Gwyddion – Free SPM (AFM, SNOM/NSOM, STM, MFM, …) data analysis software


Gwyddion is a modular program for SPM (scanning probe microscopy) data visualization and analysis. Primarily it is intended for the analysis of height fields obtained by scanning probe microscopy techniques (AFM, MFM, STM, SNOM/NSOM) and it supports a lot of SPM data formats. However, it can be used for general height field and (greyscale) image processing, for instance for the analysis of profilometry data or thickness maps from imaging spectrophotometry.

Gwyddion provides a large number of data processing functions, including all the standard statistical characterization, levelling and data correction, filtering or grain marking functions. And since the developers are active SPM users, the program also contains a number of specific, uncommon, odd and experimental data processing methods they found useful – and you may find them useful too.

Gwyddion is Free and Open Source software, covered by GNU General Public License. It aims to provide a modular program for 2D data processing and analysis that can be easily extended by third-party modules and scripts. Moreover, thanks to being free software, it provides the source code to developers and users, which makes easier both verification of its data processing algorithms and further program improvements.

Gwyddion works on GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and FreeBSD operating systems on common architectures. All systems can be used also for development. It has a modern graphical user interface based on the widely portable Gtk+ toolkit, consistent across all the supported systems.


Current versions

2021-02-14: We switched TeX equations in the on-line user guide from PNG to SVG. They now look cleaner, scale nicely with the page, etc. All non-ancient web browsers should have reasonable SVG support – but please report if equations do not display correctly for you.

2021-02-09: Version 2.58 “Plainly Planar” was released. It mainly fixes masked plane levelling, broken in 2.57. However, it includes a few other improvements, for instance in Renishaw support, a new perspective correction function and a new Japanese translation. See the detailed news for the full list of changes.


2020-12-28: Version 2.57 “Professing Profiles” was released. Again, there are a bunch of improvements in file format support, but also new profile extraction and comparison functions, data classification using neural networks and more. See the detailed news for the full list of changes.

2020-09-17: Several new functions added to Gwyddion in the last two releases implement ideas described in our recent papers. Image terrace fitting and Graph terrace fitting implement algorithms described in the Si step evaluation paper. The new Correlation length tool was a repeatedly requested feature. However, it also helps with checking if image dimensions are sufficiently larger than the autocorrelation length for roughness measurement – as discussed in a couple of papers, one more technical and one more high-level.

2020-07-29: To get working Gwyddion packages in Ubuntu you can use the Gwyddion-SPM PPA instead of the broken distro packages (bug 1882441). The PPA also provides more current versions of Gwyddion.

2020-07-12: Gwyddion package in Ubuntu 20.04 (possibly other versions?) is broken, failing to load any modules at startup due to linking issue. See bug 1882441 in Launchpad. At present there is no known workaround aside for compilation from source code (as dscribed in the bug report).

2020-06-30: Version 2.56 “Semiscale” was released. The main improvements are in file format support, but there is also a new tool for autocorrelation length estimation and the usual bunch of bugfixes and smaller improvements. See the detailed news which contain the complete list of changes.

2020-06-08: Version 1.4 of libgwyfile was released. This is mainly a bugfix release, which also adds a couple of functions for object and item copying.

2020-06-02: Version 1.3 of libgwyfile was released. The main addition is an interface for GWY files in memory buffers. The library was also updated to handle new data types introduced in Gwyddion 2.53.


2019-11-04: Version 2.55 “Zzz…” was released. It is mainly a bugfix release bringing back ZIP support in file import modules. However, there are also a few new volume data modules or a number of file format support improvements. See the detailed news for the complete list.

2019-09-22: Version 2.54 was, unfortunately, relased without ZIP support, meaning that a bunch of file formats cannot be loaded: APE DAX, OpenGPS, JPK force data, NanoObserver, NanoScanTech, Olympus POIR, Sensofar PLUx and SPMx. This affects not just MS Windows executables, but ZIP support is silently disabled also when you compile from source code. We will be releasing 2.55 in several weeks with a fix. Please use version 2.53 or development snapshots meanwhile if you need to read some of the affected file formats.

