I often use the ‘trace bitmap’ function in Inkscape to create a vector image from a raster image. However, on larger or more complicated bitmaps, the program completely freezes. GUIs being what they are, I know that a command-line based approach would suit the task. So what’s a good way to do that?
The software that powers Inkscape’s bitmap tracing function is actually a non-GUI program called Potrace, so you’re in luck:
Download here: http://potrace.sourceforge.net/#downloading