GLI - Graphics Language Interpreter for Unix, OS X and Windows

The Graphics Language Interpreter (or GLI) is a complete graphics system that offers a versatile environment for plotting complex data sets and displaying images. GLI combines powerful interfaces, flexible graphics utilities, and an extensive set of programming tools to provide engineers, scientists and analysts a complete solution for data analysis and scientific visualization.

GLI was written at the Peter Grünberg Institut (PGI) at Research Centre Jülich.


  • The GLI command line accepts simple statements from the GLI, GUS and GKS command languages. From the commnand line you can read, manipulate, and plot your data using sophisticated 2-D and 3-D plotting utilities. Commands can be saved in macros and implemented as command procedures to solve complex problems graphically.
  • GLI/TCL provides full Tcl/Tk support. Once, a Tcl interpreter has been registered, GLI may process Tcl and Tk commands. Any pre-existing Tk widget may be used for graphics input or output.
  • GLI/SIMPLEPLOT provides a command-driven environment for signal processing.
  • GLI/SIGHT (Simple Interactive Graphics Handling Tool) is a high level graphics editor with a point-and-click interface based on OSF/Motif. Using SIGHT you can quickly create, edit and print publication quality 2-D graphs and free-hand drawings
  • GLI/IMAGE is a complete system for processing and displaying color and grayscale images based on the PBM (portabel bitmap) format. GLI/IMAGE is provided as a Motif point-and-click interface.
  • GLI/GUS (Graphics Utility System) offers many high-level graphic utilities and data handling commands, such as: 2-D and 3-D line graphs, scatter diagramms, bar and pie charts, contours, histograms, 3-D surfaces, data filters, linear and logarithmic transformations or automatic text generation.
  • GLI/GKS is an implementation of the Graphical Kernel System GKS level 0a with minimal segment functionality. GLI/GKS supports the most popular graphics devices, including X displays, CGM (binary, clear text), PostScript (b/w, color), Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF), Scaleable Vector Graphics (SVG), Windows Metafile (WMF), CoreGraphics (Quartz), several image formats (BMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF), Xfig, wxWidgets, GIMP Toolkit (GTK+) and Windows (GDI).
  • GLI/CGMVIEW displays Computer Graphics Metafiles (CGM) generated on any computer system. CGMVIEW can print CGM files to any graphics device supported by GLI/GKS. CGMVIEW provides both a command line and a point-and-click (OSF/Motif) interface.

For more information refer to:

GLI - Graphics Language Interpreter - Reference Manual, also available as printed documentation (BHB-0120).


If you would like a demonstration of the GLI program or the GLI image program, enter the following after the GLI prompt:

gli> demo
gli> xdemo
gli> image_demo
gli> tcldemo

Or, try the new graphical user interface (GLI/Sight) from your Unix terminal prompt:

% sight

System Requirements

GLI works with the following systems:

  • Intel personal computers with Linux.
  • Apple computers with Mac OS X 10.6 or later.
  • Intel personal computers with Windows XP / Windows 7.

How to get GLI

GLI is available via http. The Readme file contains the installation instructions for GLI. The latest version (Unix + Mac OS X) is in gli-4.5.31.tar.gz.


GLI is free software and as such we do not provide real support for it. However, we will be happy to answer short questions and/or help with minor problems (preferably by email).