The Open Source World’s Answer to Photoshop – The Simplest way to Install the GIMP on OS X

Doctoring, editing, and manipulating photographs and images can all be done for free without using an Adobe product. All it takes is the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) – the open source world’s answer to Photoshop. As great as GIMP is, installing it can be tricky if you’re new to the world of open source software packages. Forget compiling it from source, here’s the simplest way to install and run GIMP.

Install X11 on your Mac:

In order to run GIMP, you need to have the X11 windowing environment installed. This can be found on the OS X CD/DVD that came with your computer.

Note: Before you install, check your Utilities folder. If you see an application called “X11”, you don’t need to do the install.

Getting GIMP:

There are two ways that you can install GIMP. The hard way is to compile from source. For the sake of this article, we aren’t interested in doing this. What we want is a pre-compiled OS X version that just runs.

In my research, I found a few different pre-compiled versions of GIMP. Some of these versions aren’t free while others are difficult to find. Ethics of charging money for something that’s open source aside, there are alternatives.

1. Head to SourceForge and download GIMP-App for OS X.

2. After downloading, just open the .DMG file and you will see GIMP.

3. Drag it to your Applications folder and as long as you have X11 installed, it will run.

If you are familiar with Photoshop, you should see many similarities. If you aren’t, the documentation is available online at the gimp.org website.

Getting GIMP to run this way is as easy as this. I hope you weren’t expecting more.. 😉

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