Pinta – Image Editing Alternative to The GIMP

The GIMP has been a poster child for the open source movement ever since it came out. It has been compared to Photoshop and has often been spoken of as the only worthy open source contender in the graphics editor category.

While that statement may or may not be true, it is definitely a rival to photoshop when it comes to complexity. And I’m not the only one who thinks that the GIMP is complex. Apparently the Ubuntu development team also thinks the same way and have removed GIMP from their default distribution. It is still available in the online repository but the Ubuntu 10.04 CD will not ship with GIMP on it. The point is that with all that power comes complexity and GIMP is definitely not a tool for casual users.

So, what are your options if you’re casual user who just wants to edit a few images here and there and isn’t really interested in all the power that GIMP offers but would rather have a light weight but functional editor.

Enter Pinta !

If you’ve used Paint.NET for Windows that we’ve talked about earlier, you’d be right at home in Pinta too.

Pinta is a GTK based image editor modeled after Paint.NET but because it has been created using the GTK# library, it is available for all the three major platforms, Windows, OS X and Linux.

If you’re using Linux, you most likely already have GTK installed, if not, install it before you download Pinta. For platforms that require you to install GTK, the download page provides a link for you to download the GTK# library easily.

Installation is quick and simple and the first time you launch Pinta and if you’re used to waiting for GIMP or Photoshop to load, you’ll be pleasantly surprised because Pinta opens up in a snap.


I don’t know about you but I took an instant liking to the neat and clean interface of Pinta that sports all the regular tools and features that we’ve come to expect of image editors in general.

Pinta provides for unlimited levels on undo/redo, has support for multiple layers and comes with all the regular drawing tools such as a paintbrush, pencil, eraser and a selection tool.

Pinta - Drawing Tools

If you, like me, are a fan of the filters that come bundled with the Gimp, you might be a little disappointed, though. Pinta does come bundled with some filters but the number pales in comparison to what you get with The GIMP.

Pinta - Image Effects

The current version of Pinta as of this writing is version 0.2 but I definitely felt that it was much more stable than what the version number would imply. The only thing I’d want the developers to work on is the speed of various operations and adding some more Effects to the base install.

Pinta, in my opinion, can definitely fill the gap that exists between Photo organizing software such as F-Spot and Picasa and full blown graphics editors such as The Gimp. Give it a try and let us know what you think.


Sharninder is a programmer, blogger and a geek making a living writing software to change the world. His tech blog, Geeky Ninja, is where he shares his wisdom, for free !

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