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How to make basic image edits on Linux

Do you have some image files, graphics, or personal photos you’d like to edit on your Linux PC? Unsure about what app to use to make these edits? We can help! Follow along in this guide as we go over how to make basic image edits on Linux.

Installing Gimp

There are many useful image editors on the Linux platform. However, none are quite as versatile and helpful as Gimp. It offers up excellent basic editing features such as cropping, re-sizing, color correction, and more.

Along with Gimp’s fantastic basic editing features, there is another reason to use Gimp for your basic image editing needs: it’s one of the only image editors that can be installed on virtually any Linux distribution, big or small. It even has a Windows version!

To install the Gimp image editor, start by launching a terminal window on the Linux desktop. You can get a terminal window open by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, once the terminal window is open, follow the command-line instructions outlined below that correspond with the operating system you use.

Ubuntu

On Ubuntu Linux, you can install the Gimp image editor with the Apt command below.

sudo apt install gimp

Debian

To get Gimp working on Debian Linux, use the Apt-get command below.

sudo apt-get install gimp

Arch Linux

Arch Linux users can easily install the Gimp image editor with the Pacman command in a terminal window.

sudo pacman -S gimp

Fedora

Fedora Linux has the Gimp image editor available for installation, and users can install it with the Dnf package manager command below.

sudo dnf install gimp

OpenSUSE

If you are using OpenSUSE Linux, you’ll be able to install the Gimp image editor with the following Zypper installation command.

sudo zypper install gimp

Flatpak

The Gimp image editor is in the Flathub Flatpak store. Gimp being available as Flatpak is excellent news, as it means that no matter what Linux distribution you use, big or small, there’s an easy way to get the app up and running.

To start the installation process for the Gimp image editor from the Flatpak Flathub store, you will need to install the Flatpak runtime. To do this, install the “flatpak” package in the terminal. Alternatively, follow our in-depth guide on how to set up Flatpak on Linux.

After you’ve set up the Flatpak runtime on your Linux PC, the installation can begin. Use the flatpak remote-add command to subscribe to the Flathub app store.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Once you’ve subscribed to the Flathub app store in Flatpak, use the flatpak install command to get Gimp.

flatpak install flathub org.gimp.GIMP

Snap

In addition to being in the Flathub Flatpak app store, Gimp is also in the Snap package store. Like Flatpak, Gimp being available on the Snap store enables many Linux operating systems to gain easy access to the app even if it’s not in their primary app sources.

To install the Snap version, start by enabling the Snapd runtime on your computer. Then, use the snap install command below to get Gimp.

sudo snap install gimp

Make basic image edits with GIMP

Launch the Gimp image editor program on the Linux desktop. Then, once the app is open, launch the Linux file manager, locate the image you’d like to edit, and right-click on it with the mouse to open up the right-click menu.

Inside of the right-click menu, look for the “Open with” option and select “Gimp” to open up the image you’d like to make edits to in Gimp.

Cropping pictures

Do you need to crop an image? Here’s how to do it in Gimp. First, click on the “Crop” icon, and click it with the mouse. Selecting “Crop” will put Gimp into cropping mode.

Use the mouse to drag the crop overlay onto the image, and scale the overlay to the desired crop size. Then, press Enter on the keyboard to confirm the crop.

Resizing

Want to resize an image? Click on the “Scale” icon. Selecting “Scale” will bring up a “Scale” overlay window. Write in the desired size in “Width” and “Height.” Then, press Enter to resize the image.

Alternatively, drag the edges of the image to resize the image.

Flipping

If you’d like to flip or “mirror image” a photo in Gimp, find the “Flip” icon and click it. Then, after clicking on the “Flip tool,” click your mouse on the photo to instantly flip it.

To flip horizontally, select “Horizontal.” For vertical, select “Vertical.”

Brightness/Contrast

Looking to adjust the contrast of an image or photo? Select the drop-down menu. From there, find “Brightness-Contrast” in the menu, and select it with the mouse.

By selecting “Brightness-Contrast,” a brightness and contrast pop-up window will appear. Use the slider to adjust the brightness and contrast.

Automatic correction

Gimp has an excellent automatic correction feature that can take care of a lot of image edits like color, brightness, and other things. To use the automatic correction feature, do the following.

First, find “Color” and select it with the mouse. Then, locate “Auto.” After finding “Auto,” select one of the automatic correction options to adjust your image.

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