GIMP ( GNU Image Manipulation Program, originally General Image Manipulation Program ) is a free and free image editing program. It is under the GNU General Public License ( GPL) version 3 or later and the GNU Lesser General Public License ( LGPL) version 3 or later.

The focus of the software is the intensive processing of individual images, for which a variety of effects are available. In addition to the version for GNU / Linux and Unix also ported to Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and AmigaOS 4 exist for Windows and OS X, the latest version is 2.8.10 on as executable version (called " binaries " ) available provided. For the other packed tarball of the source code will be provided and it is common in Linux distributions is that they are delivered from the distributor as well as binaries. The GIMP User Manual is available in 16 languages ​​for download.

  • Visual Terrain Maker 4.1
  • 4.2 GIMPshop
  • 4.3 GimPhoto


The first public test version of GIMP was announced by Peter Mattis on 21 November 1995 on the comp.os.linux.development.apps list. Together with his fellow students Spencer Kimball he had developed the program as a student research project. The first beta version was made ​​available for Linux ( 1.2.13 ), Solaris ( 2.4), HP- UX ( 9:05 ) and IRIX. The first official version of 0:54 was released in January 1996.

Already at that time GIMP was a comprehensive program that, inter alia, with a plug- in system, any undo and redo, intelligent scissors, dithering, support for 8, 15, 16 and 24 bit color depth per image, zoom and moving real-time could boast of simultaneous processing of multiple images, support for GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and XPM and many selection and editing tools. The program was, however, initially as faulty and crash happy. In addition, it was still used the proprietary Motif toolkit for the user interface, for which were not the necessary header files freely and free of charge. Therefore, it could be used by many users only as statically linked and ready compiled program; themselves to work on GIMP and use the result immediately them difficult or even not possible.

As wanted to switch to a free solution Peter Mattis of Motif, he developed his own toolkit GTK , which as an open project leads a life of its own now and is used for example in the Gnome desktop environment. This GIMP could be implemented completely without Motif calls, and it was relatively easy to port the code to other systems.

GIMP comes in particular under Linux a large spread and established itself there in the course of time as top dog in digital imaging. The program is part of almost all Linux distributions that do not consistently refrain from GTK -based programs. However, it was decided at the Ubuntu Developer Summit after the release of Ubuntu 9.10, no longer pre-install GIMP in Ubuntu 10.04 because it was " too complicated ", it need too much space on the installation CD and an F-Spot will be delivered. In addition, one could reloading of the software repository it continue.

New versions of GIMP are currently being published by Michael Natterer.


The 1.0 version of GIMP was published on 5 June 1998. The most significant changes were a new programming interface and a procedural database, which made ​​it possible to extend GIMP using simple scripts. This script -fu -called functional sequences could now be automated. In addition, there was a new memory management, with the loading of large image files not present a problem. In addition, the GIMP 's native XCF format was introduced with this version.

On 25 December 2000, the programmers gave free version 1.2 of GIMP. The new features compared to the stable version 1.0 has been limited; besides bug fixes, especially the user interface has been redesigned.

After a long break between releases GIMP 2.0 has been released with many improvements on 24 March 2004 finally. The main changes were the strict separation of program logic and user interface, and a simple CMYK conversion. This GIMP decreed for the first time, although only to a limited extent and in plain, a prepress. Furthermore, the menus have been revised and improved clarity. In each image window now was a menu bar. Of new features, the program provided a better path and text tools. It now also included import and export functions for SVG.

GIMP 2.2 was published on 20 December 2004. The most important change in the new version presented an improved user interface dar. So many tools of GIMP now have a preview function. While GIMP 2.0 for more twists and distortions only used a grid to visualize the user's actions, turned and distorted GIMP 2.2, the selected range simultaneously. Furthermore, a large number of dialogs to the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines, the guidelines for designing the user interface of GNOME programs aligned. Among the improvements of the graphical interface was also improved cooperation with other applications.

