Is ImageMagick really necessary?

I have always been confused about ImageMagick. I've used Omeka once before as a student (using my school's web hosting) and was never able to figure out how to get ImageMagick on the server. The only real issue I had with that site was that thumbnails never generated. Is that something that ImageMagick does?

I'm currently trying to create my own Omeka site now, and I'm using the third-party hosting service They are unable to install ImageMagick on their server, so I'm wondering if I can get by without it. What will I be missing out on if I don't have ImageMagick?

Many thanks for any replies I get! I'd appreciate the help.

I figured everything out and finally installed Omeka successfully and completely for the first time ever (YAY!). I'll answer my question so that others in the future may find it helpful.

ImageMagick is necessary for Omeka. It manages/creates your thumbnails. In version 2.0.4, you will be unable to upload image files (and PDF files) to your site without it (when I used an earlier version of Omeka, before 2.0, I was able to upload things just fine without ImageMagick, but the thumbnails never generated; it's more of an issue in 2.0.4). Not only will the image fail to upload, but the entire record will fail. You can still upload text records without ImageMagick, so if your entire collection is text records, you may be fine.

If you purchased shared hosting, for instance through or, you cannot install ImageMagick yourself. The host needs to already have ImageMagick on its server (in my experience, commercial hosts which do not already have ImageMagick are unwilling to install it, because it affects ALL their clients' server space, not just yours). Therefore, in order to successfully install Omeka on a shared server space, you need to choose a server that already has ImageMagick installed. (as of my writing this) does not. (which I recently switched to) does. I think all the hosting suggestions listed here do:

If you own/run your OWN server, you can install ImageMagick on it yourself. I have no experience with that however.

thanks for this Kecan. My hosting company do have it but still not working so I am back and forth between forums and hosting company as we speak to try to figure it all out!

Gertrude, you might check with your hosting company to see if you can use PHP GD extension, provided you are running Omeka 2.3 or higher.

oh thanks will check that out..whatever it is!