Installing OCRmyPDF

OCRmyPDF latest released version on PyPI

The easiest way to install OCRmyPDF is to follow the steps for your operating system/platform. This version may be out of date, however.

These platforms have one-liner installs:

Debian, Ubuntu

apt install ocrmypdf

Windows Subsystem for Linux

apt install ocrmypdf


dnf install ocrmypdf tesseract-osd

macOS (Homebrew)

brew install ocrmypdf

macOS (MacPorts)

port install ocrmypdf


brew install ocrmypdf


pkg install textproc/py-ocrmypdf

Conda (WSL, macOS, Linux)

conda install ocrmypdf

Snap (snapcraft packaging)

snap install ocrmypdf

More detailed procedures are outlined below. If you want to do a manual install, or install a more recent version than your platform provides, read on.

Installing on Linux

Debian and Ubuntu 20.04 or newer

OCRmyPDF versions in Debian & Ubuntu

OCRmyPDF latest released version on PyPI

Debian 11 Debian 12 Debian unstable

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

Users of Debian or Ubuntu may simply

apt install ocrmypdf

As indicated in the table above, Debian and Ubuntu releases may lag behind the latest version. If the version available for your platform is out of date, you could opt to install the latest version from source. See Installing HEAD revision from sources.

For full details on version availability for your platform, check the Debian Package Tracker or Ubuntu


OCRmyPDF for Debian and Ubuntu currently omit the JBIG2 encoder. OCRmyPDF works fine without it but will produce larger output files. If you build jbig2enc from source, ocrmypdf will automatically detect it (specifically the jbig2 binary) on the PATH. To add JBIG2 encoding, see Installing the JBIG2 encoder.


OCRmyPDF version

OCRmyPDF latest released version on PyPI

Fedora 38 Fedora 39 Fedore Rawhide

Users of Fedora may simply

dnf install ocrmypdf tesseract-osd

For full details on version availability, check the Fedora Package Tracker.

If the version available for your platform is out of date, you could opt to install the latest version from source. See Installing HEAD revision from sources.


OCRmyPDF for Fedora currently omits the JBIG2 encoder due to patent issues. OCRmyPDF works fine without it but will produce larger output files. If you build jbig2enc from source, ocrmypdf 7.0.0 and later will automatically detect it on the PATH. To add JBIG2 encoding, see Installing the JBIG2 encoder.


Prepare the environment by getting Python 3.11:

dnf install python3.11 python3.11-pip

Then, follow Requirements for pip and HEAD install to instal dependencies:

dnf install ghostscript tesseract

and build ocrmypdf in virtual environment:

python3.11 -m venv .venv

To add JBIG2 encoding, see Installing the JBIG2 encoder.

Note Fedora packages for language data haven’t been branched for RHEL/EPEL, but you can get traineddata files directly from tesseract and place them in /usr/share/tesseract/tessdata.

Installing the latest version on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

Ubuntu 22.04 includes ocrmypdf 13.4.0 - you can install that with apt install ocrmypdf. To install a more recent version for the current user, follow these steps:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y install ocrmypdf python3-pip

pip install --user --upgrade ocrmypdf

If you get the message WARNING: The script ocrmypdf is installed in '/home/$USER/.local/bin' which is not on PATH., you may need to re-login or open a new shell, or manually adjust your PATH.

To add JBIG2 encoding, see Installing the JBIG2 encoder.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Ubuntu 20.04 includes ocrmypdf 9.6.0 - you can install that with apt. The most convenient way to install recent OCRmyPDF on older Ubuntu is to use Homebrew on Linux (Linuxbrew).

brew install ocrmypdf

Arch Linux (AUR)


There is an Arch User Repository (AUR) package for OCRmyPDF.

Installing AUR packages as root is not allowed, so you must first setup a non-root user and configure sudo. The standard Docker image, archlinux/base:latest, does not have a non-root user configured, so users of that image must follow these guides. If you are using a VM image, such as the official Vagrant image, this work may already be completed for you.

Next you should install the base-devel package group. This includes the standard tooling needed to build packages, such as a compiler and binary tools.

sudo pacman -S base-devel

Now you are ready to install the OCRmyPDF package.

curl -O
tar xvzf ocrmypdf.tar.gz
cd ocrmypdf
makepkg -sri

At this point you will have a working install of OCRmyPDF, but the Tesseract install won’t include any OCR language data. You can install the tesseract-data package group to add all supported languages, or use that package listing to identify the appropriate package for your desired language.

sudo pacman -S tesseract-data-eng

As an alternative to this manual procedure, consider using an AUR helper. Such a tool will automatically fetch, build and install the AUR package, resolve dependencies (including dependencies on AUR packages), and ease the upgrade procedure.

If you have any difficulties with installation, check the repository package page.


