Linux Commands Examples

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convert a Utah Raster Tools RLE image file into a PNM image file.

see also : pnmtorle - pnmconvol


rletopnm [--alphaout={alpha-filename,-}] [--headerdump|-h] [--verbose|-v] [--plain|-p] [rlefile|-]

All options may be abbreviated to their minimum unique abbreviation and options and arguments may be in any order.

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rletopnm --verbose lenna.rle >lenna.ppm

While running in verbose mode, convert lenna.rle to PPM format and store the resulting image as lenna.ppm.

rletopnm --headerdump file.rle

Dump the header information of the RLE file called file.rle.

rletopnm --alphaout=dartalpha.pgm dart.rle >dart.ppm

Convert RLE file dart.rle to PPM format as dart.ppm. Store the alpha channel of dart.rle as dartalpha.pgm (if dart.rle doesn’t have an alpha channel, store a fully transparent alpha mask as dartalpha.pgm).


This program converts Utah Raster Toolkit RLE image files into PNM image files. rletopnm handles four types of RLE files: Grayscale (8 bit data, no color map), Pseudocolor (8 bit data with a color map), Truecolor (24 bit data with color map), and Directcolor (24 bit data, no color map). rletopnm generates a PPM file for all these cases except for the Grayscale file, for which rletopnm generates a PGM file.

rlefile is the RLE input file. If it is absent or -, the input comes from Standard Input.



rletopnm creates a PGM (portable graymap) file containing the alpha channel values in the input image. If the input image doesn’t contain an alpha channel, the alpha-filename file contains all zero (transparent) alpha values. If you don’t specify --alphaout, rletopnm does not generate an alpha file, and if the input image has an alpha channel, rletopnm simply discards it.

If you specify - as the filename, rletopnm writes the alpha output to Standard Output and discards the image.

See pnmcomp(1) for one way to use the alpha output file.


This option causes rletopnm to operate in verbose mode. It prints messages about what it’s doing, including the contents of the RLE image header, to Standard Error.


This option causes rletopnm to operate in header dump mode. It prints the contents of the RLE image header to Standard Error, but does not produce any other output.


This option causes the PNM output file to be in the "plain" (text) format, instead of the default "raw" (binary) format. See ppm(5) and pgm(5) for details on the difference.

see also

pnmtorle , pnmconvol , pnm, ppm, pgm, urt, RLE


Wes Barris
Army High Performance Computing Research Center (AHPCRC)
Minnesota Supercomputer Center, Inc.

Modifications by Eric Haines to support raw and plain formats.

Modifications by Bryan Henderson to create alpha files and use mnemonic options.

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