How to prepare an Aladdin Ghostscript release

Table of contents

For other information, see the Ghostscript overview and the instructions on how to build Ghostscript.


This document is a rough set of internal notes that Aladdin Enterprises uses to manage the process of making new Ghostscript releases. As time goes on, it will become a more suitable document for others wishing to prepare releases for distribution.

This document refers to many script files that are not currently part of the Ghostscript distribution. In the course of time, these scripts will become part of the distribution, probably in a new subdirectory.

File names below that don't include an explicit subdirectory name are in the src subdirectory.

Anyone is welcome to prepare and distribute releases, but please be aware of some items you will want to change.

Adding files

When adding or removing files other than .c or .h: If the files are included in the fileset (i.e., not just support files), check the install list in unixinst.mak.

When adding .c files, remember to update the relevant .mak file (usually devs.mak, int.mak, or lib.mak).

When adding operators, update doc/Language.htm if desired.

When adding .h files, remember to add a _h definition in the appropriate .mak file.

When adding or changing fonts, update Fontmap.GS, fonts.mak, and possibly the compiled fonts in gs.mak and the examples in doc/Fonts.htm.

When adding or changing filters, update doc/Language.htm.

When adding .ps files, update doc/Psfiles.htm.

Making distributions

You will need the following tools:

../bin/precheck.tcl (Tcl script)
../bin/put-gs.tcl (Tcl script)
../bin/put-gs-c (link to put-gs.tcl)
master/pre (Tcl script)
master/pre.chk (data file)
master/gsmake (link to gsmake.tcl)
master/gsmake.tcl (Tcl script)
master/makeset (link to makeset.tcl)
master/makeset.tcl (Tcl script)
master/ (PostScript file)
data/*/*.ps (PostScript files)

General procedure

Make sure the release date and version number are up to date in version.mak, lib/, and doc/News.htm (TOC and body).

Edit the makefile (presumably unix-gcc.mak) to set


This will help catch compilation problems.


rm obj/*
make -j2 >& t.log

and look for warnings and errors in the log file.

Do a smoke test:

bin/gs @b master/
export TEMP=/gs/tmp
bin/gs @b -sDEVICE=bitcmyk -sOutputFile=/dev/null -r600 -dMaxBitmap=1000000\


Check in gscdef.c that the definition of GS_PRODUCT includes the appropriate one of "TESTER RELEASE", "BETA RELEASE", or neither.

Check for patched configuration parameters, #define TESTs, version/date inconsistencies, and changed files with no News item by running:


This program compares the result of various greps against a check file, writing the results of grep on one output file and the differences from the check file on another. See the source code of master/pre for the default file names. The important one is the check file, master/pre.chk. pre also verifies that the right information is in the following places:

If necessary, run

master/pre update

to update the version and revision date in the doc files, and then run


again. Check the consistency of the source code with the makefiles by running:

master/gsmake check

Copy changed files to the DOS/Windows partition by running


Clean up the directories with

rm -f src/*~ src/*.bak src/*.orig src/*.mak.tcl doc/*~ doc/*.orig lib/*~ lib/*.orig man/*~ man/*.orig examples/*~ gnu/src/*~ gnu/src/*.bak gnu/src/*.orig

Make the source archives with

master/makeset #.##

where #.## is the release number (e.g., 5.90). This creates the files

ghostscript-#.##.tar.gz (main archive)
ghostscript-#.##.tar.bz2 (main archive)
ghostscript-#.##gnu.tar.gz (GPL'ed files)

Unpack the main archive in a clean directory. Prepare for building:

ln -s src/unix-gcc.mak makefile;\
ln -s /gs/jpeg jpeg; ln -s /gs/libpng libpng; ln -s /gs/zlib zlib

Do a full build and smoke test (in a separate window):

unset GS_LIB
bin/gs -Ilib -I/gs/fonts -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH /gs/master/ | tee t
export TEMP=/gs/tmp
bin/gs -Ilib -I/gs/fonts -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=bitcmyk\
  -sOutputFile=/dev/null -r600 -dMaxBitmap=1000000 /gs/master/ | tee t

This reads files named


(Edit ad lib to use other test sets.) Watch for crashes, unusual error messages, or anomalous displayed output.

Boot into Windows. Build with the Borland compiler:

config bcwin32
erase obj\*.*
make > bc.log

Smoke test the executables (both gswin32 and gswin32c). Then build with the Microsoft compiler:

config msvc32
erase obj\*.*
nmake > msvc.log

Smoke test these executables too.

Building with the Watcom compiler doesn't work, because the wmake or wmakel program runs out of memory. However, if it did work, this is how to do it:

config watcw32
erase obj\*.*
wmake -u > watc.log
If everything is OK, make the self-extracting executables:
cd ..
rename gs gs#.##
cd gs#.##
nmake archive
cd ..
rename gs#.## gs

Boot back into Linux. If testing in Windows revealed problems, edit the source files as necessary, and go back to "Check the consistency of the source code." If everything was OK, make the PC executable archive with

master/makeset --win #.##

This creates the files (MS Windows run-time archive, including fonts and documentation) (src and man directories)

Finally, execute

master/makeset --move #.##

This creates master/### if necessary, and moves the archives to it.

Tester or beta distributions

Do the steps for distributions in general.

FTP ghostscript-#.##.tar.* and gs###*.zip to

FTP the same files from there to

If ansi2knr.c has changed, put it on

If doc/C-style.htm has changed, put it on

Construct the e-mail announcement by editing beta.msg; include the News section for this release. Mail using:


Public releases

Update the title (current version #), first heading (previous version #), and "new features" and "known problems" lists in doc/Current.htm.

Do the steps for distributions in general.

E-mail the release announcement using:


Edit the Web pages on the Wisconsin server to reflect the new release.

File servers

The public distribution point is

The tester release distribution points are

Copyright © 1999, 2000 Aladdin Enterprises. All rights reserved.

This file is part of Aladdin Ghostscript. See the Aladdin Free Public License (the "License") for full details of the terms of using, copying, modifying, and redistributing Aladdin Ghostscript.

Ghostscript version 6.0, 3 February 2000