12 of the Best Image Editors for Linux

Linux Painting Tools Featured Image

Linux has become a trustworthy platform for professionals like graphic designers and animators. There is a wide range of tools that make it super simple to paint, draw, and edit images in Linux. This guide outlines twelve of the best image editors for Linux.

1. Krita

Krita is an open-source painting program that allows users to create 16 bit, RGB, CMYK, Lab, and OpenEXR images. It supports most image formats, including PNG, JPEG, TIFF, Dicom, PSD, and GIF. However, support for PSD (Photoshop Document) is only available up to version 6.

Linux Painting Tools Krita

Krita is written in C++ and scriptable in Python and Ruby. It also offers a DCOP interface. This makes it extremely customizable. Plus, you can choose from many different plugins to extend the built-in functionality.

2. GIMP

GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP, is one of the most powerful and feature-rich painting programs for Linux. It is also the default image editor for many Linux distros. It provides a full set of painting tools alongside photo retouching, image composition, and authoring functionalities. You can even take screenshots in Linux via GIMP.

Linux Painting Tools Gimp

GIMP’s robust feature set makes it a lucrative option for graphic designers, illustrators, and photographers. You can also use it for viewing medical imaging. Plus, the availability of many useful open-source plugins makes GIMP quite extensible.

3. MyPaint

MyPaint is a free and open-source painting tool for Linux, Windows, and Mac. It also supports tablets from many different vendors. One key feature of MyPaint is its extensive list of customizable brushes. You can easily switch brushes and configure them to emulate your desired media.

Linux Painting Tools Mypaint

Moreover, MyPaint is in active development and maintains several releases for Linux. Rolling releases offer the latest features but can be unstable. We recommend downloading the standard version for a more stable experience.

4. Inkscape

Inkscape is a robust vector graphics tool that is very popular among web designers and illustrators. This tool’s cross-platform nature makes it a suitable choice for people who use different operating systems for their workstations. Inkscape’s notable features include its flexible drawing tools, a solid text tool, and support for all major file formats.

Linux Painting Tools Inkspace

5. Pinta

Pinta is an excellent choice for people looking for minimal yet usable image editing tools for Linux. It’s simple to use but still offers enough flexibility. Pinta is a clone of the Windows program Paint.NET but has much more features.

Linux Painting Tools Pinta

You can use Pinta for drawing bitmap images and manipulating image files. It’s also available on Mac and Windows. Moreover, Pinta is in active development, so new features are being added frequently to increase its functionality.

6. KolourPaint

KolourPaint is a simple but feature-rich painting program. It’s one of the best Linux painting tools for users of the KDE ecosystem. The workflow is similar to the Windows Paint utility, so users coming from Windows can select this as their primary painting program on Linux.

Linux Painting Tools Kolourpaint

KolourPaint provides support for various drawing shapes, curves, rotations, monochrome, etc. The interface is intuitive, and it also loads faster than conventional Linux painting programs.

7. AzPainter

AzPainter is a lightning-fast painting program for Unix-based distributions. It uses its own graphics library mlib, which is extremely lightweight. This allows AzPainter to start up instantly. AzPainter also has support for tablet pressure, customizable brushes, high color accuracy, etc.

Linux Painting Tools Azpainter

However, since AzPainter uses 16-bit colors instead of 8-bit, memory consumption may go through the roof for large images. Keep this in mind when editing such images.

8. Karbon

Karbon is an easy-to-use vector illustrator program that offers an intuitive user interface and highly customizable tools. It’s part of the KDE ecosystem and offers everything you’d look for in a vector designing tool. Karbon is available as free software and can be extended via plugins.

Linux Painting Tools Karbon

9. Drawpile

Drawpile is a simple but useful drawing program for Linux, Mac, and Windows. It supports shared canvases, blending, tablet pressure, and basic animations. Users can also record and export drawing sessions for Drawpile. Overall, this is a good choice for people looking for collaborative drawing programs.

10. Tux Paint

Tux Paint is an exciting Linux painting program aimed at children. It runs on all major OS, including Linux, Windows, and Android. This tool’s fixed-sized canvas allows kids to focus on the fun part rather than worrying about pixels. They can also load and export images without knowing anything about the underlying operating system.

Linux Painting Tools Tuxpaint

11. Raw Therapee

Raw Therapee was created for photographers working with raw images. Among photographers, raw photos are popular because they are uncompressed and as unaltered digitally as possible.

Work with Raw images with Raw Therapee on Linux

This utility provides tools for photographers to edit their raw photographs by tweaking colors, sharpening focus, and cleaning up visual artifacts.

Raw Therapee provides multi-threaded performance and takes advantage of modern CPU features to accelerate high-resolution image processing. It can export JPG, PNG, and TIFF images.

12. Darktable

Darktable is another utility geared toward photographers. One of the big selling points behind Darktable is its ability to edit photos without destroying or damaging the originals. Darktable also features GPU acceleration.

Process and organize high res photos with Darktable on Linux

Darktable was built to handle raw images as well as other popular formats like JPG. It can export in a variety of encodings including JPG, PNG, and TIFF.

Darktable has powerful editing options. It supports image correction and color adjustments. It’s capable of resolving many imperfections and abnormalities common in digital photography. Darktable includes a range of post-processing options for filtering and modifying your photos, too.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, the above list of Linux image editors shows that there are plenty of free software that you can use in Linux. If you are keen to switch from Windows to Linux, check out these Linux distros for Windows users.

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Rubaiat Hossain Rubaiat Hossain

Rubaiat is a CS graduate who possesses hands-on experience with Unix Administration, Web Programming, DevOps, and Virtualization. He has a strong passion for enlightening people in open-source technologies.

2 comments

  1. While a lot of these programs are great they are also over kill for an average user, which I find hard to sues. I do most of my editing with Mirage, a really tiny easy to use program. Basic resize and cropping.

  2. An easy to use image editor with few dependencies is Dibuja:
    “Simple to use paint program like Paintbrush for Mac or classic MS Paint, but for Linux”
    https://launchpad.net/dibuja/+download

    Screenshots:
    https://www.opendesktop.org/p/1129305/

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