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Finally – GIMP 2.8 has been released!

By at 2012-05-03 00:25:27 UTC, last updated about 2 years ago. CC BY-NC License

GIMP 2.8 splash screen GIMP 2.8 splash screen

Today the newest GIMP version 2.8 has been publically made available. The community has been eagerly waiting for it for years, but the waiting time was worth it at full extent. GIMP 2.8 comes with a huge bunch of new features and is a really big milestone in the development of GIMP.

First off – the feature that probably everyone already knows: Single window mode has arrived in GIMP! So it’s now possible to get all the content of GIMP (toolbars, docks, open documents navigation) into one single container and to get rid of the hated single floating windows that caused so much confusion for new user. But: it’s an optional feature as some people like the old way of GIMP you can switch the feature on or off while working, and you can also combine the two modes because you can group some docks together to move it around at once. So it is even better then Adobe Photoshops window management now!

Next to that feature you’re now able to group layers and move/duplicate/make-visible/delete/etc many layers at once that you combined in the group. This was also ranked very high on the most wanted features list for GIMP for years.

GIMP 2.8 comes with a extremely improved text tool, that works on-canvas and lets you make text and single characters/words of the text edit in various ways. Its somehow office-like and very intuitive to use! Not just existing stuff has been working on, GIMP 2.8 also comes with a brand new tool to transform an image on a polygon base. The so-called Cage-Transform-Tool lets you span a polygon “selection” (although its not really a selection) over a part of an image to transform the image accordingly if you move one of corners of the polygon. For the painters GIMP has been improved with a new tag&filter system for all kind of resources (brushes, textures, gradients). Take care of hundreds of brushes now and only show “flower” brushes, for example, by filtering them!

The overall usability has been improved by a new on-screen-indicatior that shows you how far an operation is to be finished (this is more intuitive than just the status bar progress text).

But much work has also been done beyond the surface. The core integration of the graph-based GEGL library has more or less been completed which is the basis for future implementations of non-destructive features. The whole projection is done using GEGL, as well as the layer modes and also the scaling of an image or layer is done using GEGL now. The color tools also make use of the library.

The overall feeling of GIMP 2.8 is also great because of the new slider widgets which allow you to use them in different very effective ways. They are now region specific – in the top part of a slider you can set a (i.e. brush size) value directly, while you can fine tune the adjustement in the bottom region. You can also enter the value directly as a number. This is a new GTK-slider-widget, however GIMP 2.8 does not yet rely on GTK3. Nevertheless GIMP is giving you a very more modernized feeling of how everything is looking and feeling. Thats by one side because of a new brushes resource set (who’s in need of a green peperoni brush in the standard set ;)?) and the better feeling is on the other side coming from the use of cairo that most of the filters and tools were ported to. This gives a smooth and antialiased feeling to the whole canvas.

But that’s not even the the half of the changes that have been made. We’ve been watching the development for years and documented the changes since the start of 2.7. Our Review of GIMP 2.8 is up-to-date with the very latest additions and changes… so take a look and don’t miss all of the other important stuff. Enjoy the reading!

How to get GIMP 2.8?

GIMP 2.8 is, as any open source software, available in source code. If you want to try it out, you can either compile it yourself or wait for binaries which will follow very soon.

We will keep you up to date when binaries for the various platforms become available.


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unhammer member for almost 5 years unhammer 24 comments
almost 2 years ago

"I can't change formats just by editing the filename" yeah I'd say it's friendlier for new users =P However, you *can* edit the filename, just use the export dialogue. And the cool thing is that you can switch back and forth between e.g. jpg and xcf without having to re-type, just click c-s or c-e. I'd say that's faster, but perhaps you're really fast at typing ".jpg" ;-)

But if you really miss the old save method, just install the plugin that brings back the old method , best of both worlds.

Not sure what to say about the text interface; the old one may have been simpler, but it had a lot less functionality too (what if you want just part of the text to be a different font? you had to create a new text object … a real drag)

almost 2 years ago

So far, I prefer 2.6. With 2.8, I try to save an edited jpg image and it's become xcf format. And I can't change formats just by editing the filename like I can with 2.6. I have to use the "export" dialogue.

