flow graphs for Gtk+ 3 and Gtk 4

grindhold 8dcc90d8a8 remove double node,set_position method 8 months ago
data d8809aa66c build: exterminate autotools 7 years ago
debian 5c38923073 Updated gtk4 api according to latest changes, updated debian build support (added gtk4 variant) 9 months ago
examples e7ed496abc finalize 0.10.0 1 year ago
gtkflow4-demo ef176e06dc gtkflow4: implement Node.set_position method 8 months ago
libgflow d2f5165d66 Added code for removing pads 9 months ago
libgtkflow3 67be261283 build: fix typelib building for dev build 1 year ago
libgtkflow4 8dcc90d8a8 remove double node,set_position method 8 months ago
screenshots f52ffa193a readme: better fancy node screenshot 1 year ago
test 5c38923073 Updated gtk4 api according to latest changes, updated debian build support (added gtk4 variant) 9 months ago
.gitignore 8a629cd2bc gitignore: ignore c files by default 4 years ago
.gitlab-ci.yml e591911cd7 gitlab-ci: cd 7 years ago
LICENSE 16cec0bdda added license file 9 years ago
README.md c276040581 readme: add individual repology badges 1 year ago
flake.lock 94afa13e76 merge PR #50 from activey and solve conflicts 9 months ago
flake.nix d871e358d1 adapt flake dependencies 9 months ago
meson.build 0445c157ec build: fix gflow deps 1 year ago
meson_options.txt 1dfcf437d0 build: can build libraries independently 1 year ago
shell.nix fc155de614 gtkflow4: can move odes again 1 year ago



This is libgtkflow, a widely applicable library for drawing flow graphs with Gtk. (Gtk+3 and Gtk4 are supported)

Whenever you have to let your users model a process or have to display the topology of a process to your users, flow graphs are the way to go.

Downstream Status

libgflow libgtkflow3 libgtkflow4
Packaging status Packaging status Packaging status


Gtk4-based CSS-styled nodes

Look at these rare fancy nodes as they get acclimated to their new home in Gtk4! These majestic creatures have travelled a long time to get here. Now they frolic as they can finally relax and have a good time.


GtkFlow has been optimized to provide much nicer visual cues on the direction of connections


Sinks and Sources may now appear on the same line


We now have Sinks that can receive data from multiple sources!


A more recent screenshot showing off libgtkflow with Gtk > 3.20. It looks a bit clearer.


This is libgtkflow running inside firefox via broadway ↑


GtkFlow runs unter that strange M$-operating-system, too ↑


I love Flowgraphs in other programs and i want to have them in my favourite UI-toolkit Gtk. I ran into some programs which implemented similar functionality but they all didn't feel or even look very Gtk-like/GNOMEy.

Possible Usages



  • Video Compositing (maybe PiTiVi)
  • Visualizing dependencies of objects (e.g. debian packages in apt)

  • … and whatever you can think up.


Core features are implemented and work quite well. API undergoes additions from time to time. The project is not at 1.0 yet as such, API can break but we don't expect fundamental breaking changes to core features anytime soon. If we introduce additional features, we try to offer them as additional API methods rather than changing existing ones.


Building for shits and giggles

Make sure you get the following Dependencies:

  • libgtk-3-dev
  • libgtk-4-dev
  • gobject-introspection (libgirepository1.0-dev)
  • meson
  • vala
  • (valadoc)

Then do the following:

$ git clone https://github.com/grindhold/libgtkflow
$ cd libgtkflow
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ meson ..
$ ninja
# sudo ninja install

A user of the library (thx @gavr) reported:

"I have no idea why, but on OpenSUSE Tumbleweed pkgbuild will only be able to find gtkFlow if you build it like that:"

meson _build --buildtype=release --prefix=/usr

Building for package maintainers

This repository is the source for three different binary packages that come with their own respective version numbers. You can either build and subsequently ship them all at once, as depicted in the former chapter. Alas in some distributions you want the user to be able to omit software that he doesn't really need. for this reasons you can build this repository with three different option sets in order to get the single libraries out:

library command
gflow meson -Denable_gtk3=false -Denable_gtk4=false ..
gtkflow3 meson -Denable_gflow=false -Denable_gtk4=false ..
gtkflow4 meson -Denable_gflow=false -Denable_gtk3=false ..

Furthermore, this repository tracks the releases of the individual library versions with tags like this: gflow_1.0.0 gtkflow4_0.1.0. You can use these to let your package point to the correct commit.


libgtkflow supports GObject-Introspection which means you can consume it in various popular languages including but not limited to: Python, Perl, Lua, JS, PHP. I compiled some examples on how to program against the library in Python in the examples-folder.

Feel free to add examples for your favorite language.

Note: If you installed the library in /usr/local, you have to export the following environment variables for the examples to work:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu
export GI_TYPELIB_PATH=/usr/local/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/girepository-1.0/

Please be aware that on other architectures than amd64 you will have to change the multiarch string x86_64-linux-gnu to something else that makes sense on your machine.