This article introduces free software alternatives on GNU/Linux towards graphic design & 2D animation software on Windows. Yes, I write this article for those switching to GNU/Linux. You'll find here replacements for Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator, Paint Shop Pro, CorelDRAW, and even Macromedia Flash MX. I hope this list helps you finding what you need!

Subscribe to UbuntuBuzz Telegram Channel to get article updates directly.


1. GIMP


It's the replacement for Photoshop. It supports PSD format as well as its own XCF format. It's professional image editor with a lot of filters, effects, plugins, and even additional combo available: GEGL.

  • Category: bitmap editor
  • Replacing: Adobe Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro
  • Document format: .xcf
  • Input format: .psd, .xcf, .png, .jpeg
  • Output format: .png, .jpeg, .tiff, .gif
  • Use example: photo editing, cropping, annotating, retouching, digital painting
  • How to install:
Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install gimp
Fedora: sudo dnf install gimp
Arch: sudo pacman -S gimp
openSUSE: sudo zypper install gimp




2. Inkscape


  • Category: vector editor
  • Replacing: CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator
  • Document format: SVG
  • Output format: SVG, PNG, PDF, PS, EPS, DXF
  • Use examples: designing all vectors: logos, icons, brochures, banners, text arts, mockups, floor planning, etc.
  • How to install:

Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install inkscape
Fedora: sudo dnf install inkscape
Arch: sudo pacman -S inkscape
openSUSE: sudo zypper install inkscape



3. Scribus



  • Category: desktop publishing (DTP)
  • Replacing: QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign, Adobe PageMaker, Serif PagePlus
  • Document format: .sla
  • Input: .png, .jpeg, .jpg, .svg, .ai (Illustrator), .eps, .ps, .cvg (Calamus), .fig (XFig)
  • Output format: .pdf
  • Use example: typesetting, layout designing; books, magazines, newspapers, brochures, posters
  • How to install:

Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install scribus
Fedora: sudo dnf install scribus
Arch: sudo pacman -S scribus
openSUSE: sudo zypper install scribus



4. sK1


sK1 is a vector editor but it's specialized for prepress and printing. You can imagine sK1 as Inkscape except it supports CMYK by default.

  • Category: vector editor
  • Replacing: CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator
  • Document format: .svg, .sk1, .plt
  • Output format: .sk1, .sk2, .plt
  • Use example: designing vectors, CMYK printing
  • How to install:

Ubuntu: download here
Arch: sudo pacman -S sk1
openSUSE: download here
Fedora: download here



5. MyPaint



  • Category: bitmap editor, digital painting
  • Replacing: Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, PaintTool SAI, Clip Studio Paint Pro, ArtRage Studio Pro, Autodesk SketchBook Pro, Paintstorm Studio
  • Document format:
  • Input format: .ora .jpeg .jpg .png
  • Output format: .ora .jpeg .jpg .png
  • Use example: all kind of digital paintings, concept arts, illustrations
  • How to install:

Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install mypaint
Fedora: sudo dnf install mypaint
Arch: sudo pacman -S mypaint
openSUSE: sudo zypper install mypaint




6. Krita



  • Category: digital painting, 2D animation
  • Replacing: Adobe Photoshop, PaintTool SAI, Clip Studio Paint Pro, ArtRage Studio Pro, Autodesktop SketchBook Pro, Paintstorm Studio, Macromedia Flash MX
  • Document format: .kra
  • Input format: .kra .psd .xcf .ora .odw
  • Output format: .kra .psd .ora .jpeg .png .tiff .tga
  • Use example: digital painting
  • How to install:

Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install krita
Fedora: sudo dnf install krita
Arch: sudo pacman -S krita
openSUSE: sudo zypper install krita




7. Pinta



  • Category: bitmap drawing, painting
  • Replacing: Microsoft Paint, Photoshop, IcoFX
  • Input format: .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .tiff, .tga
  • Output format: .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .tiff, .tga, .ora, .bmp, .ico
  • Use example: simple drawing, annotation, layering
  • How to install:

Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install pinta
Fedora: sudo dnf install pinta
Arch: sudo pacman -S pinta
openSUSE: sudo zypper install pinta



8. KolourPaint



  • Category: bitmap painting
  • Replacing: Microsoft Paint, Photoshop
  • Input format: .psd (Photoshop), .xcf (GIMP), .kra (Krita), .svg (Inkscape), .exr, .ora
  • Output format: .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .tga, .xpm, .ppm, .bmp, .eps, .mng (animation), .ora
  • Use example: bitmap editing, drawing, annotating
  • How to install: 

Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install kolourpaint
Fedora: sudo dnf install kolourpaint
Arch: sudo pacman -S kolourpaint
openSUSE: sudo zypper install kolourpaint



9. GNU Paint



  • Category: bitmap editor, painting
  • Counterparts: Microsoft Paint
  • Use example: simple painting
  • How to install:

Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install gpaint
Fedora: sudo dnf install gpaint
Arch: sudo yaourt -S gpaint
openSUSE: compile from source instead




10. Shutter



  • Category: screenshot tool, image editor
  • Replacing: ScreenshotCaptor, Photoshop
  • Document format: PNG, JPEG
  • Output format: PNG, JPEG
  • Use example: bitmap editing, cropping, annotating
  • How to install:

Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install shutter
Fedora: sudo dnf install shutter
Arch: sudo pacman -S shutter
openSUSE: sudo zypper install shutter




11. Synfig Studio



  • Category: 2D animation software
  • Replacing: Macromedia Flash MX
  • Document format: .sifz, .sif, .sfg
  • Input format: .sifz, .sif, .sfg
  • Output format: (.mp4, .flv, .divx, .xvid, .ogv, .wmv using ffmpeg), .gif, .mng
  • Use example: tweening animation, bumper animation, advertisement animation, movie animation
  • How to install: 


Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install synfigstudio
Fedora: sudo dnf install synfigstudio
Arch: sudo pacman -S synfigstudio
openSUSE: use https://software.opensuse.org/package/synfigstudio




12. Tupi



  • Category: 2D animation vector
  • Replacing: Macromedia Flash MX
  • Document format: .tup
  • Input format:  .svg, .png, .jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .xpm
  • Output format: .swf (Macromedia), .flv, .avi, .asf, .mov
  • Use example: movie animation, bumper animation,
  • How to install: 

Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install tupi
Fedora: use https://software.opensuse.org/package/tupi
Arch: sudo yaourt -S tupi
openSUSE: compile from source instead



13. Shotwell 


  • Category: image viewer, cropper, enhancer
  • Replacing: ACDSee
  • Input format: .jpeg, .jpg, .png
  • Output format: .jpeg, .jpg, .png
  • Use example: cropping
  • How to install:

Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install shotwell
Fedora: sudo dnf install shotwell
Arch: sudo pacman -S shotwell
openSUSE: sudo zypper install shotwell



, , , , ,