The text function has a new interface that I find unintelligible. Maybe all this is friendlier for new users, but I've been using Gimp for years, and all of a sudden I feel lost.

nikki ty
almost 2 years ago

Perhaps I'm missing something, I can see a lot of new features which I like. But the sizing menu for the tools is horrendous. The calibrations are so tiny and it takes so long to find a suitable size that it's an exercise in sheer frustration. I just downloaded the old 2.6 so i could access workable tool sizes. Am I missing something or are we really required to scroll through atomic sub-particles to access a suitable brush or pencil size?

steven shearing
about 2 years ago

You call this Stable ?, tones of bugs such as clicking buttons not always working such as open or even a tool like paint buck icon not working, click even move the layers up and down the list because its not click able.
Graphic tears when moving items.
Drop down list are not working unless i hold the mouse button down and even then it refuses sometimes.

There's more were that come from, such as graphics tablet acting up such as shortcut keys not working when gimp is open.

Sorry but not stable at all, There is lots of issues.

about 2 years ago

I have 2.8 at the house on Ubuntu 12.04, and here at work on Windows 7. Works perfectly on both of them. Fantastic Job!!! Keep up the good work!!!

Dark Angel
about 2 years ago

Gimp 2.8 is worthless because i got too much run time errors... nice job developers, because you said it was stable version.
PLEASE fix run time errors very soon!!!! Not next year!!!!

RodDetmer member for about 4 years RodDetmer 16 comments
about 2 years ago

Not usable (assuming you are using Windows),

Have you tried setting a PATH variable to the Gimp-2\bin folder? So Gimp can find it's dynamic libraries?

Not usable
about 2 years ago

The Windows 2.8 build is un-runnable.

"The procedure entry point gtk_box_new could not be located in the dynamic link library libgimpwidgets-2.0-0.dll" Hundreds of these errors!

about 2 years ago

I would also pretty support a change for the name 'Gimp' and its linked connotations, it works against the software interest.
It's not easy for parents to let their child 'play' with "Gimp"... I can remember 'adult' splash screen with a goat and "the gimp"...

It's a great shame to have this limit for such a good software.

marco gonzalez
about 2 years ago


Lyle member for over 2 years Lyle 77 comments
about 2 years ago

pogogogo (at GIMPChat) shared that GIMP for windows have been release. I indeed uninstalled RC1 and installed 2.8 full. Of course 2.6.12 got uninstalled again (but I fix that later). They fixed the tif bug, but still MM's Labcurves program won't work (but sigmoidal contrast does). The jpeg preview save size bug still exists though (not sure why this didn't get addressed). Also, gimprc error (which prevents the path for both pspi and user filter to exist concurently) also exists, but I have to have PSPI so I'll live with the Filter Factory convertor fiasco (each time I run the user filter, I have to point to the guf files) for now. Looks like that won't get fixed; sad for me. Not sure if there is a brush sluggish issue yet since I haven't tested that but I believe others have said it's still there. All in all, only the tif bug appears to have gotten fixed between rc1 and now. :)

RodDetmer member for about 4 years RodDetmer 16 comments
about 2 years ago

Thanks Devvv

Love you have to update all your libraries.
Especially GTK. It needs to be version GTK-2.24.10
See the link i posted below for a list of libraries i had to update.
See for a tutorial on building Gimp in Windows.


about 2 years ago

Os pacotes a seguir têm dependências desencontradas:
gimp : Depende: libgimp2.0 (>= 2.8.0~rc1-8oneiric0~ppa) mas não será instalado
Depende: libgimp2.0 (= 2.24.10) mas 2.24.6-0ubuntu5linuxmint1 está para ser instalado

Help Me!!! How can I fix it!!

devvv member for almost 8 years devvv 1413 comments
about 2 years ago

Rod, thats great ;)

As for the questions in the thread: "Color" in the brush dynamics uses all colors of the active gradient.

Diagonal cropping or diagonal guidelines is/are not possible though. Its just a feature for "asthetic" cropping to help the cropper to get the object well placed for a nice outcome ;)

about 2 years ago

@I care a lot-
"To average users (including 99% of American "geeks/nerds"), the word "gimp" is a pejorative which implies disability, or sick and twisted desires. "

Sick and twisted, really? So here you are complaining about how offensive the word "gimp" is to you and at the same time you offend every BDSM person by calling their preferences "sick and twisted"?