The OCRmyPDF AUR package currently omits the JBIG2 encoder. OCRmyPDF works fine without it but will produce larger output files. The encoder is available from the jbig2enc-git AUR package and may be installed using the same series of steps as for the installation OCRmyPDF AUR package. Alternatively, it may be built manually from source following the instructions in Installing the JBIG2 encoder. If JBIG2 is installed, OCRmyPDF 7.0.0 and later will automatically detect it.

Alpine Linux

Alpine Linux

To install OCRmyPDF for Alpine Linux:

apk add ocrmypdf

Gentoo Linux

Gentoo Linux

To install OCRmyPDF on Gentoo Linux, use the following commands:

eselect repository enable guru
emaint sync --repo guru
emerge --ask app-text/OCRmyPDF

Other Linux packages

See the Repology page.

In general, first install the OCRmyPDF package for your system, then optionally use the procedure Installing with Python pip to install a more recent version.

Installing on macOS



OCRmyPDF is now a standard Homebrew formula. To install on macOS:

brew install ocrmypdf

This will include only the English language pack. If you need other languages you can optionally install them all:

brew install tesseract-lang  # Optional: Install all language packs


Macports Version Information

OCRmyPDF is includes in MacPorts:

sudo port install ocrmypdf

Note that while this will install tesseract you will need to install the appropriate tesseract language ports.

Manual installation on macOS

These instructions probably work on all macOS supported by Homebrew, and are for installing a more current version of OCRmyPDF than is available from Homebrew. Note that the Homebrew versions usually track the release versions fairly closely.

If it’s not already present, install Homebrew.

Update Homebrew:

brew update

Install or upgrade the required Homebrew packages, if any are missing. To do this, use brew edit ocrmypdf to obtain a recent list of Homebrew dependencies. You could also check the .workflows/build.yml.

This will include the English, French, German and Spanish language packs. If you need other languages you can optionally install them all:

brew install tesseract-lang  # Option 2: for all language packs

Update the homebrew pip:

pip install --upgrade pip

You can then install OCRmyPDF from PyPI for the current user:

pip install --user ocrmypdf

The command line program should now be available:

ocrmypdf --help

Installing on Windows

Native Windows


Administrator privileges will be required for some of these steps.

You must install the following for Windows:

  • Python 64-bit

  • Tesseract 64-bit

  • Ghostscript 64-bit

Using the winget package manager:

  • winget install -e --id Python.Python.3.11

  • winget install -e --id UB-Mannheim.TesseractOCR

You will need to install Ghostscript manually, since it does not support automated installs anymore.

(Or alternately, using the Chocolatey package manager, install the following when running in an Administrator command prompt):

  • choco install python3

  • choco install --pre tesseract

  • choco install pngquant (optional)

Either set of commands will install the required software. At the moment there is no single command to install Windows.

You may then use pip to install ocrmypdf. (This can performed by a user or Administrator.):

  • python3 -m pip install ocrmypdf

OCRmyPDF will check the Windows Registry and standard locations in your Program Files for third party software it needs (specifically, Tesseract and Ghostscript). To override the versions OCRmyPDF selects, you can modify the PATH environment variable. Follow these directions to change the PATH.


As of early 2021, users have reported problems with the Microsoft Store version of Python and OCRmyPDF. These issues affect many other third party Python packages. Please download Python from or a package manager instead of the Microsoft Store version.


32-bit Windows is not supported.

Windows Subsystem for Linux

  1. Install Ubuntu 22.04 for Windows Subsystem for Linux, if not already installed.

  2. Follow the procedure to install OCRmyPDF on Ubuntu 22.04.

  3. Open the Windows command prompt and create a symlink:

wsl sudo ln -s  /home/$USER/.local/bin/ocrmypdf /usr/local/bin/ocrmypdf

Then confirm that the expected version from PyPI (OCRmyPDF latest released version on PyPI) is installed:

wsl ocrmypdf --version

You can then run OCRmyPDF in the Windows command prompt or Powershell, prefixing wsl, and call it from Windows programs or batch files.


First install the the following prerequisite Cygwin packages using setup-x86_64.exe:

python310 (or later)

   (where 3? means match the version of python3 you installed)


Then open a Cygwin terminal (i.e. mintty), run the following commands. Note that if you are using the version of pip that was installed with the Cygwin Python package, the command name will be pip3. If you have since updated pip (with, for instance pip3 install --upgrade pip) the the command is likely just pip instead of pip3:

pip3 install wheel
pip3 install ocrmypdf

The optional dependency “unpaper” that is currently not available under Cygwin. Without it, certain options such as --clean will produce an error message. However, the OCR-to-text-layer functionality is available.


You can also Install the Docker container on Windows. Ensure that your command prompt can run the docker “hello world” container.

