Image Editors For Linux


This is by no means a complete or exhaustive review of the available graphics packages for X-Windows. I haven't included any animation packages. These do exist, but I haven't had a chance to check them out. However, there are a number of animation, even 3D animation freeware packages that go beyond anything thats available in Windows shareware or freeware (read the Windows version is too expensive unless you have way more money than I do...) For more info, you can always check out the link to linux software above...

The Gimp

Website: Gimp Home
Availability: FREE (hard to believe though it is...)
GIMP is an acronym- it stands for GNU image manipulation program. This began as a project of some Berkeley postgrad students, and it has just taken off from there. GIMP is much like Adobe photoshop in terms of the features it incorporates: Layered images (NOT supported by any freeware OR shareware windows program, even paintshop pro won't do this!) , more filters than you'll know what to do with, a logo generator called "ScriptFU" which is good enough to stand as a program in its own right. There are also numerous drawing tools (including a "Windoze Sucks" stamp) The major strength with this program is that it runs on "plug-ins", the idea is that any ambitious hacker out there can easily write an effect for it (ie plug-in), and there are a lot of Linux hackers out there who are keen to see the world using their handiwork, the result being that The GIMP is a project supported by a large number of plug-in writers. This package is simply amazing. But be warned, it's a pain to install. I'd recommend that you just download the binaries.


Availability: Free, included in most distributions.
XV Comes free with most Linux distributions. It is a fairly nice image manipulator, with all of the basic features, like RGB balance, HSV adjustment, a few effects, and cropping. the control panel is kind of chunky, ie takes up most of the desktop, so it takes getting used to. However, there is an advantage in being able to see most of the controls, while a "preview" slice of the image sits in the corner. Also, keyboard based zoom commands make it easy to rapidly adjust the size of the image display. This is a good program, comparable to the Windows shareware image editors. The only thing it really lacks is a good selection of drawing facilities and advanced image filters. But then, it's better than any of the windows free-ware!

Image Magick

Availability: Free, included in most distributions.
this is a lot like XV except not quite as powerful but a little easier to use. the pull-down menus are very convenient and un-intrusive. This combined with XV form quite a nice little image manipulation package.