Tom's Definitive Linux Software Roundup: Image Apps

Image Manipulation

Obviously, Adobe Photoshop is the gold standard for image manipulation software.

GIMP (v. 2.6.8)

The GNU Image Manipulation Program (or the GIMP for short) is the big daddy of FOSS image manipulation. If you're looking for a replacement for Adobe Photoshop, try the GIMP. While it might not work for you, it is the best Photoshop-alternative freely available for Linux. I've been using it for several years now. I do all the graphics for these articles using the GIMP.

From removing red eye to creating graphics from scratch, the GIMP can handle pretty much anything.

The GIMP user interface, however, is a disjointed mash. This application opens at least three windows to edit a single image. Tools are provided by two slim frames, while each image being edited has its own large window. If you have followed this series through its several installments, by now you should know my great displeasure with apps that use multiple windows. The GIMP is no exception.

Fortunately, upcoming version 2.8 will finally 'dock' the tool windows into the main editing window and additional images will be accessed through tabs.

Krita (v. 2.1.2)

Krita is the KOffice graphics application. First off, Krita is not the GIMP. The main focus of this app is on creating art, not doctoring photos. Krita is intended for sketching, painting, and drawing.

This application contains a ton of different brush tools, each with adjustable settings for tip shape, size, opacity, and much more. KOffice also touts Krita's support for most graphics input tablets.

Any artist looking into Linux should definitely check out this application.

Pinta (v. 0.4)

Pinta fills the massive void between heavyweight image manipulation applications like GIMP and the lightweight paint apps. Though many advanced features of the GIMP are missing from Pinta, others, such as layers, effects, and even a handy pixel grid, are present. On the other hand, essential tools like Select by color, which are necessary in the higher-end image editors, are left out of Pinta.

The user interface is clean and straightforward, making Pinta easy to use for anyone who has played around with a simple painting application. The app is fast and the action smooth. Pinta is great for anyone intimidated by image manipulation software, yet needs slightly more functionality than what most paint applications provide.

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  • jhansonxi
    You forgot MyPaint.
  • jkhanlar
    and scrot
  • Anonymous
    darktable is a good alternative to existing products for both management and processing of photos...missing that one in this roundup.
  • sudeshc
    dont know exactly why but i never tried Linux i guess its time to take a test drive, thanks toms for this article.
  • Anonymous
    I sedcond you, darktable is indeed great RAW software
  • dEAne
    wow I didn't know these things, thank you a lot.
  • nvarras7
    Have been on Ubuntu since 10.04 was beta and haven't looked back!
  • nvarras7
    nvarras7Have been on Ubuntu since 10.04 was beta and haven't looked back!
  • Anonymous
    Definitive? How about programs like feh and gpicview?
    i love linux! but then i look at my steam account and shed a tire D:
  • Anonymous
    Great article. Its always hard to locate programs when friends ask for good free ones. This will help immensity. Now I'll just point them to this source. Thanks!
  • reggieray
    Ubuntu rocks
  • Anonymous
    Picasa is avaiable for Linux...handles RAW images and provides some basic editing capabilities and organization.
  • jamesontoms
    Either I'm out of date,
    or Toms Hardware overlooked the three image viewers I use in Debian.
    I have used their features
    full screen

    a. feh
    feh -D 5 #gives a slideshow, changing every 5 seconds
    feg 0t #Uses the thumbnail approach
    n and p for next and previous image
    b. qiv
    -R #so you don't accidently delete a file within qiv ("u" to undelete)
    -s #start a slideshow
    +/- #zoom
    f #full screen

    c. xzgv
  • jj463rd
    sudeshcdont know exactly why but i never tried Linux i guess its time to take a test drive, thanks toms for this article.

    Yeah give it a try.You can use the Try Ubuntu method or install it instead on a older secondary PC.It's definitely worthwhile and easy.I've been using it on a couple of systems since version 8.04.
  • Anonymous
    Since you're using Blender as an alternative to Maya, I think it's worth mentioning that Autodesk Maya 2011 64bit is officially supported in both RHEL 5.4 and Fedora 11, the latter being completely free.
  • ProDigit10
    Kolour Paint?
  • the_crippler
    Really enjoyed the article and am looking forward to the sound one. I love the Gimp, and use it regularly. Some other apps on this list I hadn't heard of or realized a need for their function. Now I have some new software to try out when I get home.
  • Peciura
    Time for virtual machine.
  • bounty
    Since you go into doc scanning software, any OCR apps?