A gtk.gdk.Pixbuf object contains the data that describes an image using client side resources. By contrast a gtk.gdk.Pixmap uses server side resources to hold image data. Manipulating the image data in a gtk.gdk.Pixmap may involve round trip transfers between a client and a server in X11 while manipulating image data in a gtk.gdk.Pixbuf involves only client side operations. Therefore using gtk.gdk.Pixbuf objects may be more efficient than using gtk.gdk.Pixmap objects if a lot of image manipulation is necessary.
In addition to the methods associated with a gtk.gdk.Pixbuf object there are a number of functions that can be used to create gtk.gdk.Pixbuf objects from file and inline data.