How do I read JPEG and PNG pixels in C++ on Linux?


I'm doing some image processing, and I'd like to individually read each pixel value in a JPEG and PNG images.

In my deployment scenario, it would be awkward for me to use a 3rd party library (as I have restricted access on the target computer), but I'm assuming that there's no standard C or C++ library for reading JPEG/PNG...

So, if you know of a way of not using a library then great, if not then answers are still welcome!

3/29/2009 3:55:06 AM

Accepted Answer

There is no standard library in the C-standard to read the file-formats.

However, most programs, especially on the linux platform use the same library to decode the image-formats:

For jpeg it's libjpeg, for png it's libpng.

The chances that the libs are already installed is very high.

3/29/2009 4:02:39 AM

This is a small routine I digged from 10 year old source code (using libjpeg):

#include <jpeglib.h>

int loadJpg(const char* Name) {
  unsigned char a, r, g, b;
  int width, height;
  struct jpeg_decompress_struct cinfo;
  struct jpeg_error_mgr jerr;

  FILE * infile;        /* source file */
  JSAMPARRAY pJpegBuffer;       /* Output row buffer */
  int row_stride;       /* physical row width in output buffer */
  if ((infile = fopen(Name, "rb")) == NULL) {
    fprintf(stderr, "can't open %s\n", Name);
    return 0;
  cinfo.err = jpeg_std_error(&jerr);
  jpeg_stdio_src(&cinfo, infile);
  (void) jpeg_read_header(&cinfo, TRUE);
  (void) jpeg_start_decompress(&cinfo);
  width = cinfo.output_width;
  height = cinfo.output_height;

  unsigned char * pDummy = new unsigned char [width*height*4];
  unsigned char * pTest = pDummy;
  if (!pDummy) {
    printf("NO MEM FOR JPEG CONVERT!\n");
    return 0;
  row_stride = width * cinfo.output_components;
  pJpegBuffer = (*cinfo.mem->alloc_sarray)
    ((j_common_ptr) &cinfo, JPOOL_IMAGE, row_stride, 1);

  while (cinfo.output_scanline < cinfo.output_height) {
    (void) jpeg_read_scanlines(&cinfo, pJpegBuffer, 1);
    for (int x = 0; x < width; x++) {
      a = 0; // alpha value is not supported on jpg
      r = pJpegBuffer[0][cinfo.output_components * x];
      if (cinfo.output_components > 2) {
        g = pJpegBuffer[0][cinfo.output_components * x + 1];
        b = pJpegBuffer[0][cinfo.output_components * x + 2];
      } else {
        g = r;
        b = r;
      *(pDummy++) = b;
      *(pDummy++) = g;
      *(pDummy++) = r;
      *(pDummy++) = a;
  (void) jpeg_finish_decompress(&cinfo);

  BMap = (int*)pTest; 
  Height = height;
  Width = width;
  Depth = 32;

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