2019-09-04: Version 2.54 added two synthetic data modules, one directly inspired by an old Yeti's GIMP plug-in. We updated the replacement information to illustrate all the recently added data generators.

2019-08-27: Version 2.54 “A Small Step” was released. It fixes a large number of bugs, but also brings a dozen new modules – data process, file, graph – and various smaller improvements. See the detailed news for the complete list.

2019-06-05: Gwyddion is now available as Flatpak app, a cross-distro way of installing stable bundled applications. See the download page for more. In related news, the Fedora 30 repository should be finally working.

2019-05-09: We added a paper describing some recently added MFM data processing methods to the publication list.

2019-03-06: A patch for version 2.53 was published, fixing Gwyddion being unable to find icons and similar data on a Mac. See also Patches.

2019-02-28: A patch for version 2.53 was published, fixing a compilation error with GCC 9. It breaks compilation with other GCC versions, so only apply it when necessary. See also Patches.

2019-02-28: Version 2.53 “OMGOMP” was released. It adds OpenMP parallelisation for a bunch of data processing operations. There are also improvements in basic tools, a few new modules and some bug fixes as usual. See the detailed news for the complete list.


2018-11-21: We would like to invite you to the next biannual SPM workshop which will take place in Lednice (Czech Republic), 27–29 March 2019. Registration will open in November (or December).

2018-11-15: A patch for version 2.52 was published, fixing a build failure on macOS. See also Patches.

2018-11-14: Version 2.52 “Thoroughly Transferred” was released. It brings a few new file import modules, some improvements mainly in MFM and volume data processing and quite a few bug fixes. See the detailed news for the complete list.

2018-10-17: Since Debian is – unfortunately – is going to terminate GTK+2 support, note that it will become rather difficult to install and use Gwyddion in Debian. Not much can be done except the recommendation to use a Linux distribution which values backward compatibility instead.

2018-06-26: Version 2.51 “Astronomical Almanac” was released. It brings over a dozen new modules, many of them MFM and volume data processing-related. See the detailed news for the complete list of improvements and bug fixes.

2018-04-11: Code revisions 20955–20958 were lost due to a outage. The code itself has been recommitted, however, the new revision history is not identical. If you have a working copy updated to the lost revisions, you may be getting error messages from svn. Please assume your working copy is toast and check out a fresh one if it happens.

2018-03-16: We are happy to announce the publication of the second edition of the book Quantitative Data Processing in Scanning Probe Microscopy by Elsevier. It includes descriptions of many ideas in (and behind) Gwyddion, as well as basics of different physical quantities measurements and interpretation using Scanning Probe Microscopy. It is accompanied with a set of freely available sample data covering various types of SPM measurements.

2018-02-02: Version 2.50 “Triangular Trap” was finally released. See the detailed news for the complete list of new modules, file format support improvements and other changes.


2017-09-17: Yeti's talk Gwyddion – Open source software for SPM data analysis was added to presentations.

2017-08-28: A patch for version 2.49 was published, fixing build problems when sed is BSD sed, i.e. on Mac OS X and BSD systems. See also Patches.

2017-08-15: Version 2.49 “Window to the West” was released. As usual, it brings a bundle of new modules and various improvements – and also module bundles. The most noticeable changes are, nevertheless, a new much nicer icon set by Felix Kling and a better widget for adjusting the bazillion parameters of various algorithms. See the detailed news for the complete list of changes.

2017-08-12: Petr's talk Gwyscan – library for smart scanning paths about gwyscan was added to presentations. See also the related paper.

2017-08-11: There seems to be still some interest in GIMP image generation plug-ins Yeti wrote 15 years ago – and abandoned essentially when Gwyddion development started. Although resurrection is unlikely, the good news is that their ideas have found their way into Gwyddion synthetic data modules. We added some information about the correspondence between them.



Gwyddion development is supported by Department of Nanometrology, Czech Metrology Institute.

1.86 (yeti, 2019-01-12 10:05:25)
© David Nečas and Petr Klapetek

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