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gimp 2.8 single window screenshot

After more than three years of development, GIMP 2.8 stable is finally available for download. The new version brings the long-awaited single-window mode (optional; you can still use multiple windows) as well as some other cool new features like on-canvas text editing, multi-column dock windows, a new set of brushes and many other features and improvements.

There's no official announcement for the latest GIMP 2.8 yet, but you can download the source from its FTP servers. Update: GIMP 2.8 has been officially released.

New features in GIMP 2.8 (stable):
  • Single Window Mode: you can finally use a single main window instead of overlapping floating windows. This is optional and can be turned on from the Windows menu.
  • On-canvas text editing: editing text is not performed in a separate window anymore.
  • Multi-column dock windows which makes the GIMP UI a lot more customizable
  • Improved screen real estate for dockable dialogs
  • Using "Save" now saves the file in the GIMP XCF format and it can't be used for saving PNG and other files. For non-XCF file types, you now have to use the "Export" menu entry.
  • You can now create layer groups which can be organized in tree-like structures
  • Brush system and tool preset improvements
  • You can now tag brushes and patterns
  • New slider widgets
  • A new set of default brushes and tool presets from Ramon Miranda (from GIMP Paint Studio)
  • Brushes can now be rotated
  • New open window navigation which displays a small preview for each tab
  • Tools rendering on canvas have been ported to Cairo to provide smooth antialiased graphics
  • A new "Lock Pixels" feature
  • Support for JPEG2000 and loading 16bit (RGB565) raw data. 
  • Export color values to CSS, PHP, Java, Python or plain text
  • Core integration of the graph-based GEGL library
  • Export to PDF
  • New tool: Cage Transform which makes it possible to easily warp parts of objects using an adjustable user-defined polygonal frame
  • Many others

Update: the official GIMP 2.8 release notes are now available @ gimp.org.

gimp 2.8 single window screenshot
New brushes / tagging brushes

gimp 2.8 font on-canvas
On-canvas text editing

gimp 2.8 layer groups
Layer groups

gimp 2.8 Multi-column dock windows
Multi-column dock windows

Cage Transform tool

gimp 2.8 New open window navigation (tabs with previews)
New open window navigation (tabs with previews)

Install GIMP 2.8 (stable) in Ubuntu

Important: The PPA below provides GIMP 2.8 final for Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin and while the packages in the PPA worked just fine in my tests, the PPA description says that there may be some dependency issues, so use it at your own risk!

To add the PPA and install GIMP 2.8 stable in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gimp

If you're upgrading from an older GIMP version, instead of the last command above, use the following:
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

For Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, you can try the Rbose-Debianizer GIMP PPA which provides GIMP 2.8 stable for Ubuntu 11.10, but please note that I haven't tested it!

Revert the changes (go back to GIMP 2.6.x)

If you don't want to use the GIMP 2.8 packages from the PPA above for whatever reasons, you can purge it by using the following commands:
sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp