Introduction to Cairo

Cairo is a 2D graphics library with support for multiple output devices. Currently supported output targets include the X Window System, Win32, image buffers, PostScript, PDF and SVG. Experimental backends include OpenGL, Quartz and XCB file output. Cairo is designed to produce consistent output on all output media while taking advantage of display hardware acceleration when available (e.g., through the X Render Extension). The Cairo API provides operations similar to the drawing operators of PostScript and PDF. Operations in Cairo include stroking and filling cubic Bézier splines, transforming and compositing translucent images, and antialiased text rendering. All drawing operations can be transformed by any affine transformation (scale, rotation, shear, etc.).

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS 12.1 platform.

Package Information

Cairo Dependencies


libpng-1.6.42 and Pixman-0.43.2



ghostscript-10.02.1, GTK+-3.24.41 and GTK+-2.24.33, GTK-Doc-1.33.2, libdrm-2.4.120, librsvg-2.57.1, libxml2-2.12.5, LZO-2.10, Mesa-24.0.1, Poppler-24.02.0, Valgrind-3.22.0, jbig2dec, libspectre, and Skia



There is a circular dependency between cairo and harfbuzz. If cairo is built before harfbuzz, it is necessary to rebuild cairo after harfbuzz in order to build pango.

Installation of Cairo

Install Cairo by running the following commands:

mkdir build &&
cd    build &&

meson setup --prefix=/usr --buildtype=release .. &&

This package does not have a working test suite.

Now, as the root user:

ninja install

Command Explanations

--buildtype=release: Specify a buildtype suitable for stable releases of the package, as the default may produce unoptimized binaries.

-Dxlib-xcb=enabled: This switch enables several experimental Xlib/XCB functions used by some window managers.

-Dgtk_doc=true: Use this parameter if GTK-Doc is installed and you wish to create and install the documentation.


Installed Programs: cairo-trace
Installed Libraries:,, and
Installed Directories: /usr/include/cairo and /usr/lib/cairo

Short Descriptions


generates a log of all calls made by an application to Cairo

contains the 2D graphics functions required for rendering to the various output targets

contains functions that integrate Cairo with Glib's GObject type system

contains the script interpreter functions for executing and manipulating Cairo execution traces