Open source software has the advantage of offering a free alternative to most mainstream applications, but sometimes it doesn’t guarantee an easy or intuitive adoption for the end user. One of the biggest challenges for a Windows users taking the plunge to Linux is becoming familar with some of these applications. In most cases open source applications are more intuitive to use than Windows ones but there are exceptions.

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) has comparable functionality with Photoshop, however its user interface is very different. This article demonstrates the power of open source whist simplifying the users transition with easy to install workaround. The result will configure Photoshop like toolbox icons, keyboard shortcuts, modified dockable dialogs and even the background color to match Photoshop thanks to Martin Owens there is and not only has he created them he has made it so easy to install.

You simply need to download a .zip file and replace a single folder in your home folder with the extracted contents. Note: This will work for all Linux distros

How to install GIMP Photoshop tweaks

First you need to install GIMP

sudo apt install gimp

Make sure GIMP is not running

Using this link, download the GIMP Photoshop Tweaks zip file from DeviantArt (download link on the upper right) and place it in your home folder.

Make a backup of your current GIMP configuration using either one of 2 methods

Method 1: using the terminal

mv ~/.gimp-2.8 ~/.gimp-2.8.bak


Method 2:

Navigate to your home folder in Files, using [ctrl-h] to reveal hidden files and folders then rename the folder .gimp-2.8 to .gimp-2.8.old (note the period before the “g”)

Finally, extract the downloaded zip archive in your home folder (the archive contains a .gimp-2.8 hidden folder with all the tweaks)

That’s it! Open GIMP to see the changes.

How to revert the changes

Since you backed up the original GIMP configuration folder, restoring the configuration to the previous state is very easy using the terminal (firstly close GIMP):

rm -r ~/.gimp-2.8
mv ~/.gimp-2.8.bak ~/.gimp-2.8
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