GIMP 2.4 was published on 24 October 2007. New features of the 2.4 series are in particular the use of ICC profiles, a tool for automatically cropping objects, improved scaling by use of Lanczos and the opportunity to run along paths text. Furthermore, past changes can now longer be withdrawn without lose any changes made ​​in between - a graphic of frequently used function. On top of that, the user interface has been extensively reworked.

With published on October 1, 2008 Version 2.6 of the transition from the previous graphics kernel in the independent library GEGL (Generic Graphics Library) was started. For release date had not yet been ported to all functions, so that the hoped-for support higher color depths was missing. The user interface has been changed again and implemented a permanent image window, which should benefit mainly the users with less sophisticated window managers.

GIMP 2.8 was released on May 3, 2012. Since this version there is an optional single-window mode. The classic, tried and tested especially in multi- monitor mode multi-window version is retained as standard. GIMP stores since this version only in its own XCF exists for other formats since an export function. Levels can be divided into groups. Texts are not edited in a separate window, but directly on the artboard ( "canvas" ). Most tools on the screen are shown with Cairo. Version 2.8.2 runs natively without first X11 server on Mac OS X.


The editing functions are accessed via toolbars, menus, and permanently displayed dialog window. These include so-called filter for graphical effects, also brush and transformation, selection, layer and masking functions. The standard scope currently includes 48 different brushes, more can be produced and all rooms are related to edge sharpness and adjustable coverage.

Colour Support

GIMP color palettes for RGB, HSV, CMYK, a color wheel as well as functions to extract colors from an image ( pipette ). A direct enter the hexadecimal color values ​​from HTML is possible. Even if the program offers a palette CMYK, it always works in RGB with a color depth to 8 bits. It also supports patterns that can be applied directly to a surface. These too can be largely adapted, so that intermediate colors are possible.

The list of supported file formats, GIMP is compared to proprietary competitors like Adobe Photoshop quite short.

Selection and masking functions

GIMP has selection functions for rectangular, round and freeform areas as well as by color and by strong color edges. In addition, the program knows planes which hide them or keep change in coverage. A direct influence of the individual color channels is possible.

Automated image processing by scripts

Planned Features

For future editions of GIMP especially the sole use of an originally developed for GIMP parent graphics library (English Generic Graphics Library GEGL short ) is planned. This library provides in addition to the existing color depth of 8 bits per color channel and 16- bit color values ​​and a mode with 32 - bit precision floating point, which is, for example, in the processing of HDR images is important. In addition, the support of additional color spaces is planned with GEGL addition to the existing RGB display with CMYK and Lab. To implement this, the editing functions in the library are implemented and expected internally with a precision of 32- bit floating point per color channel. GEGL is working non-destructive and is other file formats, such as support raw formats from digital cameras. The outsourcing of image processing in its own library allows the use of functions in other programs - according to there are already bindings for C #, Ruby and Python.

Further plans include a pressure sensitive spray ( for graphics tablets ), the loading of Photoshop brushes and more HIG - compliant.

As of version 2.10, several processor cores are to be supported. In addition, the GPU is used for the calculations, but the developers have integrated OpenCL, can access the GEGL.

Derivatives and modifications

Visual Terrain Maker

Under the name of CinePaint (formerly Gimp film ) is a professional offshoot of the program emerged, characterized by greater color depth and color management. This version is used in the film industry, where it has replaced the set IRIX version of Adobe Photoshop.


GIMPshop was a modification of GIMP that was esp. matched in appearance and operation Adobe Photoshop. The original developer Scott Moschella wanted to facilitate long-term users of the commercial Photoshop the move. The development since 2006 and exposed to the version 2.2.11 (on GIMP 2.2.11 based ). Last version 2.8 has been released (initially only for Windows and Mac). Under the original download location Malware will now spread.


In the tradition of GIMPshop GimPhoto, which also comes up with a Photoshop - operation is more similar. It can be adapted to individual needs in the appearance of the small application GimPad more.