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How To Fix the “Not Authorized” Error When Converting JPG to PDF in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 18

If you’re a regular user of Ubuntu, you might have come across an error message that reads “convert: not authorized pictures.pdf' @ error/constitute.c/WriteImage/1028". This error pops up when you try to convert a jpgfile topdfusing theconvert` command. In this article, we will delve into the root cause of this error and provide detailed steps on how to fix it.

Quick Answer

To fix the "Not Authorized" error when converting JPG to PDF in Ubuntu, you can either modify the ImageMagick policy file, use alternative software like "pdftoppm" or "img2pdf", or use the sed command to programmatically fix the issue. However, it’s important to understand the security implications of these solutions before making any changes.

Understanding the Error

The “Not Authorized” error is related to a security update in the ImageMagick package. ImageMagick is a software suite used for creating, editing, and composing bitmap images. It can read, convert, and write images in a variety of formats. The security update was implemented to prevent potential vulnerabilities associated with the conversion of files.

Temporary Fix: Modifying the ImageMagick Policy File

One of the quickest ways to fix this error is by editing the /etc/ImageMagick-6/policy.xml file. This file contains policies for a domain and you can adjust the rights for PDF from none to read|write. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the terminal.
  2. Type sudo nano /etc/ImageMagick-6/policy.xml and press enter. This command opens the policy.xml file in a text editor with root permissions.
  3. Find the line <policy domain="coder" rights="none" pattern="PDF" />.
  4. Change it to <policy domain="coder" rights="read|write" pattern="PDF" />.
  5. Save and close the file.

This should resolve the error. However, it’s important to note that this method disables certain security limitations. It’s not recommended unless you fully understand the implications.

Alternative Fix: Using Different Software

If you’re not comfortable with modifying the ImageMagick policy file, you can use alternative software to convert jpg files to pdf. Two such alternatives are “pdftoppm” from the “poppler-utils” package and “img2pdf”.

To install “pdftoppm”, use the following command:

sudo apt-get install poppler-utils

To install “img2pdf”, use the following command:

sudo apt-get install img2pdf

You can then use these tools to convert your images to PDF.

Programmatic Fix: Using the sed Command

If you’re looking to fix the issue programmatically, you can use the sed command to modify the policy.xml file. The sed command is a stream editor for filtering and transforming text. Here’s how to use it:

sudo sed -i 's#<policy domain="coder" rights="none" pattern="PDF" />#<policy domain="coder" rights="read|write" pattern="PDF" />#' /etc/ImageMagick-6/policy.xml

The -i option in the sed command allows for in-place editing, meaning the original file is changed. The s command is used to replace the found expression <policy domain="coder" rights="none" pattern="PDF" /> with <policy domain="coder" rights="read|write" pattern="PDF" />.

Understanding the Security Implications

The security fix in the ImageMagick package is related to vulnerabilities in Ghostscript. For more information, you can refer to the release notes of Ghostscript version 9.25 here.

In conclusion, the “Not Authorized” error when converting JPG to PDF in Ubuntu can be resolved by modifying the ImageMagick policy file, using alternative software, or understanding the security implications and making an informed decision. Remember, it’s important to understand the implications of any changes you make to your system’s files or settings.

What is the ImageMagick package used for?

ImageMagick is a software suite used for creating, editing, and composing bitmap images. It can read, convert, and write images in a variety of formats.

How can I fix the “Not Authorized” error when converting JPG to PDF in Ubuntu?

There are a few ways to fix this error. One option is to modify the ImageMagick policy file by changing the rights for PDF from "none" to "read|write". Another option is to use alternative software such as "pdftoppm" or "img2pdf". Lastly, you can use the sed command to programmatically modify the policy file.

What are the potential security implications of modifying the ImageMagick policy file?

Modifying the ImageMagick policy file disables certain security limitations. It’s important to fully understand the implications before making any changes. The security fix in the ImageMagick package is related to vulnerabilities in Ghostscript. For more information, you can refer to the release notes of Ghostscript version 9.25.

How can I install “pdftoppm” and “img2pdf”?

To install "pdftoppm", use the command sudo apt-get install poppler-utils. To install "img2pdf", use the command sudo apt-get install img2pdf.

Can the “sed” command be used to fix the “Not Authorized” error programmatically?

Yes, the sed command can be used to modify the ImageMagick policy file programmatically. The command sudo sed -i 's#<policy domain="coder" rights="none" pattern="PDF" />#<policy domain="coder" rights="read|write" pattern="PDF" />#' /etc/ImageMagick-6/policy.xml will replace the necessary line in the file.

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