Wednesday, June 20, 2012

GIMP 2.8 on Linux: a Story of Pride and Pain

The latest stable GIMP 2.8 is great in many ways such as the sane integration of docks, speed and some nice addons. It installs like a charm on Windows 7 and the aging XP. Getting it to work on the latest *buntu and Fedora is also easy, although both these flavors suck as far as stability and usability is concerned. But if you expect it to play nicely on your reliable CentOS 6.2 or Debian 6.0.5, forget it. Cos you may fuck your entire system just to get it installed.

I was very much at home with my mighty Debian untill I was lured by GIMP 2.8.

I knew Debian Squeeze repo will never have it. So, looked for backports. Nothing there too. Then tried backporting it myself. It is not as easy as:

wget ftp://ftp.gimp.org/pub/gimp/v2.8/gimp-2.8.0.tar.bz2
mv gimp-2.8.0.tar.bz2 /tmp/
tar xf gimp-2.8.0.tar.bz2
cd gimp-2.8.0/
./configure
make all && make install

there's much more. Compiling it is really tough, you'll be flooded with errors related to missing packages, flags and lots more. Then I took the easy path of pulling it down from testing repository by adding:

deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ testing main

in /etc/apt/sources.lst


then configuring apt pin priorities to make testing version as additional to prevent distribution wide updrade by putting:

      Package: *
      Pin: release a=stable
      Pin-Priority: 700

      Package: *
      Pin: release a=testing
      Pin-Priority: 650

in /etc/apt/preferences

followed by:

apt-get -t testing install gimp

Result:

Holy shit! It almost installed truck loads of packages from testing. Finally I fucked my Debian Stable. It now feels slow, sound stopped working, it shows tons of boot error messages.

Dear linux distribution enthusiasts please bring out some api/abi that doesn't change every fortnight. 99% users love stability more than the shiny non-working stuff that doesn't bring any perceivable difference to their lives.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

works ok on 'archlinux' ;-)

Anonymous said...

It's Debian's fault for having old packages. You can't install anything new because it just won't be compatible with all the rest of the system.

Anonymous said...

if you are on deian squeeze for it's stability, then you have to forget about gimp 2.8 because it's not stable enough for squeeze and backports is only for some special packages and i think it is not wise to use mixed repositories on debian also. if you want new applications, just first *upgrade* to wheezy or sid and then try to install gimp for example ;)

Anonymous said...

if you are on deian squeeze for it's stability, then you have to forget about gimp 2.8 because it's not stable enough for squeeze and backports is only for some special packages and i think it is not wise to use mixed repositories on debian also. if you want new applications, just first *upgrade* to wheezy or sid and then try to install gimp for example ;)

manmath sahu said...

I won't agree that it's Debian's problem, it's the problem of the way the entire linux ecosystem is shaping.

I'm sure the latest ubuntu or fedora will install gimp 2.8 without any problem, but try one version older release of the same distributions, i'm sure it'll open the flood gates of packages.

I still don't get the point why does it needs to refresh the packages of the entire system just to install one software.

I guess, gimp developers are targeting the latest distributions and building packages as per their api/abi, and ignoring the real distributions such as centos and debian.

Anonymous said...

if you are on deian squeeze for it's stability, then you have to forget about gimp 2.8 because it's not stable enough for squeeze and backport is only for some special packages and i think it is not wise to use mixed repositories on debian also. if you want new applications, just first *upgrade* to wheezy or sid and then try to install gimp for example ;) that should work pretty easy and awesome :)

Anonymous said...

in linux you don't need to build everything from scratch. you as developer can simply use other libraries which belongs to other packages, which is called Dependencies. without these dependencies nothing should work. so gimp like other applications has so many dependencies which must be installed in order to work. you can see these dependencies by running this command: apt-cache show gimp | grep -i depen.

in gimp 2.8 many of these dependencies are quite new and does not exists on debian (squeeze) stable which published on 2010 (i guess). it is not linux or debian's fault. it is simply the matter of user's knowledge.

Praveen said...

The reason behind stability of debian stable is testing over a period of time and fixing bugs as they are found.

Now how can you expect your system to be stable when you don't get to test it for some time and fix bugs?

backports is reasonable compromise but it will also take some time because it still needs to be tested before it can be supported officially (backports are also officially supported now).

manmath sahu said...

I understand the reasons behind dependencies, and I'm not moving to wheezy anytime soon, cos i'm afriad of gnome3 mess.

Agree with you when you say "gimp 2.8 many of these dependencies are quite new and does not exists on debian (squeeze) stable which published on 2010"... yes, it's almost 2 years old.

Well how old is Windows XP? It's around 10 years, but gimp 2.8 installs flawlessly on it.

Besides the gimp developers should take care to build it such a way, or the distributions should keep the package stack in such a form, that a 1-2 years system won't ask for the testing releases or truckloads of untested packages.

Seems, every development is growing in its own sphere and is agnostic about what's happening elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

"Well how old is Windows XP? It's around 10 years, but gimp 2.8 installs flawlessly on it."

Before installing Gimp on Windows you need to install GTK+ and some other libraries. I'm not up to date but maybe the Gimp installer does it for you - and when you install the newest version of Gimp, that means installing the newest version of these libraries, too. The package for Linux does not contain these libraries as long as they should be installed for other apps to work. If your repository does not contain up-to-date dependecies, just downloading the Gimp package won't update them.

Kelhim said...

Ever heard of shared libraries? If GIMP depends on new libraries which are considered unstable and are therefore not included in your distribution's software sources, use another distribution which includes them. With Ubuntu it's no problem at all as there's a PPA available.

It's no surprise it installs on Windows XP, since GIMP just ships the libraries with it - consuming more disk space. That's the downside of not using shared libraries. But everything comes at a price.

Anonymous said...

Try a wheezy virtual box. X forward gimp to your stable desktop from it.

Jan said...

Your problem is you used packages made for another distribution, simple as that.

manmath sahu said...

i'm well aware of shared libraries. but the tragedy of stable linux distributions and gimp 2.8 is not just those libraries but the whole distribution is going to be updated if I try to pull in gimp packages from upstream or the testing repo.

JonZEn said...

Gimp works installed and runs great on Pear Comice 4, which is Ubuntu based. I just finished doctoring new wallpaper for my box less than an hour ago with gimp.

Anonymous said...

You should use Debian testing if you want gimp 2.8.

Anonymous said...

"When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to
dismount and get a different horse."

bye Debian - my new horse is called Mint

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