It’s well known that Linux distributions i.e. Ubuntu, Fedora and other OSs based on them do not have image manipulation software like Photoshop and Illustrator available for them, but lesser known is that this doesn’t make the open source alternatives available useless.
In this post I’m listing best apps for images you should download and try from the package manager or external repository available for your Linux OS. I’m listing the procedure to download and install apps on Ubuntu and Fedora and the same should work on the distributions based on them.
Shotwell is the default photo manager for GNOME 3 with lots of features. It’s basic purpose is to organize images by time-based events, tags and folders. Shotwell serves basic image editing features viz. Crop, rotate, color adjust, straighten, and enhance photos. It can also be used to import from disk or camera and supports RAW photo format.
You can view your pictures in full screen mode or slideshow and share it to major web services, including Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube. How to install Shotwell:
Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) is shipped with Shotwell as the default photo manager. However, if you’re on a Ubuntu-based Linux and do not have Shotwell or are on a previous version of Ubuntu then you can install it with the following commands.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install shotwell
Shotwell is default photo manager on Fedora.
If you’ve explored any bit of softwares available in your package manager, GIMP should not be new for you. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program and is a freely distributed program for tasks like photo retouching, image composition and image authoring and an alternative for Photoshop on Linux.
It has many capabilities and is considered an alternative to Adobe Photoshop by many. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter etc.
Like Photoshop, GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.
sudo apt-get install gimp
sudo dnf install gimp
Darktable is a free and open source photography workflow application and RAW developer. Since it is not installed by default on any system, you can install it with the given commands. A virtual lighttable and darkroom for photographers.
It manages your digital negatives in a database, lets you view them through a zoomable lighttable and enables you to develop raw images and enhance them. Darktable is alternative for Adobe Lightroom on Linux. Instead of Lightroom, Darktable has a darkroom where you can edit shadows and highlights, color profiles, base curve, exposure and white balance of photos. Images can be cropped and rotated and other retouching is possible.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pmjdebruijn/darktable-release sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install darktable
dnf install darktable
digiKam is an advanced digital photo management application. It is written in C++ using KDE platform. The photos are organized in albums which can be sorted chronologically, by folder layout or by custom collections. digiKam has been awarded the TUX 2005, 2008, and 2010 Readers’ Choice Award in the category Favorite Digital Photo Management Tool.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install digikam
dnf install digikam
Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator, Coreldraw, Freehand, or Xara X. What sets Inkscape apart is its use of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an open XML-based W3C standard, as the native format. All Inkscape projects may be exported in formats friendly to web browsers or commercial printer rooms. It is cross-platform, which means it is easy to run on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux distributions.
sudo apt-get install inkscape
sudo dnf install inkscape
Blender is a free and open source 3D animation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. Advanced users use Blender’s API for Python scripting to customize the application and write specialized tools; often these are included in Blender’s future releases. It has got flexible drawing tools and broad file format compatibility with powerful text tool, Bezier and spiro curves.
sudo apt-get install blender
sudo dnf install blender
Even though Ubuntu and Fedora both are shipped with in built screenshot tools and Prt Sc is also directly saved into
~/Pictures directory, but this is another program you should give a try. Shutter can be used to take screenshot of a specific area, window, your whole screen and applying different effects to it, draw on it, and uploading to an image hosting site.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:shutter/ppa sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install shutter
sudo dnf install shutter
Pencil is a free and open source mock-up tool. Pencil is a prototyping tool that can be easily installed and used to create mockups in popular desktop platforms.
Download .deb file from Google Project Hosting.
dnf install pencil
MyPaint is an alternative to Corel Painter on Linux. It’s a free and open source raster graphics editor and is designed for pressure sensitive graphics tablets with dynamic brush engine and a full screen mode.
Installation procedure on repository on GitHub.
dnf install mypaint
Pinta is modeled after Paint.NET. It’s a free, open source drawing/editing program for drawing and manipulating images. You can edit your images, remove and alter backgrounds, write on them, draw shapes. Pinta allows you to create unlimited layers and also provides unlimited history.
sudo apt-get install pinta
sudo dnf install pinta
Dia Diagram Editor
Dia is an alternative to Microsoft Visio for Linux. Dia is a program to draw structured technical diagrams. Features of Dia include multiple-page printing, export to many formats (EPS, SVG, CGM and PNG), and the ability to use custom shapes created by the user as simple XML descriptions. Dia is useful for drawing UML diagrams, network maps, and flowcharts. All diagrams are drawn in their own canvas.
sudo apt-get install dia
sudo dnf install dia
While programs like GIMP, Darktable, Inkscape and Blender are very useful and have got lots of features for advanced users, other programs may not suffice for advanced users. Moreover, these programs do not end the list. I’ll be updating list as soon as I come across more apps for manipulating graphics on Linux distributions. If you’re also have something to share, please post in comment.