RodDetmer member for about 4 years RodDetmer 16 comments rated this topic with 4/5
about 2 years ago

RodDetmer member for about 4 years RodDetmer 16 comments
about 2 years ago

Griatch speaks words of wisdom. :)

Paul Slocum
about 2 years ago

I'd like to add my support for a name change. I think the name Gimp is pretty funny, but not funny enough to keep when it now limits the software and community. There are examples in that Slashdot articles of people who would be teaching Gimp in schools or using it at work but can't because of the name. Agree with it or not, this is the reality of the word's connotations. And I hate to think that such a fantastic piece of software is being held back when it would be so easy to come up with a new name that's just as good but isn't such a marketing obstacle. I think the project has just outgrown the name.

It's true that the project could be forked, but open-source has a hard enough time anyway -- it really helps if everyone's on board and promoting the same thing with the same name.

Rich Jones
about 2 years ago

This is awesome!

I love the single window, the cage tool and on-image text, in particular.


Griatch member for almost 6 years Griatch 1 comment rated this topic with 4/5
about 2 years ago

It's good to see that GIMP 2.8 is finally (well nearly) out the door. So even if this announcement was a bit premature, congrats to the developers and thanks!

@I care a lot!
The solution to the marketing problem you perceive is very easy. GIMP is after all an open-source project under GPL licence - this is one of its main strengths. This means that you DON'T need to get frustrated with developers not listening to you - you can take matters into your own hands!

Just get the GIMP source code and change all visible instances of the name "GIMP" to "PowerPaint" or whatever name you think has a better marketing value. Next you redistribute it (in accordance to the license) and smile gleefully as Photoshop bites the dust.

I'm not being sarcastic here - if you really really feel that the name "GIMP" is the only thing holding the program back from general acceptance, you'd be making the community a favor by helping out to market it better. Development goes on as "GIMP", but "normal" people would primarily get your re-branded version.
Community initiatives like this is what drives the open-source community, so go for it!

about 2 years ago

@care a lot. Seems to me nobody really cares about the meaning of the name Gimp. You are being overly sensitive and trying to make an issue out of nothing. Gimp has been around for some time and as far as I can tell nobody ever has raised the issue with the name.
I would be more concerned about the fact that in most languages "Gimp" is pronounced with a disgusting gutteral sound which to english speaking persons would sound like someone clearing his throat or puking :)

Lyle member for over 2 years Lyle 77 comments
about 2 years ago

I know this to be true mgroothuis; I remember doing searches for stitch filters for GIMP and got a huge number of actually stitch sites talking about gimp in terms of sewing of course. lol

I guess gimp is a good universal word meaning a lot of things to a lot of people. :)

I care a lot!
about 2 years ago

@mgroothuis - average users tend not to actually look up words. They rely on the definitions they learned from other humans, or they ignore the word or *maybe* try to guess what it means.

To average users (including 99% of American "geeks/nerds"), the word "gimp" is a pejorative which implies disability, or sick and twisted desires. This is what the human-learned definition is, not whatever shows up in a dictionary. Gimp has even been verbed to describe the process of crippling something - perhaps the most common usage among my 20-30something peers.

The continuing refusal of this project to recognize that fact dismays and baffles me and many other longtime users of the app, who have been complaining about the name at least as loudly and longly as the multi-window paradigm (which is fixed after 10 years of gripes, to great rejoicing).

We, along with the developers, recognize that this project has the potential to completely eclipse Photoshop for the 'ordinary user' - it could conceivably replace a good deal of Photoshop piracy and resulting trojan/botnet infections.... if the app was not named in such a way as to denote crushing, permanent failure in the eyes of the average user.

I respect your opinions, and I understand where they are based from, but I fear there is a massive disconnect from the reality of the English language among the defenders of this unfortunate appellation. Let's take a look at a few names of historically successful image manipulation software:

Current examples
-Paint Shop Pro

Old examples
-Painter (perhaps lesser known but legendary in its time)

Yeah, I'm going way back in time to make a point, but I hope you get what I'm trying to convey in terms of branding decisions of successful, well known bitmap based image editing applications. All of these names convey one or two of a very few concepts in clear fashion: "paint" or "photo" or "[work]shop".

