ChromeOS | Linux Development Environment | Install GIMP onto a Chromebook

As ChromeOS has a few tools for Creatives, these tools are very basic, which is a problem for anyone who needs to edit images. So in this video we demonstrate how through Linux Development Environment (LDE) we can run GIMP on a Chromebook.

While GIMP is a free and powerful open source piece of software for editing or manipulating images, it can be a little difficult to learn. However as it has a number of powerful tools and plug-ins, it is often used by graphic designers, photographers and illustrators.

If you are using a school or work Chromebook, accessing Linux Development Environment may have been disabled by your IT department. So please contact your system administrator or tech support before trying to use LDE.

Note: As LDE is really just a Virtual Machine of Linux within ChromeOS. By default Linux and ChromeOS will be isolated from each other. So in order to share files between the two operating systems, you will need to setup a shared folder on your Chromebook. 

Quick reference notes:

  • Open the Linux Development Environment menu
  • From within the menu select Penguin to open a Linux Terminal windows
  • First we are going to check for update by typing:
sudo apt update
  • As we did not have any updates, there was no need to perform an update. However, if you need to update the applications and services in your instance of Linux you will need to type:
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
  • When we are once again presented with the command prompt we can install GIMP

Note: In order to make installing Linux applications into Linux easier, we use a Software Management Utility called Flatpak. In order for you to use the following commands you first need to install Flatpak into your instance of Linux. – ChromeOS | Linux Development Environment | Install Flatpak onto a Chromebook

  • At the command prompt type:
sudo flatpak install org.gimp.GIMP
  • When prompted to “Proceed with these Changes to the system installation?“, type Y
  • GIMP will now install onto your Chromebook
  • When you once again see a command prompt you can exit out of the terminal window by typing:
exit
  • We can now try and run the GIMP application. 
  • In the ChromeOS app Launcher you will a folder called Linux apps which will contain any Linux applications you have installed onto your Chromebook. You should find the icon for GIMP here. 

Note: As most cheap Chromebooks use eMMC drives rather that SSD’s, you might find that it takes a while for the GIMP application to load. So this slow load speed is more a limitation of your model of Chromebook, rather than GIMP as an application. 

Reference materials:

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