How to Install GIMP on Linux Mint 21 or 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 a variety of 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:

  1. Advanced image editings tools such as brushes, filters, and color correction
  2. Layers, channels, and masks for advanced image manipulation
  3. Support for various file formats, including JPEG, PNG, and TIFF
  4. Scripting capabilities using Python, Perl, and more
  5. Support for different input devices such as tablets and graphics tablets
  6. Ability to create animations
  7. Plug-ins and extensions for added functionality
  8. Support for high-resolution images and batch processing
  9. Multi-language support
  10. 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.

Step 1: Update Linux Mint

Before starting the installation process, ensure your system is updated to prevent potential conflicts.

sudo apt update

You can use the following command to list the updates for users who want to review the updates or are simply curious about what updates are available.

apt list --upgradable

To upgrade any out-of-date packages on your system, use the following command.

sudo apt upgrade

Method 1: Install GIMP – APT Default Method

The primary method for installing GIMP is through the apt package manager and the Ubuntu repository. This method is the most straightforward as it does not require adding additional repositories. Additionally, it is considered the safest method for your system as it does not risk breaking the functionality of your system compared to using third-party repositories such as Launchpad PPAs.

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To install GIMP, run the following command in the terminal.

sudo apt install gimp -y

Method 2: Install GIMP – APT with PPA Method

The second method is to use a Launchpad PPA. PPAs (Personal Package Archives) is a way to distribute software that isn’t 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. You can add the PPA by running the following commands.

First, install the following packages that are required.

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

If you haven’t previously imported a GPG key from the Ubuntu keyserver, you may encounter issues importing GPG keys from Launchpad PPAs through the command line terminal. This is usually because the necessary directories have not been created. However, this is an easy fix. Use the following command to generate the required directories.

sudo gpg --list-keys

Example output:

gpg: directory '/root/.gnupg' created
gpg: keybox '/root/.gnupg/pubring.kbx' created
gpg: /root/.gnupg/trustdb.gpg: trustdb created

This step is optional, but if you encounter any issues, run the above command and then retry the operation that gave you the problems.

Now import the GPG key required for all the repositories with the following command.

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

Example output:

gpg: keybox '/usr/share/keyrings/rob-savoury.gpg' created
gpg: key 374C7797FB006459: public key "Launchpad PPA for Rob Savoury" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:               imported: 1

Before proceeding with the installation, it is important to note that importing the GIMP PPA by Rob Savoury may involve modifying and upgrading several system packages. These changes cannot be easily undone, so creating a backup of your system is crucial before proceeding with the installation. With this in mind, you can now proceed to import the GIMP PPA by Rob Savoury.

Ensure you import the correct repository that matches your Linux Mint distribution.

Import GIMP LaunchPAD PPA for Linux Mint 21:

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

Import GIMP LaunchPAD PPA for Linux Mint 20:

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

Next, you may need to import the latest versions of FFmpeg as Rob builds his PPA with more updated versions, which are not present or updated on Mint for the most part. As I warn at the start, these are the packages that heavily modify your system, in most part for the better, as they are newer but may bring instabilities mainly around other third-party software potentially. Still, you should have done a backup by now to be safe.

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In your terminal, use the following command to import these PPAs.

Linux Mint 21 FFMpeg 4 PPA:

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

Linux Mint 20 FFMpeg 4 PPA:

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

After importing the preferred repository, run an APT update to reflect the newly added PPAs.

sudo apt update

Before continuing with the installation, running a quick system upgrade is recommended, as multiple dependencies need to be updated.

sudo apt upgrade

You can now install GIMP using the APT package manager, utilizing the PPA version.

sudo apt install gimp -y

Method 3: Install GIMP – Flatpak Method

Another alternative to installing GIMP on Linux Mint is the Flatpak package manager. This package manager comes pre-installed on Linux Mint unless it was removed. It is similar to Snap but is a popular choice among many Linux distributions as a third-party package manager for installing the latest packages.

If you have previously removed the Flatpak package manager, it is necessary to reinstall it before proceeding with GIMP installation.

sudo apt install flatpak -y

If you are reinstalling the Flatpak package manager, it is advisable to reboot your system. Failing to do so may result in issues such as missing icon paths.



The next step is to enable the Flatpak package manager by using the following command in the terminal.

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

To proceed with the installation of GIMP, use the following command in the terminal with the flatpak package manager.

flatpak install flathub org.gimp.GIMP -y

Troubleshoot GIMP Flatpak Installation

When installing a Flatpak from Flathub, one of the most commonly encountered errors is the following error message.

"error: Unable to load summary from remote flathub: Can't fetch summary from disabled remote 'flathub,"

The solution is simple; you can fix this by running the following command to enable Flathub.

flatpak remote-modify --enable flathub

This will resolve the above issue. Another issue that may arise is access to system files. The following command is recommended if you can access files with your installation; you can use the override command below.

sudo flatpak override flathub org.gimp.GIMP --filesystem=host

It is important to note that this command should not be used by default unless necessary.

How to Launch GIMP Application

With GIMP now installed, there are a few ways to launch the application. One option is to launch it directly from an active terminal window by typing the following command.


Finally, those who have installed GIMP using Flatpak can launch the application from the terminal using the following command.

flatpak run org.gimp.GIMP

While this method works, it may not be practical. A common way is to launch the application by clicking on the GIMP icon in the following path on the desktop.

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Taskbar > Graphics > GNU Image Manipulation Program


When opening GIMP, you will be presented with the default landing screen. This screen gives you several options to start working on your project, such as creating a new image, opening an existing file, or accessing the recently used files. You can also access the tutorials and documentation from this screen. You can also access the various tools and options available in GIMP from the menu or the toolbar. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the interface and the available tools before starting your project.


gimp successfully installed on linux mint 21 or 20Pin

Congratulations, you have successfully installed GIMP.

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 autoremove gimp --purge -y

Remove Flatpak GIMP installation using the following command.

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

It is a good idea to run the following command to clean up any leftovers that may be required, similar to the autoremove command described for the apt remove example command.

flatpak remove --unused


Installing GIMP on Linux Mint is a simple process that can be done using multiple methods. GIMP is a powerful image editing software that offers a wide range of features and tools for editing and enhancing images. It is open source, which means it is free to use and can be modified to suit the user’s needs. Additionally, GIMP is compatible with a wide range of file formats and is widely used by professionals and amateurs alike, providing an efficient and cost-effective solution for image editing on Linux Mint.

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

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