Gimp 2.8

Who needs Photoshop if you can have Gimp for free. Let’s face it. Not all of us are graphic designers. Photoshop is this all and powerful graphic editing software. But, it’s also comes at a cost. It’s very expensive.

A typical user might need a quick and dirty graphic editor to fix a photo or maybe touch up a graphic. Maybe add some text, watermark, some drop shadows or change orientation of a photo. Gimp might be for you.

Why purchase Photoshop CS6 for $650 if you can get Gimp for nothing. Gratis. Well, at least give it a try. I’ve been using it for years. It’s great. I don’t need Photoshop.

In addition, Gimp 2.8 is available in all flavors of Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. Anyways, give it a try. Download.

Install Latest Gimp On Ubuntu

Chances are, you already have Gimp installed on your Ubuntu Desktop. That’s great. Gimp is an awesome program. The real question is, do you have the current Gimp release? Currently it’s Gimp 2.8. I just did a quick check. I happen to have Gimp version 2.6. I’m two versions behind on Gimp. To get the latest Gimp release, just follow the following instructions.

Update To The Latest Gimp

We will use the PPA route to get the latest Gimp version 2.8. This will only work with Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot and the latest Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin. Older Ubuntu versions are not supported in this repository. Enter the following commands in the Terminal to add the Gimp PPA repository to our sources list. We can then update and install the latest Gimp version.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gimp

In the future, all you have to do is run update to get the latest Gimp release. There will be no need to re-install Gimp if you already have it.

sudo apt-get update

A Background Image That Scales

I recently fixed an issue with my theme design. The dark wood background image that you see on this blog, was not big enough to fit most large monitors, where resolutions are higher than 1080px. Hat tip goes to Daniel Ritchie for pointing it out to me. So, I searched the web and found several possible solutions.

I found Chris Coyier’s at CSS-Tricks solution the most attractive, because it was by far the easiest one to implement. It not only adheres to CSS 3 standards, but it also works across most modern browsers. The result is a background image that fills up the entire page, scales to any size screen when needed, retains its aspect ratio, and centers the image properly.

What more can you ask for? Well, maybe something that loads a tiny bit faster than usual. So, I took the liberty to reduce the file size of my background image from 744kb to 128kb using my beloved Gimp. I use a little bit of image compression, without suffering too much in image quality. So, not only is the background image displaying properly on any size monitor, it also loads much, much faster. That’s a win-win situation.

If you like to know how I implemented a background image that scales to any screen resolution, just head on over to CSS-Tricks and check out Chris Coyier’s CSS3 solution. I hope you’ll find this article very helpful. I tested the new background with a HP w2207h monitor that rotates to landscape mode. Works great. If you find this to be otherwise, any input is appreciated.

Gimp 2.71 Comes With A New GUI

It looks like the latest Gimp will get a new GUI. The new single window mode will be a welcome addition. In the past, opening a graphic file in Gimp involves two or three separate windows. Now, the Tools and Layer menus are all going to be one window. Here is an excerpt from an article from the H.

With the release of developer version 2.7.1, GIMP users and early adopters have been given the opportunity to preview the new features of the free image editing software’s forthcoming stable 2.8 release. The most important improvement is the graphical user interface (GUI), which has undergone a thorough overhaul. For instance, it now includes a single-window mode which doesn’t display elements such as the tools or layers menus in separate windows next to the image window, instead lining these elements up alongside the image in the same window.

Ten Blockbusters Made With the Help of Linux

What would movies be without the aid of Linux? Debatable. Here are at least ten blockbuster movies that were produced with the help of Linux systems. The list starts out with the latest, Avatar, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Shrek the Third, X-Men the Last Stand, King Kong, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars Episode 2, Gladiator, Matrix and Titanic.

I woke up this morning to see an article entitled, “Open Office is a piece of crap, Or is it?” Just the fact that it’s not Microsoft Office doesn’t mean it’s junk. Many governments, schools, universities, non-profit organizations use Open Office Suite of as an alternative. There were other worthy word processors before Word became the defacto.

