Maintainer notes

This is for those who package OCRmyPDF for downstream use. (Thank you for your hard work.)

Known ports/packagers

OCRmyPDF has been ported to many platforms already. If you are interesting in porting to a new platform, check with Repology to see the status of that platform.

Make sure you can package pikepdf

pikepdf, created by the same author, is a mixed Python and C++14 package with much stiffer build requirements. If you want to use OCRmyPDF on some novel platform or distribution, first make sure you can package pikepdf.

Non-Python dependencies

Note that we have non-Python dependencies. In particular, OCRmyPDF requires Ghostscript and Tesseract OCR to be installed and needs to be able to locate their binaries on the system PATH. On Windows, OCRmyPDF will also check the registry for their locations.

Tesseract OCR relies on SIMD for performance and only has proper support for this on ARM and x86_64. Performance may be poor on other processor architectures.

Versioning scheme

OCRmyPDF uses setuptools-scm for versioning, which derives the version from Git as a single source of truth. This may be unsuitable for some distributions, e.g. to indicate that your distribution modifies OCRmyPDF in some way.

You can patch the __version__ variable in src/ocrmypdf/ if necessary.


OCRmyPDF will use jbig2enc, a JBIG2 encoder, if one can be found. Some distributions have shied away from packaging JBIG2 because it contains patented algorithms, but all patents have expired since 2017. If possible, consider packaging it too to improve OCRmyPDF’s compression.

Command line completions

Please ensure that command line completions are installed, as described in the installation documentation.

32-bit Linux support

If you maintain a Linux distribution that supports 32-bit x86 or ARM, OCRmyPDF should continue to work as long as all of its dependencies continue to be available in 32-bit form. Please note we do not test on 32-bit platforms.


OCRmyPDF defaults to installing the pi-heif PyPI package, which supports converting HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) images to PDF from the command line. If your distribution does not have this library available, you can exclude it and OCRmyPDF will gracefully degrade automatically, losing only support for this feature.