I'm not suggesting this project follow slavishly using the same words, but merely trying to illustrate the *power* of these words on the subconscious to assure the user that the application is appropriate for their needs.

The difference between the GNU Image Manipulation Program and the abovementioned wildly successful applications is *not* quality but rather branding. And it is a crying shame for this app to fail to break into their markets headlong, solely due to branding issues, which is currently the case.

David_Wood member for about 3 years David_Wood 1 comment
about 2 years ago

Finally, now I just need to wait for the Windows binary.

mgroothuis member for over 3 years mgroothuis 6 comments
about 2 years ago

@I care a lot - type "define: gimp" in your browser and the first definition of "gimp" is: Twisted silk or cotton with cord or wire running through it, used chiefly in upholstery.
Merriam-Webster has as its first answer: an ornamental flat braid or round cord used as a trimming. And last but not least the Oxford Dictionary has the first definition shown here also as its first definition and the 2nd one is: fishing line made of silk bound with wire.
There are obviously different meanings associated with the word in different parts of the world, but most of us have gotten used to the name and are simply happy that it exists, does a brilliant job manipulating images, and best of all, it is free!

about 2 years ago

Awesome!! :D I will install it as soon as linux Mint 13 comes out.. :)
Thank you very much developers!! :)

Lyle member for over 2 years Lyle 77 comments
about 2 years ago

lol; maybe so Ical. When I was in basic, we had a group of folk who got injured in various ways (including me for a few weeks) and they either called us gimps or Jerry's Kids. lol

Still, GIMP is what it is. Could have been worse. lol


I care a lot!
about 2 years ago

Omar and Lyle,

For what it's worth, the second definition Omar gives is something completely unfamiliar to me as a very well-read adult, and can probably be considered as irrelevant for the vast majority of users. The third definition Omar gives is simply not the way the word is understood - for at least two generations in the US now, it has come to refer to the disabled person, rather than their affliction.

Here are the 3 commonly understood definitions of "Gimp" in American culture today, pulled straight from Note that all 3 of these commonly understood definitioins are highly offensive in a professional sense, and at least one (3rd) is explicitly not 'family friendly'.

(1) a derogatory term for someone that is disabled or has a medical problem that results in physical impairment.

(2) An insult implying that someone is incompetent, stupid, etc. Can also be used to imply that the person is uncool or can't/won't do what everyone else is doing.

(3) A sex slave or submissive, usually male, as popularlized by the movie Pulp Fiction.

spartan2276 member for over 3 years spartan2276 9 comments rated this topic with 4/5
about 2 years ago

Here is a PPA for Ubuntu 12.04 and I think for 11.04 and 11.10.

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

Lyle member for over 2 years Lyle 77 comments
about 2 years ago

It won't happen I care a lot! The name grows on you after awhile; at least it did me, but I've used GIMP since 2001 (well regularly since 2002). :)

Paul Slocum
about 2 years ago

I guess we can resubmit to slashdot and other news sites when binaries for Mac and Windows are available. Maybe they'll run it again, they run a lot of dupes anyway.

Personally, I need a binary for MacOS and I've never even been able to even find a binary of 2.7 for Mac.

about 2 years ago

GIMP: Gnu Image Manipulation Program
Gimp: Definition (one of several possible) A narrow flat braid or rounded cord of fabric used for trimming.
Gimp: Definition (one of several possible) A limp or a limping gait.
And so on... Pick any word and someone somewhere might find it offensive.

I care a lot!
about 2 years ago

Please change the horribly offensive name of this otherwise excellent software, so that it can be deployed in schools and corporate environments, alongside Firefox and LibreOffice. Thank you.

about 2 years ago

The binaries are available. Not the official ones, but they work just as well. I receive e-mail whenever a new article is posted here, and each time a new 2.7 binary has been released I've found and downloaded and installed it. Yes, they're a little buggy, but the new features are worth it. So all these things like the text tool, single window mode, etc. ARE available right now to Windows users. You just have to search for the newest version and weed out the junk.

about 2 years ago

I eagerly await the Windows binaries and whatever exciting news is apparently supposed to follow this announcement.

