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GIMP 2.8.6 has been released recently, bringing many bug fixes and small enhancements. In this release, the single-window mode has received special attention and some annoyances, like the close button not quitting GIMP or the right docks not keeping their size, have been fixed.

GIMP 2.8.6

Changes in GIMP 2.8.6 (stable):
  • Fix saving to URIs, it was broken to only allow exporting, and fix save/export of compressed files;
  • Fix brush spacing for drawing in any direction;
  • Increase the maximum size of clipboard brushes and patterns to 1024x1024;
  • Make sure data objects are saved when only their name was changed;
  • Don't allow single-window docks to shrink smaller than their requisition;
  • Make sure a single-window's right docks keep their size across sessions;
  • Allow to change the spacing of non-generated brushes again;
  • In single-window mode, make Escape move the focus to the canvas and beep if the focus is already there;
  • Be smarter about unavailable fonts, and don't crash;
  • Make clicking the single-window's close button quit GIMP;
  • Make view-close (Ctrl+W) only close image windows and tabs, not docks;
  • Add SIGNED_ROUND() which also rounds negative values correctly;
  • Make GIMP_PLUGIN_DEBUG work again after GLib changed logging;
  • Fix zealous crop for transparent borders;
  • Add a default "Color from Gradient" dynamics and tool preset;
  • Many other bug fixes and translation updates.

GIMP 2.8.x is the stable branch and no new features will be added. The next major GIMP release will be 2.10, which is expected to be fully ported to GEGL, OpenCL acceleration support in GEGL, get support for layer masks on layer groups, a new wrap tool, seamless cloning, an unified transform tool and more. Then, with GIMP 3.0, the application is expected to be ported to GTK3 (currently work in progress). The estimated release dates for GIMP 2.10 and 3.0 are not known yet.

Install GIMP 2.8.6 in Ubuntu

Thanks to +Thorsten Stettin's GIMP PPA which has been updated today, you can install the latest GIMP 2.8.6 in Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander (currently under development), 13.04, 12.10 or 12.04 by using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gimp

Thorsten's PPA also contains some GIMP goodies which I'm sure you'll like so I'll tell you how to install them below.

GIMP Plugin Registry, a collection of GIMP plugins which includes GIMP FX Foundry and many other useful plugins, can be installed from the same PPA:
sudo apt-get install gimp-plugin-registry
Another package available in Thorsten's PPA is G'MIC, a tool that's available as a GIMP plugin which comes with a large number of pre-defined image filters and effects (more than 190). Install it using the following command:
sudo apt-get install gimp-gmic
And finally, two other packages are available in this PPA:
  • gimp-help 2.8 (version 2.6 is available in the Ubuntu repositories) for about 19 languages, including English, Greek, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Chinese and more - to install it, search for it in Synaptic or USC;
  • GIMP Lensfun, a plugin to correct lens distortion using the lensfun library - you can install using "sudo apt-get install gimp-lensfun".