Upgrading the GD library in Ubuntu

We needed to use ImageFlow for some internal testing of image manipulations (esp. reflections). With a stock php5/libgd2 install in Ubuntu 10.04, some calls to the ImageFlow library would fail with:

"GD library is too old. Version 2.0.1 or later is required, and 2.0.28 is strongly recommended."

The libraries installed by Ubuntu were:
$ dpkg -l | grep libgd2
rc  libgd2-noxpm                               2.0.36~rc1~dfsg-3ubuntu1.9.04.1         GD Graphics Library version 2 (without XPM s
ii  libgd2-xpm                                 2.0.36~rc1~dfsg-3ubuntu1.9.04.1         GD Graphics Library version 2
$ dpkg -l | grep php5-gd
ii  php5-gd                                    5.2.6.dfsg.1-3ubuntu4.6                 GD module for php5
The issue here is that Ubuntu does not use the version of GD which is bundled with PHP. See this discussion for more details.

So...some googling around later, I stumbled on this great howtoforge post by patusovniak on "Recompiling PHP5 with bundled support for GD in Ubuntu". It also serves as a good overview of building Ubuntu packages from source. The only observation I have is that after I ran the step
dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot

I had to install all .deb packages in /usr/src. So I did
cd /usr/src
dpkg -i *.deb

When running phpinfo(), the GD section now looks:

GD Support enabled
GD Version bundled (2.0.34 compatible)
FreeType Support enabled
FreeType Linkage with freetype
FreeType Version 2.3.11
T1Lib Support enabled
GIF Read Support enabled
GIF Create Support enabled
JPEG Support enabled
libJPEG Version 6b
PNG Support enabled
libPNG Version 1.2.42
WBMP Support enabled
XPM Support enabled
XBM Support enabled

Hopefully this will be useful to someone out there trying to desperately use a newer version of GD with PHP in Ubuntu...


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