Cairo (graphics)

Cairo (graphics)

infobox software
name = Cairo

developer = Carl Worth, Behdad Esfahbod
frequently_updated = yes
programming language = C
operating system = Cross-platform
genre = Graphics library
license = GNU Lesser General Public License or Mozilla Public License
website =

Cairo is a software library used to provide a vector graphics-based, device-independent API for software developers. It is designed to provide primitives for 2-dimensional drawing across a number of different backends. Cairo is designed to use hardware acceleration when available.

Although written in C, there are bindings for using the Cairo graphics library from many other programming languages, including Haskell, Java, Perl, Python, Scheme, Smalltalk and several others. [ [ Language bindings ] ] Dual licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License and the Mozilla Public License, Cairo is free software.


The Cairo project was founded by Keith Packard and Carl Worth for use in the X Window System. It was originally called Xr or Xr/Xc. The name was changed to emphasize the idea that it was a cross-platform library and not tied to the X server. The name "Cairo" was derived from the original name "Xr", similar to the Greek letters chi and rho. [cite web | title=Mailing list thread about the Cairo name change | url= | accessdate=2006-12-02]


Cairo supports output to a number of different backends. Backend support includes output to the X Window System, Win32 GDI, Mac OS X Quartz, the BeOS API, OS/2, OpenGL contexts (via glitz), local image buffers, PNG files, PDF, PostScript, DirectFB and SVG files.

Similar technologies

Cairo has been compared to similar technologies like WPF and GDI+ from Microsoft, Quartz 2D from Apple Inc, and Anti-Grain Geometry (AGG).

Notable usage

Cairo is popular in the open source community for providing cross-platform support for advanced 2D drawing.

* GTK+, starting in 2005 with version 2.8, uses Cairo to render the majority of its widgets.
* The Mono Project, including Moonlight, has been using Cairo since very early in conception, to power its backends of its GDI+ (libgdiplus) and System.Drawing namespaces.
* The Mozilla project has made use of Cairo in recent versions of its Gecko layout engine, used for rendering the graphical output of Mozilla products. Gecko 1.8, the layout engine for Mozilla Firefox 2.0 and SeaMonkey 1.0, used Cairo to render SVG and content. Gecko 1.9, the release of Gecko that serves as the basis of Firefox 3, uses Cairo as the graphics backend for rendering both web page content and the user interface (or "chrome").
* The WebKit framework uses Cairo for all rendering in the GTK+ port. Support has also been added for SVG and content using Cairo.
* The Poppler library uses Cairo to render PDF documents. Cairo enables the drawing of antialiased vector graphics and transparent objects.
* The Shoes windowing toolkit for Ruby uses Cairo for 2D drawing.
* The latest version of the vector graphics application Inkscape (version 0.46), uses the Cairo library for its outline mode display, as well as for PDF and PostScript export. [cite web |url= |title=ReleaseNotes046 |work=Inkscape Wiki |accessdate=2008-03-31]
* AmigaOS 4.1 developers based the new Workbench GUI upon Cairo libraries. This means that this operating system has actually a complete vector based GUI, and due to its internal implements 3D hardware accelerated Porter-Duff composition engine can perform effects like instant zooming of entire GUI screen.

See also

*Display PostScript


External links

* [ Official website]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cairo (disambiguation) — Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It may also refer to:Towns or cities in the United States* Cairo, Georgia * Cairo, Illinois * Cairo Township, Minnesota * Cairo, Missouri * Cairo, Nebraska * Cairo (town), New York * Cairo, Ohio * Cairo, Stark… …   Wikipedia

  • Cairo (biblioteca) — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda cairo Desarrollador Carl Worth, Behdad Esfahbod …   Wikipedia Español

  • Graphics library — A graphics library is a program designed to aid in rendering computer graphics to a monitor. This typically involves providing optimized versions of functions that handle common rendering tasks. This can be done purely in software and running on… …   Wikipedia

  • Cairo (Bibliothek) — Cairo Basisdaten Entwickler: Das Cairo Team Aktuelle Version: 1.8.6 (13. Dezem …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cairo (Informatique) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Cairo. Cairo …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cairo (informatique) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Cairo. Cairo Dernière version …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cairo — У этого термина существуют и другие значения, см. Cairo (значения). Тип библиотека векторной графики …   Википедия

  • Graphics Device Interface — The Graphics Device Interface (GDI) is a Microsoft Windows application programming interface and core operating system component responsible for representing graphical objects and transmitting them to output devices such as monitors and printers …   Wikipedia

  • Vector graphics — This article is about computer illustration. For other uses, see Vector graphics (disambiguation). Example showing effect of vector graphics versus raster graphics. The original vector based illustration is at the left. The upper right image… …   Wikipedia

  • American University in Cairo — The American University in Cairo الجامعة الأمريكية بالقاهرة Established 1919 Type Private President …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.