The Pimp

The Pimp is a command line interface to the excellent Python Imaging Library (PIL), designed to make applying routine image manipulations such as resizing, rotating and format changing easy and efficient, whether the target is a single image or a large batch of them. Pimp stands for "Python Image Manipulation Program", a reference to the Gimp, the "GNU Image Manipulation Program", which is what most users of free Unix operating systems use for these sorts of tasks, even though it may be overkill for their purposes. Read the detailed description for more information.


The Pimp depends essentially upon the Python Imaging Library and, of course, on Python.


The Pimp is distributed under a standard 3-clause BSD license. It's as free as software gets.


Download the latest version of the Pimp, Pimp 1.0 (released June 24, 2007).

Detailed description

If you use a free Unix operating system, such as Linux of one of the BSDs, chances are you use a program called Gimp to do your image manipulations. There's nothing wrong with this! Indeed, if you're a graphic designer or some such, it's probably the best thing you can do, since Gimp supports all sorts of fancy, Photoshopesque image manipulation options.

However, if like me your image manipulation needs are a bit simpler (95% of the time I use the Gimp, it's to do something like resize a wallpaper or rotate a photo taken with the camera held sideways) then using Gimp is overkill. You don't even need to see the image files in question to do these sorts of manipulations, and installing and updating the Gimp and all its associated libraries wastes your bandwidth, disk space, memory and time and introduces unnecessary security risks.

Instead, you should do your image manipulation from the command line, which makes things faster, lighter and more productive. For instance, you can resize an entire directory of photos with a single command instead of hours of point, click, point, click, point, click, click, bloody click pancakes!

The Pimp lets you do this. With it, you can:

Here are some examples, to give you a feel for how Pimp works:

Complete Instructions

The available options are: