Basic Image Editing With GIMP In Linux

March 28, 2017 - Linux
GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a raster image editing program for Linux, OSX,Windows and other OS/es. This is not a free photoshop program as many say so. Graphics enthusiasts and professionals rely on GIMP for image retouching or complete creation of images for artwork (which is a daunting task for novice). And yes GIMP is open source that means you get to keep it on your PC or laptop for free without legal hiatus.


Well, this tutorial is intended for complete beginners and hopefully (yes!) we all need to be familiar with the simple task such as what you’re being taught now (editing images). Anybody could shoot a frame and say “that’s it” but the truth is further image manipulation on that photo is gonna make your pals utter this word AWESOME!

Assume a non-multimedia guy/gal who writes for a website (not design a website) and who knows what to write and what idea(s) to throw in... and imagine he/she writes well without any pictorial illustration. Readers would care less.
And over here, if you’re reading this article without (screenshots) illustration! You might not follow me through the end of this tutorial. Get my point, right?

Great! Let’s get on with the work then.

Setting up GIMP:

Fire up your terminal window and key in this command below:
sudo apt install gimp
Since each of us will have a different Desktop environment installed on our system or is using a different Debian-based OS. But anyway, this is the best method to open GIMP: press Alt+F2, type in gimp-2.8
gimp interface

On to editing your images:


Let’s say you have a nice photo... and you want to share it to your dear ones. What if the resolution is a QHD or have a ratio of 16:9 and the other end uses a low resource system or a PDA-type cell phone? This is the most common situation every graphic designer faces and the answer to this is simple. Click on Image>Scale Image
gimp scale your image

Simply change the Width value or Height value and click Scale.
You’re done. Still better to come.


The image shot is good but there is too much detail!!! How do I remove the unwanted portion?... I got you covered.
Select the crop tool from the tool options or press Shift+C and select the region.
crop image in gimp

Remember to hover your mouse at any corner of the to-be-cropped boundary and the drag box will become active. Press ENTER or double click and it’s cropped.


Clone, smudge, heal, dodge, etc are the most commonly used tools while editing an image. Well, what are they, you ask me. Simple answer: They can change your look, tone your skin or clean the dirty (probably wall) background, etc.
Cloning images is one my favorite task on image editing. Here’s how you can clone an image: Select the clone tool or press C.

​Press ctrl then click the area to clone over other regions (prototyping). Start cloning them in small pixels. Do not drag too much otherwise you get a crappy output.

crop image in gimp in linux


This is somewhat similar to clone tool and I don’t need to illustrate this in detail. Here’s what you have to do... Select the smudge tool or Press S key and start smudging an area of your image. What it really does is it smoothes the area being smudged (more like sketching).

This tool either brightens or darkens the area being dodged. Select the dodge tool or press shift+d alternately. Default clicking is brightening. To darken the region press ctrl while dodging the area.

Adding text

You might have noticed the text I embedded on the screenshots. How do I do that? It’s simple yet different ways exist to fancy the writing. Here’s how you can add text: Select the text tool or press T. Select the region you wish to add the text.

add text in gimp in linux

​If you had to ask me how do embed text with background color like the one above. All you have to do is:

• Select the Rectangle Select Tool or press R and select the text region.
• Then you have to fill it with Bucket Fill Tool and then control the opacity level on the top right-hand side
gimp toolbox

Saving the image

The final task is to save the image in *.xcf format. Well that’s damn simple... Press ctrl+s, rename the file and maybe browse to the required directory (~/Documents is the default directory) then click Save.

Exporting the image

Dear! Saving the image is not enough. You have to export it to an image (popular) format like *.png or *.jpg. In case you haven’t still closed the window... Press ctrl+e then select the required image format of your choosing and click the export button.

export image in gimp in linux


​You are on the right path to being a pro. All you have to do is keep practicing the same task again and again. Be dumb like computers 😛 Don’t let others tell you otherwise. Well, the truth is maybe someday your image will be worth something. For me, I do it for fun.

Perhaps you should too. Trust me, image editing is what’s gonna take you a bar up higher in the chain among your tech savvy friends. That’s building your foundation and like a tree, there are way too many branches for each of us to blossom.

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