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Thorsten Stettin has created a new PPA for Ubuntu / Linux Mint users who want to use the latest GIMP 2.9 development builds.

There won't be a GIMP 2.9 stable release - 2.9 is used for development and will result in the next stable GIMP version, 2.10.

The major new feature in GIMP 2.10 will be a complete port to GEGL / high bit depths and the latest GIMP from GIT already allows working in 16bit and 32bit per color channel mode, both integer and float:

GIMP 2.10 development

Other features that will be available with GIMP 2.10 are a new wrap tool, seamless cloning, a unified transform tool and more.

GIMP 2.10 development

Most of these new features are already work in progress and available in the latest GIMP development builds which you can install in Ubuntu by using Thorsten's PPA. However, remember that since these aren't stable GIMP builds, you may find bugs or incomplete features!

Install GIMP 2.9 (development build) in Ubuntu

To add Thorsten Stettin's GIMP Edge PPA and install GIMP 2.9 in Ubuntu or Linux Mint, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp-edge
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gimp

The PPA also contains the latest GIMP Plugin Registry package: (a collection of GIMP plugins which includes GIMP FX Foundry and many other useful plugins) and GIMP G'MIC (G'MIC or GREYC's Magic Image Converter is a tool that comes with more than 190 pre-defined image filters and effects for GIMP).  Install these extra GIMP plugins using the following command:
sudo apt-get install gimp-plugin-registry gimp-gmic

Revert the changes

If you want to go back to the stable GIMP version (purge the GIMP 2.9 development builds PPA and downgrade GIMP), use the following commands:
sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp-edge

via Thorsten Stettin @ Google+