ubuntu image editors

Adobe products like Photoshop and Illustrator are the premier image editing tools these days. These aren’t available on Ubuntu though, at least not natively. It is possible to use them through methods like Wine, but your experience will likely be plagued by errors.

Rather than dealing with that mess, we recommend trying out any of the capable image editors listed in this article. You can choose from very basic editors to full-featured tools according to your requirements and use cases.   


GNU Image Manipulation Program, or simply GIMP, is the Linux equivalent of Photoshop. In typical Linux fashion, it’s free, open source, and lightweight while still being highly capable.

It provides all the tools you’d expect in a powerful image editor from different selection methods to the clone/healing tools. The basic paintbrush supports many unique shapes and customization options (angles, spacing, etc.).

GIMP supports filters and automatic adjustments too, although they’re not quite as good as Photoshop. For instance, the color enhance feature does provide easy color improvements, albeit not as good as you’d get from Photoshop’s auto-color.

Some very useful features like content-aware fill are also missing. This is where GIMP’s plugin system comes in. You can install third-party plugins to add support for most features.

For instance, there are plugins like Liquid Rescale or Resynthesizer if you need functionality similar to content-aware fill. Or if you want to use GIMP to process a ton of images at once, there’s BIMP (Batch Image Manipulation Plugin).

Essentially, GIMP is one of, if not the most capable image editors on Ubuntu. That’s not to say it’s the best option in every scenario though.

While its customizable user interface is commendable, GIMP’s workflow and usability still don’t feel great. It has a slight learning curve, even for people used to working with editors.

And most importantly, the fact that it’s a feature-rich tool means users looking to make some quick edits only tend to prefer simpler tools. As one user put it, why use a bulldozer when a shovel can get the job done?

Note: GIMP is preinstalled on Ubuntu, but if you ever need to manually install it, you can use the following command:

sudo snap install gimp


Speaking of alternatives, Pinta is a simple and user-friendly bitmap image editor. It feels a lot like Paint.NET on Windows (which is like a more powerful version of MS Paint).

It supports most core editing tools and features such as image layers, filters, drawing, and color adjustment tools, undo history, etc.

If you want an easy-to-use program for making quick edits, Pinta is a great option. It’s very easy to install as well. Simply, enter the following command in the terminal

sudo snap install pinta 


If you’re looking for a vector graphics editor similar to Illustrator, we recommend Inkscape. Inkscape uses nodes and paths to create things like printouts, logos, clipart, flowcharts, etc. Its primary format is .svg, but it supports other formats like .ai and .pdf too.

You can install Inkscape with snap or apt as you prefer on Ubuntu. With snap, it’s very simple.

sudo snap install inkscape

With apt, you have to add the Inkscape PPA first. Then, you can install it.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:inkscape.dev/stable
sudo apt update
sudo apt install inkscape


Krita is a cross-platform raster graphics editor used to work with digital art and 2D animation. As its primarily a digital painting program, it supports a range of painting tools (brushes, drawing assistants, selection tools, transformation tools, etc.).

You also have access to a bunch of filters from the get-go such as noise reduction/removal, different blur modes, auto contrast, etc.

You can download the Krita appimage from the official site and use this appimage to launch Krita. All you need to do is make the file executable.


Photopea is a web-based image editor with a UI and workflow that is very similar to Photoshop. It supports a lot of the same features from the selection tools and brushes to features like layers and auto-adjustments.

Ultimately, its main selling point is that it’s a web-based tool, so it works on most platforms and browsers, including Ubuntu.

Anup Thapa

Senior Writer

Anup Thapa is a Linux enthusiast with an extensive background in computer hardware and networking. His goal is to effectively communicate technical concepts in a simplified form understandable by new Linux users. To this end, he mainly writes beginner-friendly tutorials and troubleshooting guides. Outside of work, he enjoys reading up on a range of topics, traveling, working out, and MOBAs.