Gray Matter


Simple GIMP Alternatives for Image Editing on Linux

RT Cunningham | September 4, 2020 (UTC) | Computers, Web Development

GIMP alternativesGIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a very nice application, comparable to Photoshop on Windows and macOS. What if you only need a fraction of its features? For many people on Linux, a GIMP alternative is more appropriate.

I’ve never used any of these high speed, low drag image manipulation applications. All I need to do is resize, sharpen and compress the images I use on my website. There are at least three applications that can do most of what I need them to do.


IrfanView is software designed only for Windows. If you know how to install it under Wine on Linux, more power to you. That’s how I used on Linux Mint for a while. Later, I installed it on a Windows virtual machine. I no longer use it for anything.


I tried Fotoxx for a few months. It’s designed for photographers more than web developers. I no longer use it for anything either.

XnView MP

XnView MP is what I use every for all of my images now, even when I’m not using it for web development. With its built-in file browser, it serves me well.

Resizing, Sharpening and Compressing

All of these applications support resizing and sharpening, but none of them support compressing or optimizing images. There are online services that will do that task for you, but it’s tedious and some services aren’t free. The best way is to install an application locally.

I found the one I use most of the time, called “jpegoptim”, in a Tecmint article titled “How to Optimize and Compress JPEG or PNG Images in Linux Commandline”. When I’m ready to optimize two or more images, I’ll place them in a dedicated directory, drop to the command line in a terminal session and issue the command “jpegoptim *” (without the quotes, obviously). It doesn’t lake long at all for dozens of files to be optimized.

Although I have it installed, I rarely use OptiPNG. In fact, I believe I’ve only used it once.

My Image Manipulation Techniques

I use the HTML5 tag, loading=”lazy”, for every image on a page except for the first one. The first one (and most of the time, the only one) is almost always a thumbnail with a width of 150 pixels. That size even works well with cell phones in their default portrait displays. Since I link it to a larger version, it shouldn’t be an issue for anyone.

When I select my preferred image, it’s usually larger than 1000 pixels wide or 1000 pixels high. I will resize it to a width or height of 1000, whichever axis is larger, and save it. I’ll then resize it to 150 pixels wide, maintaining the current aspect ratio, and save it with another file name. The images I use rarely have to be sharpened.

Photo Attribution: GimpWorkshop from Pixabay

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