The GIMP and Y2K

Last updated: 04 October 2000

The #1 question on everyone's mind lately seems to be:

``Is the GIMP Y2K compliant?''

As one of the webmasters (Adrian, I think) said:

``I have no idea if the gimp is Y2K compliant, and have no real intention to verify it one way or the other. If you need it to be certified Y2K compliant, I can give it the unoffical " webmaster said its probably Y2K compliant" stamp of approval, but that is about it. If you would like a more valid compliance check, all the source code is available for anyone willing to certify it. If someone does such, and patches are required, we would gladly accept such patches and incorporate them into the next release.''
Since GIMP is released as source, and is strictly a volunteer effort, at this point nobody is certifying anything. Even if we did certify a particular source release, anyone could patch or modify it before building it, and it would be extremely difficult to determine what had happened. This could result in personal liability problems for the certifiers, and a black eye for the GIMP.

The GIMP doesn't manipulate dates, per se (unless some plug-in I'm not familiar with does). At least, it didn't the last time I ran a scan on the source. All file timestamping is handled by the operating system. Since UNIX and its clones and variants (such as AIX, Linux, BSD, HP-UX, Irix, Solaris, and so forth) use a 32-bit offest counting seconds since 00:00 on January 1, 1970, all such operating systems should handle file timestamps correctly until sometime after the year 2030AD. 1

I have absolutely no idea what the implications of running the GIMP on any other operating system are.

The GIMP also utilizes the X Window System. I don't believe there is anything inherent in the X Window System that would have Y2K problems, but you would have to get that assurance from your X vendor.

  1. The plan to solve that problem is for everyone to be on 64 bit hardware (or better) by then.

Last updated: 04 October 2000

Summarized by Miles O'Neal, <> based on responses on the GIMP mailing lists and his perusings of the source code.