GIMP is Now a Self-Contained Native App for Mac OS X

GIMP, the image editing program that’s a popular open-source alternative to Photoshop, is now easier than ever for Mac users to start using. Though it was completely free, installing it has long required that X11 also be installed — a major pain in the butt. That changes with the latest version of GIMP: the app is now a self-contained native app that’s a breeze to install. It’s as simple as dragging and dropping.

After downloading the app from the GIMP website (a file that weighs in at around 73 megabytes), you’ll have a DMG installer on your hands. Open it up, drag the file to your Applications folder, and voila! GIMP installed, and ready to use!

The total size of the app once you unpack it is about 230 megabytes. We’d say, “make sure you have enough hard drive space”… but this is 2012, and 230MB is what you have on your hands after warming up your shutter finger.

When we tried out this latest version, the app crashed the first time we tried opening it. Other users are reporting this same bug. Try it a second time, however, and it should load just fine.

Aside from this quirk, the 2.8.2 update fixes some bugs that were present in the previous version. Enjoy.

(via OS X Daily via Lifehacker)

  • Alan Dove

    I wouldn’t exactly call X11 installation a “major pain in the butt,” but this is nonetheless great news.

  • Joe Simpson

    Wonder if this means GTK works properly on OSX or it’s just including X11 in the .app?

  • Piotr

    GTK was working on OSX for some time. I was using native GIMP from MacPorts (+quartz variant) for some time now. So there’s no X11 there.

  • Joe Simpson

    Awesome. Never used to be (last time I had a Mac)

  • Ratty

    First launch: GIMP quit unexpectedly.

    Not so good.

  • mk_qi

    I do not like gtk program on osx.

  • Preston Sumner

    The biggest problem is that it’s called “Gimp”.

  • Chris

    Did you drag it from dmg to your applications first? It won’t launch directly from the dmg.

  • 2AM

    even supports retina – tried yesterday

  • Scritti Politti

    Didn’t really like running under X11 except for one thing: X11 puts application menus where they belong: on the application’s main frame.

  • Scritti Politti

    No, it’s called “GIMP”.

  • wickerprints

    Like the names of many other open-source programs, “GIMP” is a stupid choice made by otherwise intelligent developers who have zero understanding that people don’t want to use a program if it’s going to be given a weird name. “What did you use to edit that picture?” “Oh, I used GIMP.” “What?” The choice of name alone has probably significantly prevented its adoption and use. People want to use a program whose name is not an acronym that spells out a pejorative word, whose name bears some relation to what it does. They might as well have named it “Motherf***er” or something equally asinine. And it’s sad, because the world needs decent alternatives to Adobe Photoshop.

  • poochi

    its a little buggy but Ill take it – the best part is that finally key combinations will work right, the worst part is that my “black” theme is gone…Also it looks like they just repackaged X11 wigth the app – but again, this is a big improvement Im glad they cared enough to do this.

  • JohnDoey

    Installing X11 is a major pain in the but compared to installing Mac, iOS, or Web apps, which all require 1-click and just work.

  • JohnDoey

    Does it support pressure?

    GIMP and Inkscape have always been off-limits to me because they do not support tablet pressure. If you are using a mouse with a drawing tool you are doing it wrong.

  • quasi

    Retarded comment. What’s in a ‘name’ is what a great someone once wrote.

  • foobar

    @JohnDoey : I don’t know how does the Mac port of gimp behave regarding pen pressure, but the X11 version does support pen pressure ver well, and it’s been supporting it for quite a long time already.

  • Mansgame

    “Can you GIMP those pictures for me please?” said noone. Ever.

  • fourthletter

    Or maybe you have just learned to use a mouse as well as a pen ;-P

  • fjpoblam


  • Foomandoonian

    “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” said Shakespeare. “Here, smell my GIMP” says you.

  • Natasha Leigh

    Technically it’s called GNU Image Manipulation Program if you’d rather call it that? ;)

  • Mike Johnson

    I don’t know why the comments here are so negative. Gimp is a very useful tool, made much, much better on OSX without the X11 requirement.

  • Stephen Ball

    Of course names are important. Stupid silly names like “GIMP” (which is clearly meant as a joke acronym) absolutely do turn off people who would otherwise decide to try out an application.

  • mikeschr

    The problem for me is that the changes they made in 2.8, mainly to the way text is inserted and the method for saving files, made the program much more inconvenient for me to use. I’m still on 2.6 and I’m going to stay there. Too bad, because an integrated app would be more convenient.

  • T.a. Barnhart

    doesn’t get out of the way of other apps. won’t hide. that’s kind of irritating.

  • Alexi Moriarty

    their loss. if you’re that closed minded in the 21st century that’s hardly anyone else’s problem (except when you inevitably impose it on us)

  • Rob Colburn

    For a long time *doctor* and *clean-up* were both common. Adobe cornered the market for “Image Manipulation Programs” a while back. Then there marketing helped solidify the position with the name-as-verb thing. The term you’re replacing is the generic *manipulate* which is found in “GNU Image Manipulation Program”.

  • 9inchnail

    It is the developer’s problem, too. If people are close-minded, you have to adjust to that if you want your software to be successful. It’s easier to change a product than it is to change the customers.

  • ritz

    Um, I’ve been successfully using a tablet and pressure-sensitivity in GIMP since at least 2007. And yes, they still support it.

  • Tyrker

    Have they added 16-bit editing yet?

  • Syzygy

    In fact, it does bear a relation to what it does. The Gimp is a fictional creature (from one of the Oz books maybe?) pasted together from many different ones, just like a picture might be. And saying that it’s bad software because of its name makes me think you only care about appearances.

  • Andrew Shadura

    Yes, file saving isn’t exactly what I could possibly like about GIMP 2.8. Also, they have changed the behaviour of toolbox windows somehow, so it’s not working anymore with my window manager (and that’s not a bug of the WM itself).

  • Cătălin Roman

    iGimp sounds better?

  • Kevin Smith

    No, deep colour and non-RGB colour models are going to be available when they complete the change of the back end over to GEGL. They’ll probably call it GIMP 3 when that happens.

  • fjpoblam

    Having used it for awhile, I must say that, on our boxes, it’s prone to crash or freeze now and then. Still, I rely on it when other graphics editors on MacOS (in our case, Pixelmator) just won’t cut the mustard. It’s superb at faithful resizing, object selection, grayscale, gradients, and color-to-alpha.

  • UnconventionalT

    Yep, a patch is included. It’s not finalized, and hasn’t been tested at large, but I consider it stable.

  • Tyrker

    Cheers for the reply Kevin – have you got any idea of (roughly) when that would happen?

  • Judith Howard Shea

    Do you think they were sort of following the lead of Google and Yahoo?