
  -g, --with-gui                            Try to use X server (even if
                                            $DISPLAY is not set)
  -f, --file=FILENAME                       Open specified document(s) (option
                                            string may be excluded)
  -p, --print=FILENAME                      Print document(s) to specified
                                            output file (use '| program' for
  -e, --export-png=FILENAME                 Export document to a PNG file
  -d, --export-dpi=DPI                      The resolution used for exporting
                                            SVG into bitmap (default 90)
  -a, --export-area=x0:y0:x1:y1             Exported area in SVG user units
                                            (default is the canvas; 0,0 is
                                            lower-left corner)
  -D, --export-area-drawing                 Exported area is the entire
                                            drawing (not canvas)
  -C, --export-area-canvas                  Exported area is the entire canvas
      --export-area-snap                    Snap the bitmap export area
                                            outwards to the nearest integer
                                            values (in SVG user units)
  -w, --export-width=WIDTH                  The width of exported bitmap in
                                            pixels (overrides export-dpi)
  -h, --export-height=HEIGHT                The height of exported bitmap in
                                            pixels (overrides export-dpi)
  -i, --export-id=ID                        The ID of the object to export
  -j, --export-id-only                      Export just the object with
                                            export-id, hide all others (only
                                            with export-id)
  -t, --export-use-hints                    Use stored filename and DPI hints
                                            when exporting (only with
  -b, --export-background=COLOR             Background color of exported
                                            bitmap (any SVG-supported color
  -y, --export-background-opacity=VALUE     Background opacity of exported
                                            bitmap (either 0.0 to 1.0, or 1 to
  -l, --export-plain-svg=FILENAME           Export document to plain SVG file
                                            (no sodipodi or inkscape
  -P, --export-ps=FILENAME                  Export document to a PS file
  -E, --export-eps=FILENAME                 Export document to an EPS file
  -A, --export-pdf=FILENAME                 Export document to a PDF file
  -T, --export-text-to-path                 Convert text object to paths on
                                            export (EPS)
  -F, --export-embed-fonts                  Embed fonts on export (Type 1
                                            only) (EPS)
  -B, --export-bbox-page                    Export files with the bounding box
                                            set to the page size (EPS)
  -X, --query-x                             Query the X coordinate of the
                                            drawing or, if specified, of the
                                            object with --query-id
  -Y, --query-y                             Query the Y coordinate of the
                                            drawing or, if specified, of the
                                            object with --query-id
  -W, --query-width                         Query the width of the drawing or,
                                            if specified, of the object with
  -H, --query-height                        Query the height of the drawing
                                            or, if specified, of the object
                                            with --query-id
  -S, --query-all                           List id,x,y,w,h for all objects
  -I, --query-id=ID                         The ID of the object whose
                                            dimensions are queried
  -x, --extension-directory                 Print out the extension directory
                                            and exit
      --vacuum-defs                         Remove unused definitions from the
                                            defs section(s) of the document
      --verb-list                           List the IDs of all the verbs in
      --verb=VERB-ID                        Verb to call when Inkscape opens.
      --select=OBJECT-ID                    Object ID to select when Inkscape

Help options:
  -?, --help                                Show this help message
      --usage                               Display brief usage message
share|improve this answer
I was having endless problems with Imagemagick. Had no idea I could use rsvg directly (binary was called rsvg-convert in my case on Mac Homebrew) and this is working fantastically. Thanks. – tremby May 22 at 0:59
Using inkscape circumvented a problem I was having with imagemagick -- the SVG -> PNG conversion using imagemagick cropped out the invisible bounding box for the image (used for preserving centering and relative dimensions) but inkscape worked alright. Many thanks! – varun yesterday

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.