Screenshot of GIMP 2.8.16 in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

The GIMP is our favorite image editing app for Linux, and this year it’s set to get even better.

The development team behind the hugely popular open-source project this week shared word about ‘what’s next for GIMP‘ in 2017.

Included are details on plans for GIMP 2.10, which will be the first major stable release of the app since GIMP 2.8 was released back in 2012.

In case you’re wondering, the most recent stable release is GIMP 2.8.18, released back in July. The latest development snapshot is GIMP 2.9.4, also released back in July.

Plans for GIMP 2.10

GIMP 2.10 will be released later this year, and is set to be the next major release of the image editor. Based on the current 2.10 changelog (and features in the development versions) it’ll ship with a tonne of changes.

First off the big one: the editor will rely entirely on the Generic Graphics Library (GEGL) ‘for all operations.’ GEGL work has been ongoing for many years, and is summarised and explained by better writers than me elsewhere on the web. Suffice to say: it’s a big change, but one that will improves the accuracy, precision and editing capabilities of the app.

You’ll also notice a new look as there are five new themes (lighter, light, gray, dark, darker) and three new icon themes: symbolic, inverted symbolic [pictured] and colour. If you like the classic colourful icon theme found in older versions of GIMP you’ll be pleased to hear it’ll be available as an option.


UI aside, new and improved tools are also planned for GIMP 2.10.

‘Unified Transform’ combines the rotation, scaling, skewing, and perspective adjustment options in to a single tool. ‘Warp Transform’ replaces the old iWarp plugin and works directly on images (i.e. no more preview window), as does the new scaling, rotating, and perspective correction tool ‘Handle Transform‘.

Updates to various tools will also feature, including new blend, align and move tools. The text tool will — hurrah — work more like Photoshop’s.

new warp tool in GIMP 2.9.5
Many filters and effects now work on the image directly

GIMP 2.10 is also due to ship with 16/32-bit per color channel support in PNG, TIFF, PSD and FITS, new color management implementation, WebP and OpenEXR support, and a lot, lot more.

Another major change is in how the app handles linear/gamma-corrected workflows and layer modes.

More To be Planned During Wilber Week

A week long developer meetup in Barcelona takes place at the end of January called ‘Wilber week’ (Wilber, for those who don’t know, is the name of the GIMP mascot). At Wilber Week the the team say they will discuss, among many things, “cleaning up libgimp to get it into the releasable state for 2.10″.

After the release of GIMP 2.10 the next big area of focus is going to be completing the GTK3 port. This will, among many things, re-enable full support for Wacom graphics tablets on Windows and Linux.

This is no small task, but once out of the way GIMP can plough ahead to tackle other long-requested changes, including non-destructive image editing!

The team also tease that “other exciting news” is on the way but that it will come in a separate announcement.

P.S. If anyone knows of a GIMP equivalent of this awesome shortcut cheat-sheet (that isn’t man gimp) let me know!

Dev gimp