How to Install GIMP on Linux Mint 21 or 20

For those looking to install GIMP on Linux Mint 21 or the older stable release of Linux Mint 20, you’re choosing a robust image editing platform that rivals premium alternatives. GIMP, short for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a feature-rich application that caters to a variety of image editing needs, from simple photo retouching to complex graphic design tasks.

Here’s what makes GIMP an indispensable tool for your creative projects:

  • Comprehensive Editing Tools: GIMP comes equipped with an array of brushes, filters, and color correction tools for detailed image editing.
  • Layered Composition: With support for layers, channels, and masks, GIMP allows for sophisticated image manipulation.
  • Broad Format Compatibility: It supports many file formats, including but not limited to JPEG, PNG, and TIFF.
  • Scripting and Automation: Extend GIMP’s functionality with scripting in languages like Python and Perl.
  • Hardware Support: GIMP is compatible with various input devices, including graphic tablets.
  • Animation Creation: Craft your own animations within GIMP, adding a dynamic edge to your creations.
  • Expandable with Plug-ins: Enhance GIMP’s capabilities with a wide range of plug-ins and extensions.
  • High-Resolution Handling: Work with high-resolution images and perform batch processing efficiently.
  • Multilingual Interface: GIMP offers support in numerous languages, catering to a global user base.
  • Free and Open-Source: As an open-source program, GIMP is free to use, modify, and distribute.

GIMP stands out as a powerful and cost-effective solution for image editing on Linux Mint. The upcoming guide will provide detailed instructions on how to install GIMP on Linux Mint 21 or 20, ensuring you have access to top-tier image editing software without the hefty price tag. Whether you’re a professional designer or a hobbyist, GIMP is an excellent addition to your software toolkit.

Install GIMP on Linux Mint 21 or 20 via APT

Step 1: Update Linux Mint Before GIMP Installation

Before installing new software, it’s crucial to update your system. Start by refreshing the package index:

sudo apt update

After updating the index, upgrade any existing packages to their latest versions:

sudo apt upgrade

Step 2: Selecting a GIMP APT Installation Method

You have two primary methods to install GIMP using APT:

Method 1: Using the Default Linux Mint Repository

The default Linux Mint repository offers a stable and secure method to install GIMP. This approach is recommended for most users due to its simplicity and lower risk of system issues.

Install GIMP from the default repository with this command:

sudo apt install gimp

Method 2: Install GIMP via PPA on Linux Mint

For those who need the latest version of GIMP, a PPA (Personal Package Archive) provides up-to-date software. The PPA by LinuxHandbook is a trusted source for the latest GIMP releases.

First, add the PPA to your system:

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

After adding the PPA, update your APT cache to recognize the new repository:

sudo apt update

Whether you’re updating an existing GIMP installation or installing it for the first time, use this command to install the latest version:

sudo apt install gimp

Following these steps, you can ensure a successful installation of GIMP on Linux Mint, whether you prefer the stability of the default repository or the cutting-edge updates from a PPA.

Next, for those who prefer Flatpak installations, check out the following method.

Install GIMP on Linux Mint 21 or 20 via Flatpak and Flathub

Another option for installing GIMP on Linux Mint is the Flatpak package manager. Flatpak comes pre-installed on Linux Mint unless removed and is a popular choice among many Linux distributions as a third-party package manager for installing the latest packages.

Step 1: Enable Flathub for GIMP Installation

Flathub is a third-party app store that provides Flatpak packages for various applications, including GIMP. To set up Flathub, follow these steps:

Add the Flathub repository with this command:

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

Step 2: Install GIMP via Flatpak Command on Linux Mint

After setting up Flathub, you can now install GIMP using Flatpak by following these steps:

flatpak install flathub org.gimp.GIMP -y

Launching GIMP Application on Linux Mint

Once GIMP is installed on your system, you have several application launch options. This section will cover different methods to start GIMP on your Linux Mint system.

CLI Commands to Launch GIMP

You can launch GIMP directly from an active terminal window. This approach is practical when you’re already working in the terminal and want to access GIMP quickly.

Launch GIMP from the terminal by typing the following command:


If you installed GIMP using Flatpak, use this command instead:

flatpak run org.gimp.GIMP

Although this method is effective, it may not always be the most practical choice, especially for users who prefer graphical interfaces.

