An early Glance at GIMP on OS X

I’m very excited today 🙂 My co-worker Anders Carlsson has spent the last two months with starting a port of GTK+ to the Mac OS X Cocoa framework, so GTK+ applications will eventually run natively (without needing X11) on that platform.

The port is still in its early stages and incomplete, but after these few weeks it’s already complete enough to give compiling GIMP a try.

I was trying to run GIMP on the port for about a week now, but the port was not complete enough, so I almost fell apart when I tried it again after Anders’ latest commits last night:

First Shot of GIMP on OS X

Wheeeeeeeeeeee! This is just amazing, especially after just two months of hacking. And Anders will continue improving it. The source will be public soon for others to help improving, and I will definitely keep GIMP running on it constantly. This will be a lot of fun!

(Disclaimer: the screenshot above is really a very early state, GIMP was just generous enough to not crash but show these three windows instead. It will be constantly improving, both look-and-feel and desktop-integration wise, so please don’t complain that GIMP on OS X should actually look a bit different ;))

47 Responses to “An early Glance at GIMP on OS X”

  1. * antenna-flog » Blog Archive » glimpse Says:

    […] Hey! Catch a glimpse of GIMP OS X Native. This is one of the very first screenshots: gimp-on-os-x.png. There’s still a lot of work ahead of the guys – until the stable release – but nevertheless. […]

  2. Jakub Steiner Says:

    Na endlich! 😉

    Great stuff guys.

  3. Taybin Says:

    Is any source available for the port yet? How was this done? Via GDK or Cairo?

  4. Ruido blanco Says:

    Me gustan las nativas

    ¡Sí! y ¡Sí, sí, sí!.

    Esa junto con esta otra alegran el día a cualquiera.

  5. Avi Flax Says:

    Excellent! Keep up the great work! Thanks!

  6. René Says:

    Wie geil ist das denn? 😀

    This is awesome. Thank you so much!

  7. weblog Says:

    Native Version von Gimp unter OS X

    Anders Carlsson arbeitet an einem OS X Port von GTK+ und macht damit auch eine native Version von Gimp möglich. Sein Arbeitskollege …

  8. Mitch Says:

    In response to Taybin’s question: There is no “port” of GIMP, there is just a port of the GDK layer which GIMP uses to access the windowing system. The GIMP version I compiled on top of this just the current CVS HEAD.

  9. ChorboN Says:


  10. Ben Askins Says:

    Great work. I’m looking forward to using the GIMP on OS X, having it run under X11 is a real pain point for me.

  11. matt Says:

    Awesome. The sooner the code is available, the sooner various GTK projects can get to work testing their apps under OSX and submitting patches to the your port. I can’t wait to test it.


  12. Twisted world of Esden Says:

    Gimp native on Mac OS X

    I was really waiting for someone to do it and it finally happened. I am using Gimp myself on Mac for postprocessing my photoblog images. It is pretty unconfortable because it needs an x server.
    Now there is an effort to port GTK to Mac OS X cocoa fr…

  13. Schreibtischnotizen » Blog Archive » Gtk+ für Mac OS X angekündigt Says:

    […] Endlich… nachdem mit Qt von Trolltech bereits ein wichtiges GUI Toolkit aus der Linux Welt seinen Weg auf den Mac gefunden hat, wurde jetzt eine Portierung von Gtk+ auf den Mac angekündigt. Versuche gab es inzwischen zahlreiche, erfolgreich waren sie aber alle nicht. Dieses mal scheint einem Port nichts im Wege zu stehen, es gibt bereits interne Testversionen von Gimp, die ganz ohne X11 unter Mac OS X laufen. […]

  14. OS X Code (r,s) - A Mac blog about coders and the code they write. » An early Glance at GIMP on OS X Says:

    […] read more | digg story Bookmark options for this entry: Add to | Add to Furl | Add to Spurl […]

  15. Bob Says:

    Now we’ll need someone to cook up a GTK-MIMP, just like GTK-WIMP for windows.

    Also, does this make rendering and refreshing the screen better than with X11? I think the worst thing about X for me is how incredibly slow the drawing canvas updates on scroll, etc.

  16. walkingmac Says:

    YOU ROCK! Been looking for this for a long time and it seemed no one was picking it up. THANK YOU! Can’t wait for the release!