Installing on FreeBSD

pkg install textproc/py-ocrmypdf

To install a more recent version, you could attempt to first install the system version with pkg, then use pip install --user ocrmypdf.

Installing the Docker image

For some users, installing the Docker image will be easier than installing all of OCRmyPDF’s dependencies.

See OCRmyPDF Docker image for more information.

Installing with Python pip

OCRmyPDF is delivered by PyPI because it is a convenient way to install the latest version. However, PyPI and pip cannot address the fact that ocrmypdf depends on certain non-Python system libraries and programs being installed.

For best results, first install your platform’s version of ocrmypdf, using the instructions elsewhere in this document. Then you can use pip to get the latest version if your platform version is out of date. Chances are that this will satisfy most dependencies.

Use ocrmypdf --version to confirm what version was installed.

Then you can install the latest OCRmyPDF from the Python wheels. First try:

pip install --user ocrmypdf

(If the message appears Requirement already satisfied: ocrmypdf in..., you will need to use pip install --user --upgrade ocrmypdf.)

You should then be able to run ocrmypdf --version and see that the latest version was located.

Installing with pipx

Some users may prefer pipx. As with the method above, you will need to satisfy all non-Python dependencies. Then if pipx is installed, you can use

pipx run ocrmypdf

(If not installed, pipx will install first.)

Requirements for pip and HEAD install

OCRmyPDF currently requires these external programs and libraries to be installed, and must be satisfied using the operating system package manager. pip cannot provide them.

The following versions are required:

  • Python 3.10 or newer

  • Ghostscript 9.54 or newer

  • Tesseract 4.1.1 or newer

  • jbig2enc 0.29 or newer

  • pngquant 2.5 or newer

  • unpaper 6.1

We recommend 64-bit versions of all software. (32-bit versions are not supported, although on Linux, they may still work.)

jbig2enc, pngquant, and unpaper are optional. If missing certain features are disabled. OCRmyPDF will discover them as soon as they are available.

jbig2enc, if present, will be used to optimize the encoding of monochrome images. This can significantly reduce the file size of the output file. It is not required. jbig2enc is not generally available for Ubuntu or Debian due to lingering concerns about patent issues, but can easily be built from source. To add JBIG2 encoding, see Installing the JBIG2 encoder.

pngquant, if present, is optionally used to optimize the encoding of PNG-style images in PDFs (actually, any that are that losslessly encoded) by lossily quantizing to a smaller color palette. It is only activated then the --optimize argument is 2 or 3.

unpaper, if present, enables the --clean and --clean-final command line options.

These are in addition to the Python packaging dependencies, meaning that unfortunately, the pip install command cannot satisfy all of them.

Installing HEAD revision from sources

If you have git and Python 3.10 or newer installed, you can install from source. When the pip installer runs, it will alert you if dependencies are missing.

If you prefer to build every from source, you will need to build pikepdf from source. First ensure you can build and install pikepdf.

To install the HEAD revision from sources in the current Python 3 environment:

pip install git+

Or, to install in development mode, allowing customization of OCRmyPDF, use the -e flag:

pip install -e git+

You may find it easiest to install in a virtual environment, rather than system-wide:

git clone -b main
python3 -m venv .venv
source .venv/bin/activate
pip install .

However, ocrmypdf will only be accessible on the system PATH when you activate the virtual environment.

To run the program:

ocrmypdf --help

If not yet installed, the script will notify you about dependencies that need to be installed. The script requires specific versions of the dependencies. Older version than the ones mentioned in the release notes are likely not to be compatible to OCRmyPDF.

For development

To install all of the development and test requirements:

git clone -b main
python -m .venv
source .venv/bin/activate
pip install -e .[test]

To add JBIG2 encoding, see Installing the JBIG2 encoder.

Shell completions

Completions for bash and fish are available in the project’s misc/completion folder. The bash completions are likely zsh compatible but this has not been confirmed. Package maintainers, please install these at the appropriate locations for your system.

To manually install the bash completion, copy misc/completion/ocrmypdf.bash to /etc/bash_completion.d/ocrmypdf (rename the file).

To manually install the fish completion, copy misc/completion/ to ~/.config/fish/completions/

Note on 32-bit support

Many Python libraries no longer provide 32-bit binary wheels for Linux. This includes many of the libraries that OCRmyPDF depends on, such as Pillow. The easiest way to express this to end users is to say we don’t support 32-bit Linux.

However, if your Linux distribution still supports 32-bit binaries, you can still install and use OCRmyPDF. A warning message will appear. In practice, OCRmyPDF may need more than 32-bit memory space to run when large documents are processed, so there are practical limitations to what users can accomplish with it. Still, for the common use case of an 32-bit ARM NAS or Raspberry Pi processing small documents, it should work.