How to Install GIMP on Linux Mint 21/20

GIMP, short for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free and open-source image editing software that can be used on Linux Mint and other operating systems. It is a powerful tool that can be used for various tasks, such as photo editing, graphic design, and creating digital art. It offers many features that make it a suitable alternative to expensive professional software, such as Adobe Photoshop. Incorporating GIMP into your daily Linux Mint desktop can bring many benefits, including enhancing and manipulating images, creating custom graphics, and saving money on expensive software.

List of GIMP features:

  • Advanced image editings tools such as brushes, filters, and color correction
  • Layers, channels, and masks for advanced image manipulation
  • Support for various file formats, including JPEG, PNG, and TIFF
  • Scripting capabilities using Python, Perl, and more
  • Support for different input devices such as tablets and graphics tablets
  • Ability to create animations
  • Plug-ins and extensions for added functionality
  • Support for high-resolution images and batch processing
  • Multi-language support
  • Free and open-source software

In summary, GIMP is a powerful image editing software that can benefit your daily Linux Mint desktop. It’s a great alternative to expensive professional software, packed with features that allow you to manipulate, enhance and create digital art. The following guide will go over how to install GIMP on Linux Mint 21 or 20 using a few different methods with the command line terminal.

Section 1: Install GIMP with APT

Step 1: Update Linux Mint

Before starting the installation process, updating your Linux Mint system to avoid potential conflicts and ensure compatibility with the latest packages is essential.

Update the package list by running the following command:

sudo apt update

Upgrade any outdated packages on your system with this command:

sudo apt upgrade

Method 1: Install GIMP with Default Repository

The primary method for installing GIMP is through the apt package manager and the Ubuntu repository. This method is straightforward and considered safe as it does not require adding additional repositories or risking system functionality.

Install GIMP by executing the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt install gimp -y

Method 2: Install GIMP with PPA Method

The second method involves using a Launchpad PPA. PPAs (Personal Package Archives) offer a way to distribute software not included in the official repositories. To use a PPA for GIMP, you’ll need to add the PPA to your system and then install GIMP from there.

Import the PPA by executing these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:savoury1/ffmpeg4 -y
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:savoury1/gimp -y

Update the APT package list to reflect the newly added PPAs:

sudo apt update

Upgrade your system, as this process will update multiple dependencies:

sudo apt upgrade

Install GIMP using the APT package manager with the PPA version:

sudo apt install gimp -y

Section 2: Install GIMP with 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: Set up Flathub

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

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

flatpak install flathub org.gimp.GIMP -y

Section 3: Launch GIMP Application

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.

Step 1: Launch GIMP from Terminal

You can launch GIMP directly from an active terminal window. This approach is useful 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.

Step 2: Launch GIMP from the Applications Menu

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.

Example of GIMP application icon on Linux Mint desktop:

Section 4: Getting Started with GIMP on Linux Mint

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.

Tip 1: Familiarize Yourself with the Interface

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.

Tip 2: Customize Your Workspace

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.

Tip 3: Master Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can greatly 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.

Tip 4: Use Plugins and Extensions

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.

Tip 5: Save Your Work Regularly

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.

By following these tips and becoming familiar with GIMP’s interface, customization options, and essential functions, you’ll be well on your way to mastering GIMP on your Linux Mint system.

Example of GIMP opened on Linux Mint desktop:

gimp successfully installed on linux mint 21 or 20Pin

Additional Commands & Tips

How to Update GIMP

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

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.

Remove APT GIMP installation using the following command.

sudo apt remove gimp

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.

Additional Resources and Links

To further enhance your GIMP experience and expand your knowledge, consider exploring the following official resources:

  • GIMP Documentation: Access the official GIMP user manual for in-depth information on tools, features, and workflows. Visit the GIMP Documentation page.
  • GIMP Wiki: The GIMP Wiki provides a wealth of information on various topics, including FAQs, tutorials, and development updates. Check out the GIMP Wiki for more insights.
  • GIMP Tutorials: The official GIMP website offers extensive tutorials, ranging from beginner to advanced levels. Explore the GIMP Tutorials to enhance your skills.

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