GUI Method to Launch GIMP

A common way to launch GIMP is through the applications menu on your desktop. This method allows you to access GIMP with a few simple clicks.

Navigate to the GIMP icon by following this path:

Taskbar > Graphics > GNU Image Manipulation Program

Click on the “GNU Image Manipulation Program” to launch GIMP.

Screenshot of the GIMP application icon on a Linux Mint desktop, indicating the launch function.
Click the GIMP icon from this Linux Mint desktop screenshot to start editing.

First-Time Tips with GIMP on Linux Mint 21 or 20

This section will provide some essential tips and tricks for getting started with GIMP on Linux Mint. These tips will help you become familiar with GIMP’s interface, customization options, and general usage.

Familiarize Yourself with GIMP Interface on Linux Mint

GIMP’s user interface is designed to be user-friendly and adaptable. Before diving into editing, take some time to familiarize yourself with the layout and the following key components:

  • Toolbox: This panel contains all the primary tools you’ll need for editing images, such as brushes, selection tools, and shape creation tools.
  • Layers: Organize your work using layers. Access the Layers panel to add, remove, or rearrange layers as needed.
  • Properties: Adjust tool settings and layer properties in the Properties panel.

Customize GIMP Workspace on Linux Mint

GIMP allows you to customize your workspace to suit your preferences. Here are a few ways to personalize your GIMP environment:

  • Rearrange panels: Click and drag panels to different positions within the interface or even separate them into floating windows.
  • Change themes: Modify GIMP’s appearance by selecting a different theme. Navigate to Edit > Preferences > Interface > Theme and choose your desired theme from the list.
  • Adjust icon size: You can change the size of icons in the Toolbox and panels by going to Edit > Preferences > Interface > Icon Theme.

Master GIMP Keyboard Shortcuts with Linux Mint

Keyboard shortcuts can significantly increase your efficiency while working with GIMP. Here are some essential shortcuts to help you get started:

  • Zoom in and out: Use Ctrl + + to zoom in and Ctrl + - to zoom out.
  • Undo and redo: Press Ctrl + Z to undo your last action and Ctrl + Y to redo it.
  • Move between layers: Use Alt + Page Up to move up a layer and Alt + Page Down to move down a layer.
  • Select tools: Press the corresponding keyboard key for the desired tool, such as B for the brush tool or E for the eraser tool.

Use Plugins and Extensions for GIMP on Linux Mint

Extend GIMP’s functionality with plugins and extensions. There are numerous plugins available, ranging from additional filters to automation tools. To manage your plugins, go to Edit > Preferences > Folders > Plug-Ins and add or remove plugins as desired.

Save Your Work Regularly with GIMP on Linux Mint

To avoid losing your work due to unexpected crashes or errors, save your work frequently using Ctrl + S. GIMP’s native file format is XCF, which retains all the layer and editing information. However, when you’re ready to export your work for sharing or printing, use Ctrl + E and choose an appropriate file format, such as PNG or JPEG.

Screenshot of the GIMP application open and ready for use on Linux Mint.
GIMP open on Linux Mint, showcasing the ready-to-use interface for graphic design.

Additional Commands For GIMP on Linux Mint 21 or 20

Update GIMP on Linux Mint

Updates for GIMP should appear in notifications, but if they fail to show, it is advisable to check for updates manually using the terminal. You can check for updates using the following commands regardless of the update notifications.

Check for GIMP updates if you used the APT package manager.

sudo apt update

If you have installed GIMP using the Flatpak package manager, you can check for updates by running the following command.

flatpak update

Remove (Uninstall) GIMP From Linux Mint

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

Remove APT GIMP installation using the following command.

sudo apt remove gimp

You can additionally remove the PPA if you have used the version of GIMP from it by using the following command:

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

Remove Flatpak GIMP installation using the following command.

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


In summary, installing GIMP on Linux Mint is a straightforward process that offers multiple methods to suit your preferences. Following this guide’s instructions, you can easily install GIMP using APT, PPA, or Flatpak and begin exploring its powerful image editing capabilities. With GIMP installed on your Linux Mint system, you’re now equipped with a versatile and professional image editing tool to help you create stunning visuals and master digital art.

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