libjpeg-turbo Map Encoder Extension

This plugin brings in the ability to encode JPEG images as WMS output using the libjpeg-turbo library. Citing its website the libjpeg-turbo library is a derivative of libjpeg that uses SIMD instructions (MMX, SSE2, NEON) to accelerate baseline JPEG compression and decompression on x86, x86-64, and ARM systems. On such systems, libjpeg-turbo is generally 2-4x as fast as the unmodified version of libjpeg, all else being equal. I guess it is pretty clear why we wrote this plugin! Note that the underlying imageio-ext-turbojpeg uses TurboJpeg which is a higher level set of API (providing more user-friendly methods like “Compress”) built on top of libjpeg-turbo.


The speedup may vary depending on the target infrastructure.

The module, once installed, simply replace the standard JPEG encoder for GeoServer and allows us to use the libjpeg-turbo library to encode JPEG response for GetMap requests.


It is worth to point out that the module depends on a successful installation of the libjpeg-turbo native libraries (more on this later).

Installing the libjpeg-turbo native library

Installing the libjpeg-turbo native library is a precondition to have the relative GeoServer Map Encoder properly installed; once the GeoServer extension has been installed as we explain in the following section, the needed JARs with the Java bridge to the library are in the classpath, therefore all we need to do is to install the native library itself to start encoding JPEG at turbo speed.

To perform the installation of the libjpeg-turbo binaries (or native library) you have to perform the following steps:

  1. Go to the download site here and download the latest available stable release (1.2.90 at the time of writing)

  2. Select the package that matches the target platform in terms of Operating System (e.g. Linux rather than Windows) and Architecture (32 vs 64 bits)

  3. Perform the installation using the target platform conventions. As an instance for Windows you should be using an installer that installs all the needed libs in a location at user’s choice. On Ubuntu Linux systems you can use the deb files instead.

  4. Once the native libraries are installed, you have to make sure the GeoServer can load them. This should happen automatically after Step 2 on Linux, while on Windows you should make sure that the location where you placed the DLLs is part of the PATH environment variable for the Java Process for the GeoServer.


When installing on Windows, always make sure that the location where you placed the DLLs is part of the PATH environment variable for the Java Process for the GeoServer. This usually means that you have to add such location to the PATH environmental variable for the user that is used to run GeoServer or the system wide variables.


When installing on Linux, make sure that the location where you placed the DLLs is part of the LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable for the Java Process for the GeoServer. This usually happens automatically for the various Linux packages, but in some cases you might be forced to do that manually


It does not hurt to add also the location where the native libraries where installed to the Java startup options -Djava.library.path=<absolute_and_valid_path>

Installing the GeoServer libjpeg-turbo extension


Before moving on make sure you installed the libjpeg-turbo binaries as per the section above.

  1. Visit the website download page, locate your release, and download:


    Make sure to match the version of the extension (for example 2.22-SNAPSHOT above) to the version of the GeoServer instance!

  1. Extract the contents of the archive into the WEB-INF/lib directory of the GeoServer installation.

Checking if the extension is enabled

Once the extension is installed, the following lines should appear in the GeoServer log:

10-mar-2013 19.16.28 it.geosolutions.imageio.plugins.turbojpeg.TurboJpegUtilities load
INFO: TurboJPEG library loaded (turbojpeg)


10 mar 19:17:12 WARN [turbojpeg.TurboJPEGMapResponse] - The turbo jpeg encoder is available for usage

You can also check in the Server Status page. From the Modules tab:

  • Locate the GeoServer libjpeg-turbo Module module. The enabled status indicates if the extension is available

  • Click on the GeoServer libjpeg-turbo Module link to check module status. The Module Info dialog indicates the JNI LibJPEGTurbo Wrapper Version used.

Disabling the extension

When running GeoServer the turb encoder can be disabled by using the Java switch for the JVM process:


In this case a message like the following should be found in the log:

WARN [map.turbojpeg] - The turbo jpeg encoder has been explicitly disabled


We will soon add a section in the GUI to check the status of the extension and to allow users to enable/disable it at runtime.

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