How to Install GIMP on Linux Mint 21 LTS

As a Photoshop alternative, GIMP has been getting better each year. The program can be used for graphic design, photo editing, image conversion, and even making digital paintings with various features and functions. Despite being a free and open-source program, GIMP provides users with high-quality results. For example, when it comes to image editing, GIMP offers a wide variety of tools such as cropping, resizing, color correction, and noise reduction. It also supports layers, which is essential for complex graphics editing. In addition, GIMP can be used to create digital paintings from scratch or convert existing photos into images. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, GIMP is worth checking out.

In the following tutorial, you will learn to install GIMP on Linux Mint 21 release series using the apt package manager or the flatpak package manager, along with some tips for maintaining or removing GIMP in the future.

Update Linux Mint

Before you begin, ensure your system is up-to-date to avoid any conflicts during the installation, and for good practice, use the terminal command as follows.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Install GIMP – APT Default Method

The first option is to use the default APT repository. This is a stable and secure version and is most recommended to install over any other package manager but can be outdated compared to Flatpaks alternative, usually up-to-date.

First, execute the following apt install command.

sudo apt install gimp -y

Install GIMP – APT with PPA Method

The second option is to install Gimp using the PPA from the launchpad. This is probably the most desired for Linux Mint users to keep the installation using the APT package manager while having the latest up-to-date version.

First, install the following packages that are required. These are most likely installed but run the command to be safe.

sudo apt install dirmngr ca-certificates software-properties-common gnupg gnupg2 apt-transport-https -y

Next, import the GPG key needed for all the repositories.

If you have issues importing the GPG key, please see the end section on GPG troubleshooting at the end of the article.

sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/rob-savoury.gpg --keyserver --recv-keys E996735927E427A733BB653E374C7797FB006459

Now import the GIMP PPA by Rob Savoury.

echo 'deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/rob-savoury.gpg] jammy main' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/gimp-rob-savoury.list

Given this is an upstream release, specific dependencies are required, so you will need a newer version of multimedia packages which you will need to import the following PPAs.

Note, these will upgrade many packages to the latest stable version; using these will enhance your system, but if you want to roll back, it will be difficult the more you add. I recommend taking a system snapshot with Timeshift that Linux Mint has pre-installed before installing any of the below for extra safety. If unsure, install the version from the default repository shown as the first method.

I tested each one of these below; they should work well.

echo 'deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/rob-savoury.gpg] jammy main' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ffmpeg-4-rob-savoury.list
echo 'deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/rob-savoury.gpg] jammy main' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ffmpeg-5-rob-savoury.list
echo 'deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/rob-savoury.gpg] jammy main' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/multimedia-rob-savoury.list
echo 'deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/rob-savoury.gpg] jammy main' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/graphics-rob-savoury.list

Note that this will give you many new multimedia upgrades, so besides support for GIMP, you will also receive benefits for your entire system.

Once you have imported the option you prefer, run a quick APT update to reflect the newly imported PPAs.

sudo apt-get update

Before installing, run a quick upgrade as multiple dependencies will need to be upgraded before you continue.

sudo apt upgrade

Now, install image software.

sudo apt install gimp -y

Install GIMP – Flatpak Method

The third option is to use the Flatpak package manager. This comes installed on Linux Mint unless you removed it. This is another popular option similar to Snap but is featured amongst many distributions as an alternative third-party installation package manager for the latest packages.

First, re-install Flatpak if you have removed the package manager previously.

sudo apt install flatpak -y

For users re-installing Flatpak, it is often recommended to reboot your system. Failure to do this can occur with odd issues, such as paths not being generated for icons.



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 -y

How to Launch GIMP

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

For users that have an active terminal window launched, you can type the following to launch the application immediately.


Lastly, Flatpak users can run from the terminal using the following command.

flatpak run org.gimp.GIMP

However, this isn’t practical, and you would use the following path on your desktop.

Taskbar > Graphics > GNU Image Manipulation Program


How to Install GIMP on Linux Mint 21 LTS

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


How to Install GIMP on Linux Mint 21 LTS

Congratulations, you have successfully installed GIMP.

How to Update/Upgrade GIMP

Updates should appear in notifications, but if these fail to show sometimes, it is recommended to check using the terminal regardless of the following commands to check for updates.

APT Method

sudo apt update

Flatpak Method

flatpak update

How to Remove (Uninstall) GIMP

Use one of the following commands to suit the original installation method for users who no longer require the paint application.

APT Remove Method

sudo apt autoremove gimp --purge -y

Flatpak Remove Method

flatpak remove  --delete-data org.gimp.GIMP -y

Next, run the following command for any leftover clean-ups required, similar to the autoremove command described for the apt remove example command.

flatpak remove --unused

How to Fix Broken GPG Import

Users that have installed Linux Mint for the first time or have not imported a GPG key before using the command line terminal will often have issues importing GPG keys from LaunchPAD PPAs due to the directories not being created. This is an easy fix. Use the following command that will, in turn, generate the directories.

sudo gpg --list-keys

Example output:

How to Install GIMP on Linux Mint 21 LTS

As above, the necessary directories have been created. This can be skipped, and use the following GPG import command below. If you have any issues with directories missing for this and any other PPA GPG key in the future, just run the above command.

Comments and Conclusion

Overall, GIMP stands above many other applications of its nature as it offers a great, streamlined workflow, making 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.

Not what you were looking for? Try searching for additional tutorials.

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