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-4.5.30.tar.gz.

Click here to browse the GLI archive.


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).