How to Upgrade to Gimp 2.8 in Ubuntu

Gimp users, rejoice! After 3.5 years of development, Gimp 2.8 has finally arrived. This version of Gimp brings a plethora of changes and improvement, making Gimp a even better image editing software than its previous version.

What’s new in Gimp 2.8

Single Window mode

All previous versions of Gimp come with separate windows for the toolbar, main window and various dock dialogs. Some love it as it allows them to micro-manage, but some hate it and yearn for a Photoshop-like interface. In Gimp 2.8, the default interface is still the separate window mode, but you can get it to show the Single Window mode by selecting the “Windows -> Single-Window Mode” option.


Multi-column dock windows

GIMP 2.8 allows dockable dialogs in a dock window to be placed in multiple columns. To create a new column in a dock window, drag and drop a dockable dialog on the vertical edges of the dock window. This is an appealing feature for multi-monitor users where one screen can have a big dock window with all the dialogs and the tools, while all images are on other displays

Layer Groups

Gimp users with a Photoshop background will love this. In Gimp 2.8, you can organize your layers into group. Layer groups are also fully scriptable, making it easier and faster for you to get things done.

On-Canvas Text Editing

This is one feature that I love most. In previous version of Gimp, the text-editing feature always open in a new window, making it very troublesome to handle. The on-canvas text editing in Gimp 2.8 allows you to make changes on the canvas itself.


Simple Math In Size Entries

While resizing an image, you can now use simple Maths as the input size. For example, rather than calculating half of 768px, you can now input “0.5*768” into the width/height field. You can also input “30%” in the field without having to change the unit from “px” to “percent”.

For more changes, refer to the complete Gimp changelog.

Install Gimp 2.8 in Ubuntu 12.04

Ubuntu 12.04 is still running Gimp 2.6. For those of you who can’t wait for Ubuntu to include Gimp 2.8 in the repository, you can upgrade to Gimp 2.8 via the following method:

1. Uninstall Gimp from your system:

2. Add the following PPA:

3. Install Gimp:

Configuring plug-ins and scripts for Gimp 2.8

Updated: The “gimp-plugin-registry” package has been updated to work with Gimp 2.8. The instruction below is no longer necessary.

The “gimp-plugin-registry” package in the repository is not compatible with Gimp 2.8, so if you are using plenty of plug-ins, you won’t be able to install them via the “gimp-plugin-registry” package. The only way is to manually install the plugins (until the plugin registry package is updated). Most of the scripts should continue to work though. I place the “arrow.scm” script in the “.gimp-2.8/scripts” folder and it works perfectly.

Here is how I install the “Save for Web” plugin:

1. Download the “gimp-save-for-web-0.29.3.tar.bz2” file to your home folder.

2. Extract it to the “.gimp-2.8/plug-ins” folder.

3. Open a terminal and type:

If everything goes smoothly, you should be able to use the “Save for Web” feature in Gimp 2.8 now.

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. Be careful of this install package. It has crappy toolbars in it and will install them even if you uncheck the acceptance of these toolbars. This happened to me last night. I unchecked the toolbars but when I proceeded with the install the first thing to start downloading was a Facemoods toolbar and then a Price Gong addon and then it finally started downloadind Gimp. I don’t mind software having this crapware but when it proceeds to install after being advised that you don’t want it, that makes me mad. The last people I would expect to try this are the people over at Gimp.

    1. Are you referring to the Gimp for Windows? Not sure which downloader software you use to download Gimp, but such issue is not happening in Linux (Ubuntu).

        1.  As far as I know, the official Gimp installer does not ‘download’ anything, nor does it install anything other than Gimp (and GTK, which is the library which draws the buttons and so forth).

          Where did you download it from?

          1. The installer was downloaded from and was for the Windows version of Gimp 2.6.10

          2. Well I guess you guys are right. I must have been scammed. I’ve deleted the install package and uninstalled Gimp. I’ve scanned for infection with MSE and my malware scanners and come up clean. I’ll try again and make double sure I’m downloading the right package.
            Thanks for the help.

  2. ‘Save as’ only gives you the option of saving to Gimp XCF format.  How come no png gif jpg etc??

    Iestyn Guest 

  3. may be edit your step:
    cd /home/your-username/.gimp.2-8/plug-ins/gimp-save-for-web-0.29.3changewith this:cd /home/your-username/.gimp-2.8/plug-ins/gimp-save-for-web-0.29.3
    Thanks for your article!

  4. There might be a gajillion more Windows users than *nix users, but I still think we get screwed when the devs have to waste so much energy on a Windows version of Gimp.  Now, as indicated by Strydr Denis, we find out that the Windows version is stuffed with adware and other bullshit..

    Ditch the Windows version now.. so tired of seeing the disproportionate amount of bugs coming from the Windows version, holding back the whole project.

