How to Install GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) on Linux Mint 20

GIMP, better known as GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free, open-source raster graphics editing software primarily used for image manipulation and image editing, transcoding between various image formats, free-form drawing, and many more specialized tasks. GIMP is released under GPL-3.0-or-later license and is available for Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows.

In the following tutorial, you will learn to install the GIMP application with Linux Mint 20 using three alternative methods.



Update Operating System

Update your Linux Mint operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

The tutorial will be using the sudo command and assuming you have sudo status.

To verify sudo status on your account:

sudo whoami

Example output showing sudo status:

[joshua@linuxmint ~]$ sudo whoami

To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on Adding a User to Sudoers on Linux Mint.

To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.


The tutorial will be utilizing the terminal, and for those unfamiliar, this can be found in your show applications menu.


How to Install GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) on Linux Mint 20

Option 1. Install GIMP with APT

The first option is to use the default apt repository provided by Ubuntu’s repository. This is a stable and secure version.

First, execute the following apt install command:

sudo apt install gimp

Example output:

How to Install GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) on Linux Mint 20

Type “Y,” then press the “ENTER KEY” to proceed with the installation.

Once installed, confirm the installation by checking the version number.

gimp --version

Example output:

How to Install GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) on Linux Mint 20

Alternative APT Option – GIMP PPA Latest Release

The default repository installs GIMP, but as most would know when using stable repositories, they often fall behind the latest version available that may bring much-needed upgrades or new features. Luckily, a PPA named mati75/gimp30 is available that is well known and has been around for a long time.

To begin, install the PPA that contains the latest GIMP version.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/gimp -y

Next, update your repository.

sudo apt update

To install GIMP using the repository.

 sudo apt install gimp -y

For users with the default repository version installed, you can run an update and upgrade instead.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Now check the version of the PPA GIMP software.

gimp --version

Example output:

How to Install GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) on Linux Mint 20

As the above example version output, compared to the default repository version at the time of this tutorial default version is 2.10.18, and the PPA with the latest updates is 2.10.30.

In the future, updates are handled using the apt update && apt upgrade commands, respectively.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

To remove GIMP, use the following command.

sudo apt autoremove gimp --purge

To users who installed the PPA version and want to remove the repository, first install PPA-PURGE.

sudo apt install ppa-purge -y

Next, use the following command to remove the repository using the PPA-Purge method.

sudo ppa-purge ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/gimp

If you do not want to use the PPA-Purge method, use the alternative method using the same add apt repository command you used to add the PPA, this time with the -r flag, which means removal.

sudo add-apt-repository -r ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/gimp

Option 2 – Install GIMP with Snapcraft

The second option is to use the Snap package manager. Snap is not installed on Linux Mint, and the developers of Linux Mint frown upon Snap a bit which is unusual given they are using the downstream Ubuntu versions and have done some locking you need to sort out first.

To install Snap, first, use the following command.

sudo mv /etc/apt/preferences.d/nosnap.pref ~/Documents/nosnap.backup

The above commands removed the lock put in place by Linux Mint.

To install Snap, use the following command:

sudo apt install snapd -y

When you have returned to your system, start the snapd service and enable automatic startup.

sudo systemctl enable snapd --now

Before you continue any further, it is recommended to reboot your PC to make sure all paths for Snap have been generated. Failure to do this may result in errors using Snap. If you encounter these, make sure to go back and follow this step.

sudo reboot

Next, some packages come in classic, so you need to create a symlink to enable classic snap support.

sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap

Next, verify the Snapd service is running by using the systemctl command:

systemctl status snapd


How to Install GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) on Linux Mint 20

If you are installing Snap for the first time, it is advised to install the core files to avoid conflicting issues:

sudo snap install core

Example output:

core 16-2.52.1 from Canonical✓ installed

Next, install the GIMP package using snap:

sudo snap install gimp

Example output:

gimp 2.10.24 from Snapcrafters installed

As above, this informs you that Gimp was successfully installed and the version number.

Snap packages are more significant in size than traditional repositories through the APT package manager for several reasons. However, the trade-off is more straightforward maintained packages that are often updated to the latest available version.

For the future, to update along with and any other packages installed by Snap, run the following command:

sudo snap refresh

If you no longer need GIMP installed, remove it using the Snap remove command.

sudo snap remove gimp

Example output:

gimp removed

Option 3. Install GIMP with Flatpak

The second option is to use the Flatpak package manager. Flatpak should be present on your Linux Mint system by default.

First, if you have removed Flatpak or are unsure if you have, run the install command as follows.

sudo apt install flatpak -y

Next, you need to enable Flatpack using the following command in your terminal:

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

Now install GIMP using the following flatpak command.

flatpak install flathub org.gimp.GIMP

Example output:

How to Install GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) on Linux Mint 20

Type Y twice, then press the ENTER KEY twice to install.

Flatpak should auto-update packages roughly 10 minutes into a new desktop session by default. However, if you need to update manually, use the following command.

flatpak update

To remove the Flatpack version of GIMP, run the following command:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.gimp.GIMP

Example output:

How to Install GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) on Linux Mint 20

Type Y and then ENTER KEY to proceed with the removal of GIMP using the Flatpak method.

Note, you will be prompted twice to Type Y or N. The second option removes all data for complete removal.

How to Launch GIMP Application

Now that you have the GIMP application installed, launching can be done from your terminal in a few ways.

In your terminal type:


If you would like to launch and use the terminal, send the process to the background:

gimp &

Alternatively, Flatpak users will need to launch using the command below from a terminal instance:

flatpak run org.gimp.GIMP

However, this isn’t practical, and you would use the following path on your desktop to open with the path: Taskbar > Graphics > GNU Image Manipulation Program.


How to Install GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) on Linux Mint 20

Once you open GIMP, you will see the first default landing screen.


gimp final look on linux mint 20 | LinuxCapable

Congratulations, you have successfully installed GIMP.

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to add the official GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) application on your Linux Mint 20 desktop in three different ways.

Overall, GIMP stands above many other applications of its nature as it offers a great, streamlined workflow which makes it easier for beginners to get started with the application. GIMP also has an easy-to-customize UI that can help accelerate workflows in online digital photography. It is worth a look.

For more information on GNU Image Manipulation Program, visit the official documentation.

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