A.4. Graphics

The following section presents some of the Linux software solutions for graphics work. These include simple drawing applications as well as fully-fledged image editing tools and powerful rendering and animation programs.

Table A.4. Graphics Software for Windows and Linux


Windows Application

Linux Application

Simple Graphic Editing

MS Paint

The GIMP, Krita

Professional Graphic Editing

Adobe Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Corel PhotoPaint, The GIMP

The GIMP, Krita

Creating Vector Graphics

Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, OpenOffice.org Draw, Freehand

OpenOffice.org Draw, Inkscape, Dia

SVG Editing

WebDraw, Freehand, Adobe Illustrator

Inkscape, Dia, Karbon14, Kivio

Creating 3D Graphics

3D Studio MAX, Maya, POV-Ray, Blender

POV-Ray, Blender, KPovmodeler

Managing Digital Photographs

Software provided by the camera manufacturer

Digikam, F-Spot



Vuescan, The GIMP

Image Viewing


gwenview, gThumb, Eye of Gnome


The GIMP is the open source alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Its feature list rivals that of Photoshop, so it is well suited for professional image manipulation. There is even a Windows version of GIMP available. Find more information at http://www.gimp.org/ or refer to Chapter 19, Manipulating Graphics with The GIMP (↑Applications).


Krita is KOffice's answer to Adobe Photoshop and The GIMP. It can be used for pixel-based image creation and editing. Its features include many of the advanced image editing capabilities you would normally expect with either Adobe Photoshop or The GIMP. Find more information at http://www.koffice.org/krita.


Dia is a Linux application aiming to be the Linux equivalent of Visio. It supports many types of special diagrams, such as network or UML charts. Export formats include SVG, PNG, and EPS. To support your own custom-made diagram types, provide the new shapes in a special XML format. Find more information about Dia at http://www.gnome.org/projects/dia/.


Inkscape is a free SVG editor. Users of Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, and Visio can find a similar range of features and a familiar user interface in Inkscape. Among its features, find SVG-to-PNG export, layering, transforms, gradients, grouping of objects, and more. Find more information about Inkscape at http://www.inkscape.org/.


Karbon14 is a vector graphics application that integrates into KOffice. Find more information at http://www.koffice.org/karbon/.


Kivio is a flow-charting application that integrates into the KOffice suite. Former users of Visio will find a familiar look and feel in Kivio. Find more information about Kivio at http://www.koffice.org/kivio/.


The Persistence of Vision Raytracer creates three-dimensional, photo-realistic images using a rendering technique called ray tracing. Because there is a Windows version of POV-Ray, it does not take much for Windows users to switch to the Linux version of this application. Find more information about POV-Ray at http://www.povray.org/.


Blender is a powerful rendering and animation tool available on many platforms, including Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Find more information about Blender at http://www.blender3d.com/.


KPovmodeler is a POV-Ray front-end that integrates with the KDE desktop. KPovmodeler saves users from needing a detailed knowledge of POV-Ray scripting by translating the POV-Ray language in an easy to understand tree view. Native POV-Ray scripts can be imported to KPovmodeler as well. Find more information at http://www.kpovmodeler.org.


Digikam is a smart digital photo management tool for the KDE desktop. Importing and organizing your digital images is a matter of a few clicks. Create albums, add tags to spare you from copying images around different subdirectories, and eventually export your images to your own Web site. Find more information about Digikam at http://digikam.sourceforge.net/Digikam-SPIP/ and in Section 18.4, “Using Digikam” (↑Applications).


f-spot is a flexible digital photographs management tool for the GNOME desktop. It lets you create and manage albums, supports various export options like HTML pages or burning of image archives to CD. Find more information about f-spot at http://www.gnome.org/projects/f-spot/ and in Chapter 17, Managing Images with f-spot (↑Applications).


Gwenview is a simple image viewer for KDE. It features a folder tree window and a file list window that provides easy navigation of your file hierarchy. Find more information at http://gwenview.sourceforge.net/home/.


gThumb is an image viewer, browser, and organizer for the GNOME desktop. It supports the import of your digital images via gphoto2, allows you to carry out basic transformation and modifications, and lets you tag your images to create albums matching certain categories. Find more information about gThumb at http://gthumb.sourceforge.net/.

Eye of Gnome (eog)

Eye of Gnome is an image viewer application that is part of the GNOME Office suite. Find more information at http://www.gnome.org/gnome-office/eog.shtml.