    Vote on this with your money, people.. if they see that all of their donations are coming from *nix users, the writing on the wall will be easier to read.  In your donation message, mention that you want them to stop developing the Windows version.

    1. Intersting, but then you would be became like Bill Gates.. Freedom is important, if you make people switch to linux because of software then you are like MS like they do with photoshop ADOBE/MS partnership etc… I would maybe only add some slogan to the gimp on windows(in about section), for example. Gimp works best on Linux try it, its excellent and free of charge experience. Or something like that. We shouldn’t separate people by OS they use, differences are good. Btw im great linux fan, and i tried almost every bigger distro in fact my main machine runs Ubuntu, but this text is my personal opinion. 

  5. Thanks for this excellent post. But is there any reason why its 2.6 thats installed by default. I’m guessing the registry removed before the PPA was added is responsible but I’m not sure.

  6. I followed your directions and it keeps putting gimp 2.6 back on my computer. I tried gimp 2.8 before I made the plunge from windows to ubuntu and i now that I have ubuntu 12.04 i’m stuck with gimp 2.6

    1.  Did you add the PPA and update the repository. I have tried it on several PC running Ubuntu 12.04 and they all worked.

      1. I thought i did everything right the first few times but after about the 5th try it worked. Thanks

  7. Works great on my Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, thank you! i would only like to add 1 tip, it is recommended to reboot machine after this, because there will be some bug with unity bar and gimp, if you don’t do it. After that everything will work like a charm. Thanks for this tutorial!

  8. It seems quite late for the comments. anyway, I use gimp since 2008. I don have much experience with PS. but it seems faster that gimp. With GIMP2.8, PS is much faster. Why is it so? GEGL port doesn’t seems to increase speed. When I check Use GEGL in both VIEW and COLOR. it is a lot slower. fellas I’m not complaining. I want to let you that I have this problem? can anybody help???

  9. I tried to install GIMP 2.8 under Ubuntu 12.04 3 times but could not.

    Already under Ubuntu Software Centre > edit > software sources > other software,
    ‘ Independent
    provided by third party software developers’
    ‘ Independent (source code)
    provided by third party software developers’
    are ticked

    GIMP 2.6 was removed in a jiffy

    The problem started with:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
    sudo apt-get update

    The repository would’nt add.
    I tried
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
    no progress
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
    sudo apt-get update

    still no progress

    The error message is given below:
    “yashpal@yashpal-Inspiron-M5010:~$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
    [sudo] password for yashpal:
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/usr/bin/add-apt-repository”, line 125, in
    ppa_info = get_ppa_info_from_lp(user, ppa_name)
    File “/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/softwareproperties/”, line 80, in get_ppa_info_from_lp
    pycurl.error: (6, “Couldn’t resolve host ‘'”)
    yashpal@yashpal-Inspiron-M5010:~$ ^C
    yashpal@yashpal-Inspiron-M5010:~$ “

    I do not understand the error message, no part of it.

    Why does the repository not add?
    I installed back GIMP 2.6 from Ubuntu software centre.

    Going beyond my immediate predicament, I think it is high time that Ubuntu stop this 6 month cycle, a new version may be released after say 2 years by when there would be some changes in the OS, meanwhile the latest versions of the applications (libre office, gimp, firefox and hundreds of others) may be made available under Ubuntu software centre. I think it will be a better arrangement.

    Just because some distributions want to release a new version every 6 months, it does not mean that developers at Ubuntu should also follow it blindly. The requirements of normal desktop users are, to my mind, of paramount importance.

    1. It could be the problem with your system rather than the repository. Have
      you tried adding other repo to see if whether it is working?

      You can also try “sudo apt-get autoclean” and sudo apt-get clean” to clean
      up your cache.

      1. I tried “sudo apt-get autoclean” and “sudo apt-get clean”; with “sudo apt-get autoclean” itself, I think, all unwanted programmes/ dependencies were removed as after “sudo apt-get clean” nothing happened.

        However, even after this, Gimp 2.8 refused to install.

        Anyway, I will keep trying and try to find out why it refuses to install.

        1. Yeah, I get the following error message after

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

          W: Failed to fetch

          Has the repository name changed?

  10. I uninstalled old version of gimp.. but when i try to install the new version.. this error appears..

    Cannot access PPA ( to get PPA information, please check your internet connection.

  11. I tried, using 64-bit 12.04. It ran the whole bit, then told me that I had the latest version. When I cranked it up, it was still 2.6.

  12. I tried upgrading GIMP

    Here is my error message when i am adding it in the repository

    deepak@deepak:~$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/usr/bin/add-apt-repository”, line 125, in
    ppa_info = get_ppa_info_from_lp(user, ppa_name)
    File “/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/softwareproperties/”, line 80, in get_ppa_info_from_lp
    pycurl.error: (56, ‘Received HTTP code 407 from proxy after CONNECT’)


Comments are closed.