How to Install GIMP on Ubuntu 20.04

GIMP is 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 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa using three alternative methods that you can choose from.


  • Recommended OS: Ubuntu 20.04
  • User account: A user account with sudo or root access.

Update Operating System

Update your Ubuntu 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@ubuntu ~]$ sudo whoami

To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on How to Add a User to Sudoers on Ubuntu.

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


Method 1. Install GIMP with APT Manager

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 on Ubuntu 20.04

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

Once installed, confirm the installation by checking the apt-cache policy on GIMP.

apt-cache policy gimp

Example output:

How to Install GIMP on Ubuntu 20.04

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

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

To remove GIMP when installed using APT package manager, use the following command.

sudo apt autoremove gimp --purge


How to Install GIMP on Ubuntu 20.04

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

Note that this will remove GIMP entirely from your system and all dependencies GIMP installed during the initial installation.

Method 2. Install GIMP with Snapcraft (Snap)

The second option is to install GIMP with Snap. By default, the Snapcraft package manager should be installed on your Ubuntu desktop unless you have removed it previously.

For users that removed snapd, re-run the following command:

Snap installed? Skip the following few lines and proceed straight to the installation of GIMP with Snap

sudo apt install snapd -y

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

Once installed, you will need to restart the GDM3 service to log you out of your current session.

sudo systemctl restart gdm3

Install the core files to avoid conflicting issues:

sudo snap install core

Example output:

core 16-2.51.7 from Canonical✓ installed

Next, enter the following snap command to install the GIMP client:

sudo snap install gimp

Example output:

gimp 2.10.24 from Snapcrafters installed

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 to have GIMP installed, remove it using the Snap remove command.

sudo snap remove gimp

Example output:

gimp removed

Method 3. Install GIMP with Flatpak

The third option is to use the Flatpak package manager. By default, Flatpak is not installed with Ubuntu operating systems. This is another popular option similar to Snap that may be more familiar with users from other non-Debian/Ubuntu-based operating systems.

First, if Flatpak has been removed, re-install it and its dependencies.

sudo apt install flatpak -y

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

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

Now install GIMP using the following flatpak command:

sudo flatpak install flathub org.gimp.GIMP

Example output:

How to Install GIMP on Ubuntu 20.04

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


To view the application Icon, you can log in and out of your session or use the following terminal command.

sudo systemctl restart gdm3

Ignore the above if the GIMP icon is present. However, sometimes this bug can occur when installing new packages.

Updates are handled by Flatpack automatically every time you log into your system. For users that want to check manually for updates, use the following command.

flatpak update

However, if you need to remove the Flatpack version of GIMP, run the following command:

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

Example output:

How to Install GIMP on Ubuntu 20.04

Type “Y,” then press the “ENTER KEY” to remove using Flatpack.

How to Launch GIMP Application

Now that you have the GIMP client installed, launching can be done in two 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: Activities > Show Applications > GNU Image Manipulation Program. If you cannot find it, use the search function in the Show Applications menu if you have many applications installed.


How to Install GIMP on Ubuntu 20.04

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


How to Install GIMP on Ubuntu 20.04

Congratulations, you have successfully installed GIMP.

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to add the official GIMP application on your Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa desktop in two 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.


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