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At the moment I'm working with a lot of SVG files and I don't have a good tool to inspect this files.

Normally I use feh to take a look at an image, but feh can't show SVG files. Now I'm looking for a replacement. The replacement should have all the features of feh and should be able to open SVG files. Especially the following features are mandatory

  • simple feh like GUI
  • the tool should be designed for the use in a shell
  • $command ~/image1.svg image2.jpg should only open these two files not the directory ~/
  • support multiple image formats
  • small memory footprint and not to many dependencies

I know the Eye of GNOME (eog) does all this, but it is a GNOME tool and as such it needs to many GNOME dependencies.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I got feh to work with svg by:

  1. downloading imagemagick
  2. adding --magick-timeout 1 to the command line. Not very obvious, but that's what gets it to work...

    feh --magick-timeout 1 ~/image1.svg image2.jpg

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This is awesome! But with my version of feh the option should be --magick-timeout 0 so it doesn't stop after one second of conversion and instead tries indefinitely. – Raphael Ahrens Jan 8 '14 at 19:34

You can try Mirage, which supports png, jpg, svg, xpm, gif, bmp, tiff, and others.

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Mhh Mirage has a nice GUI, but it fails criteria 3. When I execute mirage ~/image1.svg image2.jpg it shows all loads all images in ~ and in .. Do I need to set a flag or something to just open these two images? – Raphael Ahrens Sep 26 '13 at 4:51
No you're right, it fails on this criterion. – MBR Sep 26 '13 at 8:05


I'm familiar with geeqie (a fork of GQView). It has pretty broad support of file formats. There are actually several that carry support for SVG. Rather than list them all here I'm going to refer you to the very well maintained Wikipedia page on the subject, titled: Comparison of image viewers.

This page contains several tables, one of which is the list of file formats that the different Linux image viewers support.

When looking for guidance on this type of question, I often refer to that list when looking for a viewer with support for format X.

Command line tools

Probably the easiest tool to use that supports displaying the SVG format is ImageMagick. It includes a tool called simply display that can handle pretty much any image file format you can throw at it, including SVG.

You can check out the complete list of supported image formats, as well as, summoning it from the command line, using another of ImageMagick's tools, identify:

$ identify -list format | grep -i svg
     MSVG  SVG       rw+   ImageMagick's own SVG internal renderer
      SVG  SVG       rw+   Scalable Vector Graphics (RSVG 2.32.0)
     SVGZ  SVG       rw+   Compressed Scalable Vector Graphics (RSVG 2.32.0)

I was able to display this sample image, just fine.

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First of all thanks for your answer. geeqie seems to do most of what I asked. But I'm not happy with there layout. I'm looking for a more minimalist tool like feh. I checked your list and most of the programs suffer the same problem. I will look if I can get accustomed to geeqie. For now I will leave this question open. – Raphael Ahrens Sep 26 '13 at 5:43
@RaphaelAhrens - if it makes you feel any better I don't like it's layout either. If you just want a modest command line tool I believe ImageMagick's display command can display .svg files too. – slm Sep 26 '13 at 12:07
display is a really good tip. – Raphael Ahrens Sep 26 '13 at 12:37

Most web browsers will display SVG files. I know Firefox will, because I do it all the time.

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Fails criteria 2 and 5 (not in a shell and memory footprint/dependencies)... – jasonwryan Sep 26 '13 at 1:58

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