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How to install the Gimp image editor on Linux

The Gimp image editor is one of the most famous open-source tools ever, and regularly many people use it to edit their photographs. In this guide, we’ll be going over how you can install Gimp on Linux.

To use Gimp on the Linux platform, you need to be running Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora or OpenSUSE. Otherwise, you’ll need to have the ability to install Snap packages or Flatpaks.

Note: the source code for Gimp on Linux is available here if you prefer to compile code on your own.

Ubuntu installation instructions

Gimp is the go-to image editing tool for many Linux users, and if you’re using Ubuntu, you’ll be able to install it through the primary software sources easily. To get a reasonably recent version of it, open up a terminal window and enter the Apt command below.

sudo apt install gimp

Want to get a more up to date version of Gimp on your Ubuntu Linux setup?  Consider adding Otto Kesselgulasch’s PPA to get the absolute latest version by following the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Ubuntu 18.04 has an out of date version of Gimp, so before adding the PPA you must remove the currently installed version of the program with Apt.

sudo apt remove gimp --purge

Step 2: With the current installation of Gimp removed from the system, use the apt-add-repository command to enable the PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp

Step 3: Using the apt update command, refresh Ubuntu’s software sources.

sudo apt update

Step 4: Now that all the software sources are up to date, it’s safe to install Gimp from the PPA using apt install.

sudo apt install gimp

Debian installation instructions

The Gimp image editor is open source, so there’s no issue installing it on Debian Linux via the Apt-get package manager. To get it working on your setup, open up a terminal and enter the following command.

sudo apt-get install gimp

Running the above apt-get command will get you a relatively current version of Gimp. Specifically, it’ll install Gimp 2.8, which has been around since 2012.

For the most part, version 2.8 is a solid release of the Gimp image editor, and it’ll work just fine on your Debian Linux PC. With that said, version 2.8 is not the absolute latest, and that may be a deal breaker for a lot of users. If you want a newer version of the Gimp image editor, we recommend following the Snap or Flatpak instructions instead, as it’s the easiest way to get the latest release.

Arch Linux installation instructions

As Arch Linux is a “bleeding edge” Linux distribution (aka OS that gets the latest updates), the release of the Gimp image editor is always at the absolute newest in the software sources.

Getting Gimp on Arch Linux requires enabling the “Extra” software repository, so open up a terminal and follow the step-by-step instructions below to get everything working.

Step 1: Open up your /etc/pacman.conf file (with sudo) in the Nano text editor.

sudo nano /etc/pacman.conf

Step 2: Use the arrow keys and scroll through the file to find “Extra.”

Step 3: Remove all instances of # from in front of the “Extra” software repository.  Then, save the edits in Nano with Ctrl + O.

Step 4: Exit Nano with Ctrl +X.

Step 5: Resync Arch and set up “Extra” with the Pacman command.

sudo pacman -Syy

Step 6: After “Extra” is fully set up, install the latest version of the Gimp image editor on your Arch Linux PC.

sudo pacman -S gimp

Fedora installation instructions

The Fedora maintainers put Gimp in the primary software sources, as it is open source. Every version of the operating system can use Gimp, but if you want the latest release of the app (2.10), upgrading to Fedora 29 is required.

To install Gimp on Fedora Linux, open up a terminal and enter the DNF installation command below.

sudo dnf install gimp

OpenSUSE installation instructions

All versions of OpenSUSE have Gimp available to its users. However, it’s an older release (the 2.8 version from 2012). If you have no issues with using a dated version of Gimp, you can install it with Zypper.

sudo zypper install gimp

Want to use the latest Gimp on OpenSUSE? Skip installing it through Zypper and follow the Installation instructions for Flatpak or Snap instead.

Snap package installation instructions

For a while now, the Gimp image editing tool has been available for installation in the Snap store. Better yet, the Snap version is regularly updated and is currently at version 2.10.

If you’re looking to get the absolute latest Gimp on Linux, and can’t do so through the packages available on your Linux OS, going this route is a no-brainer.

To set up Gimp via Snap, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Follow our tutorial and learn how to enable Snap packages on Linux.

Step 2: Open up a terminal window and use snap install to get Gimp.

sudo snap install gimp

Flatpak installation instructions

Along with Snap, Gimp is available via Flatpak. Having the app available in this format is incredibly useful, especially for those who need the latest release of the image editor, yet cannot run Snap packages.

To install Gimp via Flatpak, follow these steps.

Step 1: Read our guide on how to set up the Flatpak runtime on Linux.

Step 2: Open up a terminal and add Flathub as a source to Flatpak on your Linux PC.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Step 3: Install Gimp with the flatpak install command.

flatpak install flathub org.gimp.GIMP

Step 4: Open Gimp for the first time with flatpak run.

flatpak run org.gimp.GIMP

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