The Best Open Source Graphics And Design Software

A few years ago Novell conducted an online public survey to determine which MS-Windows apps need to be ported on Linux desktop. Adobe Photoshop and other graphics application that user want ported to Linux. However, Linux comes with the sheer numbers of open source software projects produced by the community. You may overwhelmed by the choices available under Linux and not know where to begin.
This blog post covers Vector-based editors, Raster-based editors, Photo editing, Specialty, Desktop publishing (DTP), Web design, 3D modeling, Animation Typography and other softwares:


Even when looking at just a subset — such as graphics applications — if you are not already familiar with the options, the volume can make it hard to track down the application that fits your needs. The major categories tend to break down the same way, however — just a few major players; the large projects often catering to slightly different design goals, and a second set of smaller projects each of which has a smaller team and a more narrow focus.

Let’s examine each design field in turn. We’ll start by describing the leading program or programs in each, followed by the smaller or younger projects, and end with the special-purpose tools.

Read more: Periodic table of the open source graphics and design apps

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I'm Vivek Gite, and I write about Linux, macOS, Unix, IT, programming, infosec, and open source. Subscribe to my RSS feed or email newsletter for updates.

11 comments… add one
  • Ken Zutter Jul 30, 2010 @ 4:22

    Please check and correct your grammar and sentence structure.

    • Billy Bob Thorton Jul 30, 2010 @ 17:36


      Please check yo’self before you wreck yo’self.

    • tanyeun Aug 12, 2010 @ 14:21

      maybe my grammar is pretty bad
      so I didn’t notice what’s wrong with the article 😛

  • rogerdodger Jul 30, 2010 @ 17:42

    i like linux but, i hate gimp… so i just run windows7 in a virtual box just so i can have my cs5!. Best of both worlds!

  • thyago Aug 1, 2010 @ 13:38

    i like both. i used both. blender and 3dsmax, adobe PS and gimp (i use windows 7 and and im also into backtrack linux.) i dont think one is better than another they just have things to count. gimp is good for old computers, to make simple things or just like a hobby. abode is powerfull, for really profesional use. like premiere, abode ligthroom etc.
    for 3d, im a big fan of blender, so far its the best 3d program i ever saw.

  • kubrick Aug 9, 2010 @ 9:38

    My favorite one is mspaint + wine …


  • tanyeun Aug 12, 2010 @ 14:24

    I just get used to use mspaint and visio, word, powerpoint
    even thou I use linux
    for the related tasks
    I still use those software on virtual XP for convenience

  • vaibhav patel Nov 12, 2010 @ 12:20

    void main()
    int i;
    printf(“input number:”);
    printf(“number is even”);
    printf(“number is odd”);

  • rkd Jan 29, 2011 @ 5:50

    why don’t you use playonlinux for run cs5 instead of win7 in VB(virtualbox). lets try it.

    • Colorgraphicz (@colorgraphicz) Aug 31, 2016 @ 7:50


  • Wayne Feb 2, 2011 @ 4:47

    CentOS5.5, Command-line interface What command performs the same functions as the c~ command.

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