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GIMP 2.8


The next version 2.8 of GIMP will have a wealth of new features, including Single-Window Mode, Layer Groups, and On-Canvas Text Editing.


Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 17
  • Last updated: 2012-05-10
  • Percentage of completion: 100%

Upstream published version 2.8.0 on 2012-05-03; gimp-2.8.0-1 was built into Rawhide and F-17 on 2012-05-10, dependent packages were rebuilt with a previous version of the release candidate.

Detailed Description

  • Single-Window Mode optionally displays all images and dockable dialogs in one window instead of several (which remains the default).
  • Layer Groups allow layers to be organized in tree-like structures.
  • Editing text with the Text Tool is now performed on-canvas instead of in a separate window. Mixing different text styles in the same layer is now possible.
  • Saving and exporting are now separate activities. Saving an image can only be done in GIMP's native XCF format.
  • Size entries allow simple mathematical expressions, like "50%", "30in + 40px" or "4 * 5.4in".
  • The brush dynamics engine has been expanded considerably, making almost all aspects of the brush engine drivable by a multitude of inputs, all of them configurable with their own response curve.
  • State of tools is now savable as presets with meaningful names.
  • A completely new Cage transform tool has been added, implementing an innovative approach to free transformation which makes it possible to easily warp parts of objects using an adjustable user-defined polygonal frame.
  • New widgets, configuration and other improvements for users of advanced input devices (e.g. tablets).
  • It is now possible to tag GIMP resources such as brushes and patterns.
  • Lots of other minor improvements and bugfixes.

Benefit to Fedora

Users will benefit from the improved workflow and many other features in this new version of GIMP.


Upstream is approaching a 2.8 release with few remaining "must have" items. Few other packages depend on GIMP, mainly external plugins. While the plugin interface is supposed to be backwards-compatible, Fedora packages containing GIMP plugins should be rebuilt to be on the safe side.

How To Test

  • Run GIMP.
  • Perform normal image manipulation activities.
  • Load image files of various formats, save to XCF and export to other image formats.
  • Switch between normal and Single-Window Mode (Windows/Single-Window Mode). Work on one or several images in both modes. Minimize Windows, unminimize them again, observe behavior.
  • If advanced input devices like tablets are available, configure and use them.

User Experience


  • Before: Some users didn't like that GIMP had several windows. Now: These users can use Single-Window Mode.
  • Before: Users had to emulate layer groups e.g. by using several images and combining them which wouldn't let their work be saved as one whole thing and had a high potential for losing work (no coherent undo here for instance). Now: Users can e.g. subtract one layer from another and treat the combined result as one layer, eventually combining it with other layers or groups.


Mainly packages containing external GIMP plugins depend on the GIMP packages. These will be rebuilt to spot eventual API compatibility problems, both against the current development and the then stable version.

Contingency Plan

Revert to previous stable GIMP version (2.6.x), rebuild dependent packages (to get rid of used new API).


Release Notes

  • Known regressions (documented in detail in the GIMP 2.7 release notes):
    • The GTK version on which this GIMP version depends doesn't properly support certain graphics tablets.
    • Old tools presets are not 100% convertible to new ones, for instance brush scale can't be converted to brush size.
  • GIMP can use poppler to import PDF files, however GIMP 2.7/2.8 changed the license to GPLv3+/LGPLv3+, which is incompatible with the current poppler license (GPLv2 only). The upcoming poppler version 0.20 will be GPLv2/GPLv3 dual-licensed, making GIMP and poppler licenses compatible again. In the meantime, GIMP will use the PostScript plugin for importing PDF files.

Comments and Discussion