How to Install GIMP 2.7 in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 11.10, 10.10 and 10.04?

Without A doubt, GIMP is one of the best raster image editors for GNU/Linux (also available for other operating system such as MS Windows and Mac OSX, etc as well).

It also has quite a history with GNU/Linux too, especially with the Gnome desktop since, if I'm not mistaken, GTK toolkit (which is the building block of Gnome desktop interface) was actually designed for the purpose of creating the GIMP at the first place.

Although apart from its popularity, few years ago, Ubuntu developers decided to remove it from the official CD ISO image (I guess because most of the users didn't use it), so if you want GIMP in Ubuntu, then we all gotta install it manually these days nonetheless.

Anyhow, few days ago the GIMP team announced the official availability of the GIMP 2.7.3. But remember, this is actually not a stable release but only a "unstable development" release since the next stable release of GIMP is the upcoming version 2.8. According to the developers, GIMP 2.7 unstable series in general does bring some major UI features + improvements but to quote their own words...
"A lot of new features are incomplete and some things may even be completely broken...", there, I warned you :)...
The new "loading-logo" (I just had to post it :D)...
But still, if you work quite heavy with GIMP and want the all new features available, well then, you might wanna give a try at the GIMP 2.7 nonetheless! :).

Main features...

The default & the usual "dock" mode...
*. Hide or merge the "Docks" into a since window (which I really like):

To be honest, I actually don't use GIMP that much but I do use it from time to time for simple tasks (this blog's ugly logo was created using it, although GIMP had nothing to with it being so ugly :D) and I used the version 2.5 the last time I used it.

Therefore I can't point out all the recent changes and whether they were actually introduced in a bit earlier version. But the rest assured, I like the new merged window which helps both navigation + reminds a bit of the Adobe ... ;-).

The "merged" window, I just love it!...

*. Tools that are rendered on the canvas window are now done via Cairo which "draws" smoother (+anti-aliased) graphics UI.  

*. Did you also noticed that the docks + canvas now has a background of the GIMP "fox" which is another feature. 

*. Easily add/remove color tools, tool-bars, palettes or other whatnots as "docks" via: "Window" -> "Dockable Dialogs" from the main menu-bar.

*. New transparent "Add-Text" dialog is also pretty cool.

I'm pretty sure the transparency of the text-toolbar is also due to the Cairo (an advanced 2D graphics library) rendering ...
Unlike in the past we can make the text Bold/Italic, change font type and size, etc via using the tool-bar rather than using the "left-dock" filled with graphics tools, which was the case in the past. This is a good thing since this should help to increase the productivity.

*. Tag your tools/docks:

For instance, if you have manually added a lot of docks filled with different tools, now we can "tag" them which helps to easily hide/filter out the ones that we don't want thanks to this feature.

*. New GEGL (another graphic library) operation widget for scaling, blur, add drop-shadow, change colors + huge list of other ability for the images.

Just a fraction of the features...
*. A Cairo based PDF importer.

*. A web-page plug-in that lets you render any web page into an image using the Webkit browser engine.

*. If you use a Tablet-PC with GIMP, then you'll love to hear that the developers have added a totally new input dialog that lets you customized the sensitivity, etc according to your personal preference.

These are just a very very small list of all the new features that comes with the 2.7 (2.7.3 is the latest) version. Anyhow, you can install GIMP 2.7.3 in Ubuntu 11.04, 11.10, 10.10 and 10.04 (might support the latter versions too) by using a PPA provided by Matt Walker. So a big thank goes to him.

As usual, open your Terminal window and use the below command.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:matthaeus123/mrw-gimp-svn

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install gimp
That's about it. Enjoy!.

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