GIMP 2.9.8 Released

A new version of the popular GIMP open source art package was released today.  Version 2.9.8 contains several fixes and improvements, but the most visible to end users are the improved gradient tools.  Now it is possible to work with gradients directly on the main canvas.

Details of the release from the release notes:


– The default brush is now “Hardness 050”.

– Verbose version (command line: gimp -v) now displays C compiler


– Transform tools don’t commit identity transformation anymore.

– Manual language can now be selected amongst all installed manuals,

which is particularly interesting when no GIMP manuals are available

in your GUI language. This will be proposed by default when a manual

is not installed for the GUI language (alongside the possibility to

read online) and the choice can be edited in preferences.

– The statusbar now blinks on warnings and errors.

– Paste in Place, available for regular clipboard and named buffers,

allows pasting contents of either the clipboard a named buffer at the

exact coordinates it was copied from.

– Color Picker should now work on KDE/Wayland.

– Color Picker now reads values under cursor in local windows making

it work at least inside GIMP Windows on Wayland platforms with no

color-picking capabilities (for instance GNOME/Wayland) yet.

– OpenCL is now disabled by default. Depending on graphics cards and

drivers, OpenCL acceleration is often slower than multi-threaded

implementation, and can also sometimes be “glitchy”.

– Now possible to open a locally-installed manual different from the

GUI localization. The manual language choice can be customized

through preferences when several manuals are installed. If no manual

language has been selected already and no manual for current GUI

localization is available, choice of help language will be proposed

at first call to the manual.


– Keybindings now possible for previous/next/top/bottom channel.


– The spinscale widget now highlights vertical parts of the slider

section differently to hint that position of cursor above the widget

matters. When changing values in the lower step section, the pointer

will be wrapped around the screen so that you could continue adjusting

the value without interruptions.

– Canvas rotation and flip information is now visible in the status

bar (as angle value and flip icon). Clicking on these canvas status

will respectively raise the “Select Rotation Angle” dialog or unflip

the canvas.

– Use abbreviated versions for long layer mode names. In particular,

replace the “(legacy)” suffixes with “(l)” in the abbreviated

versions, still showing the unabbreviated names in the full list.


– Blend tool now features on-canvas gradient editing: adding, shifting,

removing color stops, shifting midpoints and converting them to color

stops, assignging colors to color stops, changing blending type

for midpoints. Additional options: ‘Instant mode’ (active before you

start blending) to support the old workflow where you can’t edit color

stops before applying the gradient fill, and ‘Modify active gradient’

which allows changing user-writable gradients directly rather than

creating copies of them. Moreover, custom gradient is now saved

and restored across sessions.

– All transform tools: it makes no difference now whether a modifier is

pressed before of after mouse button press/release.

– Free Select tool selection can now be committed with double click as

well (only through Enter key before). This allows smoother workflows

on some setups, and in particular when no keyboard is available

(e.g. tablet-like computers).

– Layer group children now inherit the color tags of the parent by

default, unless specific color tags are assigned. Inherited color

tags show in a less saturated color than assigned ones.


– When copying a generated brush, GIMP now copies its ‘Spacing’ property.

– Rename “Wheel” dynamics labels as “Wheel/Rotation”. It turns out

that Wacom Art Pen and Airbrush pen use the same axis for barrel rotation

and wheel scrolling respectively. Therefore they already work in GIMP.

“Unhide” the feature with more obvious labels.

Color management:

– Use babl to convert between profiles if possible.

Display filters:

– New ‘Clip Warning’ display filter to show underexposed and overexposed

values. Target values below 0 and above 1.0, hence it only works on

16/32 bit per channel float images (such as EXR and TIFF).

– Display filters now operate in unbounded sRGB rather than in monitor

color space.


– Fix finding raw loaders on Windows/macOS.

– Screenshot for KDE/Wayland has been implemented (full-screen and

window screenshots only; rectangular area screenshots need

implementation on the KDE side).

– Screenshot can now add a delay between window pick/rectangular

area selection and the actual shot, but only in platforms supporting

the feature.

File formats:

– PSD:

– Fix mask position when opening/exporting.

– Fix active layer selection during loading.

– Fix potential group-layer naming conflict during loading.

– Fix missing some attributes loading empty layers.

– Fix reading files with deeply nested layer groups.

– Load and save layer group expanded state.

– Improve layer opacity loading/saving.

– PDF: password-protected files can now be imported.

– HGT: Digital Elevation Model data from NASA/NIMA can now be loaded,

both SRTM-1 (1 arc-second) and SRTM-3 (3 arc-seconds).


– Update GEGL-based filter Wavelet Decompose:

– Add an option to keep the decomposition in a layer group.

– Add an option to add layer mask to each scales layers.

– Do not use ‘New from visible’ because it produces unexpected

results; replaced by succession of layer copy and merge down.


– Add file-pdf-load2 API to load password-protected and/or multi-page

PDF files.

– Add file-hgt-load to load HGT files, with an argument to select between

SRTM-1 and SRTM-3 types.


– Updated: Catalan, Croatian, Galician, German, Greek, Hungarian,

Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish.


– Require LittleCMS >= 2.8.

– Initial docker-based build environment for GIMP now available.

– Warn against use of GCC 7.2 which has a bug breaking GIMP.

– An official flatpak stable package is now available on flathub.

More details about this release are available here.

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