If you are a Gimp fan, check out these brushes you can add to Gimp.

For OpenSolaris fans. A distro worth trying?

Finally, all you need to know about ICMP in “ICMP Explained.”

Hidden Watermark

I just read an article about 5 Useful Free Plugins for Gimp. One plugin is called Hidden Watermark with a couple of sample images. If you look at the original image and the watermarked one, you can’t really tell difference, until you open up and verify the image. I thought the purpose of a watermark is two-fold: to copyright your images, and to display credit.

The Hidden Watermark plugin covers the first, but not the second. Without a visible watermark, anyone can unknowingly infringe on your artwork. I rather have a visible watermark. I know I’ve stopped using images because I’ve seen watermarks on them. I’m sure others do the same. All the more reason to leave a visible watermark.

Just a personal preference.

It’s Official No More Gimp in Ubuntu

The latest decision by the Ubuntu development team to exclude Gimp in future releases of Ubuntu was a bit of a head scratcher. I wondered why Gimp had to be taken out of future releases of Ubuntu.

Gimp is a powerful program for editing graphics that we all love. It offers everyone an alternative tool to Adobe’s Photoshop. It’s rich in features and capabilities. Although it not quite up to par with Photoshop, it certainly can hold its own.

Ubuntu developers explained the reasoning behind the removal. They said Gimp was too complicated, too intimidating to casual users. Too complicated? And Linux is not? Gimp developers seem to agree about leaving it out.

So, with no Gimp in Ubuntu’s future, users are encouraged to use F-Spot, a mono application I might add. And that may not even stick. Developers are already talking about replacing F-Spot with Shotwell or Gthumb.

The good news is it’s easy to install Gimp. It will probably be the first application I will install after installing Ubuntu. That’s if I’m still using Ubuntu.

7 Cool Linux Projects

If you are running out of things to do in Linux, (is that possible?) take a look at several Linux projects from TuxRadar. You can host a photo album through Soph, build a media server, make music with Rosegarden, write interactive fiction with Gnome Inform, access remote desktops with VNC, record a podcast with Audacity, animate graphics with Gimp. 7 Cool Linux Projects.

Gimp 2.7.0

For those of us who are Gimp fans, the latest version 2.7.0 contains features essential for photographers. The latest Gimp release contains a feature to correct barrel distortion, a feature called “perspective transform, sample colorize” to make your black and white photos stand out, and a few cloning tools for digital retouching.

List of Features:

  • Change the Text Tool to perform text editing on-canvas (GSoC 2008)
  • Add support for tagging GIMP resources such as brushes and allow filtering based on these tags (GSoC 2008)
  • Separate the activies of saving an image and exporting it, there is now an ‘File->Export…’ for example
  • Port file plug-ins to new export API which gets rid of many annoying export dialogs
  • Add a simple parser to size entry widgets, images can be scaled to e.g. “50%” or “2 * 37px + 10in”
  • Arrange layer modes into more logical and useful groups
  • Added support for rotation of brushes
  • Make the Pointer dockable show information about selection position and size
  • Get rid of the Tools dockable and move toolbox configuration to


  • Add status bar feedback for keyboard changes to brush paramaters
  • Add diagonal guides to the Crop Tool
  • New docks are created at the pointer position
  • Add support for printing crop marks for images
  • Move ‘Text along path’ from tool options to text context menu
  • Change default shortcuts for “Shrink Wrap” and “Fit in Window” to Ctrl+R and Ctrl+Shift+R respectively since the previous shortcuts are now used for the save+export feature
  • Make Alt+Click on layers in Layers dockable create a selection from the layer
  • Allow to specify written language in the Text Tool

Gimp Effects

117 new Gimp effects are available for download at Gimp FX Foundry, a SourceForge project. Effects such as blurring, distorting, Roy Lichtenstein effect, planet render effect, old photo script are  available for download. Here’s the complete list. These effects are not part of the standard Gimp installation. Gimp, the image manipulation program is available for free. It’s available in Linux, Windows and the Mac OS X.