Paul Slocum
about 2 years ago

And there it is on the frontpage of Slashdot without any binaries available yet. What percentage of users do you think are actually willing to compile it? And I seriously doubt there will be another article on Slashdot when the binaries drop. If that's the case, then this is a major promotion opportunity lost.

Bob K.
about 2 years ago

Here is to the Gimp team!. Vienna Style.

about 2 years ago

Thanks a lot:)

about 2 years ago

Long term fan here of Gimp.

You might want to block a number of advertisers in Google Adsense, as I get a big download button under this article, served through Google Adsense, where TheGimp is wrapped in download installers and crapware!

See screenshot here:

Paul Slocum
about 2 years ago

For most users 2.8 is not out yet. Only the source is released. The article should state this clearly. The news should be held back until binaries are available for maximum impact.

Think a little about marketing if you really care about GIMP. If news about this gets posted on Slashdot or other major news sources *before* the binaries are available, it will seriously blunt the impact of the new version because very very few people will be able to try it when the articles hit.

about 2 years ago

The windows binary will hopefully follow quickly! Nothing to do until then - we all need to calm down and wait !AGAIN! xD

about 2 years ago

I am glad to hear that GIMP 2.8 has been released. Please advise me how I could download it? Today I downloaded the Gimp from this page. The file is WinRAR type and cant run it. it is has no anapplication file. ......

unhammer member for almost 5 years unhammer 24 comments
about 2 years ago

Uglyjon, you'll just have to wait a bit. It seems like the GIMP team haven't even announced 2.8, just uploaded the source to the ftp, so I think was a bit quick in this announcement.

Uglyjon member for about 5 years Uglyjon 1 comment
about 2 years ago

I'm, so pleased a single window Gimp is about to hit my screen. BUT HOW do i download it... Not being a Tecky Bod! All I can see is source codes to download? HELP.... or am I just dumb!

mgroothuis member for over 3 years mgroothuis 6 comments
about 2 years ago

Oh happy day!!!!

about 2 years ago

I was waiting for it since 2010, single window wasn't a big deal for me but i wanted these features:

1. Layers group-able like tree control.
2. Brush angles (x,y z).
3. python inside gimp installer.
4. Sticky windows if not single window.
5. brush drawn like a tile with desired space while painting. This thing is editable in brush, if it is already there please let me know :-)

about 2 years ago

I'll comment when the official news is out from the developers, out of respect.. :)

RodDetmer member for about 4 years RodDetmer 16 comments
about 2 years ago

I downloaded the src , but i am not so sure i want to begin compiling it for windows just yet. :)

Lyle member for over 2 years Lyle 77 comments
about 2 years ago

Got the news from a post at GIMPChat. I hope the tiff bug, jpeg preview file size issue has been patched. Not sure if the brush lag issue has been addressed either (since I have to wait for a Windows build to find out). I'm still using RC1 and hope the install just does so on top of RC1. :)

about 2 years ago

Not a release until we say so.

Truly yours, GIMP developers

P.S. And please don't make us think of evil things like banning your IP for FTP access. Spreading the news is great. Doing it before an official announcement is evil. It's our right to reserve a certain level of surprise. Have some respect.

about 2 years ago

Not a release until binaries are there for all OS (esp. as the how to compile leaves a lot to be desired for someone trying it for the first time. I.E. it does not work for OS-X SL (mac)!!

Coche member for about 5 years Coche 13 comments rated this topic with 5/5
about 2 years ago

This is great news!! like everybody else, I've waiting anxiously for this, and finally the day has arrived! hopefully the Windows binaries would appear soon :)

Kaii member for over 2 years Kaii 4 comments
about 2 years ago

i forgot to ask is this on linux only or even on windows.?

Kaii member for over 2 years Kaii 4 comments
about 2 years ago

Yeah.. 0_0. .i can`t wait to try it XD..

more power guys...

about 2 years ago

Awesome news! I can't wait until it's ready for download!