I’ve been a regular user of the rather excellent art package GIMP for quite some years and have found it to be a fantastic tool for manipulating digital art, touching up scanned sketches or laying out pixel art for use in a video game project; it’s never let me down. If I have ever needed something that wasn’t included from the off, then a quick search online often yields a solution in the way of a plugin or extension that has me up and running in no time. So when I recently wanted to use some of my old Amiga files I was surprised IFF file support was not included. It’s not a big deal as something like XnView will convert the file to PNG and the results from experience have always been great but wouldn’t it be nice to load these image files directly, no conversion, no messing about, just convenience and no excuses.

A  search online yielded a few results but the one that caught my eye was that of a GIMP IFF plugin offering full read and write capability. Excellent!

The plugin can be downloaded from here,

and it’s very easy to set up.


  1. Extract the ZIP archive

  2. Place the file “gimpilbm.exe” contained

    there in

    your GIMP “plug-ins” folder (for example “%APPDATA%\GIMP\2.8\plug-ins” or alternatively “C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins”)

  3. If all goes well, it should be listed under the Plugin Browser option in GIMP (found in the Help menu). Search for IFF and you should see two entries (one for Load and one for Save operations).

Using it once installed is as simple as opening any other image file.
As a test, I opened a file from 1989 for the unreleased Amiga game The Last Starship.
As you can see it also shows a full preview too along with some respective image information.

My only gripe is I wish it was also available as a Linux plugin too as I use both Windows and Linux machines but hey I guess you can’t have everything!

2 Responses

  1. You can in fact use gimpilbm on Linux, if you don’t mind compiling it yourself from source code. It’s working for me. Latest version and instructions are here:

    It’s been a while since I’ve done this, but I think the only unusual extra thing you’ll need is package ‘libgimp2.0-dev’.

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