  17. Joe’s Blog » Blog Archive » An early Glance at GIMP on OS X Says:

    […] » Blog Archive » An early Glance at GIMP GTK+ on OS X […]

  18. Jason Clement // » Today’s Cool Links… click ‘em Says:

    […] GIMP for OS X… Uh-oh! Please don’t piss Adobe off so bad that they kill Photoshop and InDesign for Macs… […]

  19. Matt Moriarity Says:

    Awesome. There’s something wrong with my X11, so I would love to run gimp natively

  20. Andrew Escobar Says:

    There is a rumor that Apple has a working “Photoshop-killer” thats based on GIMP. Just incase Adobe is insane enough to drop support for the Mac (you never know) Apple is apparently ready to release it. [via TWiT Podcast](

  21. Collin Says:

    Looking good! I’d be so happy to drop Photoshop on OS X — it’s got so many issues. I can’t wait to see how this works out!

  22. Branko Collin Says:

    I think I need a cold shower. My iBook thanks you guys from the bottom of its CPU. Oh, and don’t worry about the stability too much, the I currently use crashes regularly too. Almost never having used the GIMP under GNU/Linux, I have grown quite accustomed to pressing CTRL+s every couple of minutes.

  23. Muskie Says:

    I too remember fooling around with GIMP back when OS X was in Public Beta and found it less than inspiring. I’m not a total Photoshop guru by any means I seem to get by with just GraphicsConverter and iPhoto for the most part but I’ll keep an eye on this.

    I found your blog through TailRank beta which is some sort of new way of finding information on the internet.

    I’m tired. I need sleep. Must go to bed…

  24. Daniele Says:

    I like main menu on mac, I like it to become a optional place where to detach/attach application’s main menu, and, in a transparent way, to attach it automatically when I am using gnome desktop and launch a gtk application.
    I already asked in mailing lists some years ago, someone said that it could be done using a kind of daemon or such a thing that could justify the name Gnu Network Object Modelling Environment, hence nobody would make this change.

    A bit OT, but desktop menu on screenshot of OSX port show Terminal menu ..

  25. Dan Griffin Says:

    This is very exciting, as a unix geek coming to os-x i miss good x11 support. I would be excited to help! I am a senior cs student looking for a project to contribute to.

  26. subw Says:

    This is so great! Currently, a person wanting to use a pen tablet to paint and use OSX is forced to use something very costly such as Photoshop to get good results.
    Now, finally an alternative is in sight, with this stuff and an adjusted Gimp or Cinepaint.

    Really looking forward to the first Gimp using this!

  27. Taybin Says:

    In response to Mitch. I know. I was asking about the source of the GDK port.

  28. Nico Says:

    Any news about releasing the code? I would really like to help with this project as there are many apps that depend on GTK that are a pain to run on OS X given the X11 requirement (having to use Fink or Darwinports).
    Congratulations on the good work, looks like you’ve gone a long way!

  29. Hellmark Says:

    Any updates on how this is coming? Nothing has been said about this GTK port in a couple months

  30. FrankPS » Blog Archive » GTK+ natively on MacOS X Says:

    […] Well, some info on the work and an early screenshot can be found here… . […]

  31. Arses Says:

    Can we please get some kind of status update? This is uncharacteristically cagey.

  32. Charly Says:

    Very good idea! Any updates on the status?

  33. The Sky is Grey Says:

    OS X Native GIMP

    On Linux and Windows, The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an outstanding image editor, as good as Photoshop in may areas – not to mention its unbeatable price. However, the user experience on Mac OS X has been somewhat lacking in the pas…

  34. syngin Says:

    Nice work, mitch.

  35. coelomic Says:

    Fantastic. Hope it will be auniversal binary.

  36. olaf Says:

    Will that port yield pressure sensitivity to vacom boards?

  37. danboarder Says:

    Are you aware of this effort to port GTK+ to OS X:

  38. Apple News » An early Glance at GIMP on OS X Says:

    […] Anders Carlsson two months ago started with a Cocoa port of Gimp so that it will finally run natively (without needing X11) on OS X. Now he’s ready to show the first very early screenshots together with some information â??s. Of course the source will be made public so any OS X developer will soon be able to help him more | digg story […]

  39. Jan-Willem Arnold Says:

    This is a great development. It is so nice to see how much can be achieved in a short while when various components can be tied together. This is one of the largest strenghts of open source software! Gimp is great, OSX is great and GTK makes it work together!

    So exciting.

  40. Lauren Says:

    I was really waiting for someone to do it and it finally happened. I am using Gimp myself on Mac for postprocessing my photoblog images. It is pretty unconfortable because it needs an x server

  41. KiL Says:

    Over a year has passed, but I haven’t heard any news about GIMP natively running on OS X… Any progress?

  42. Up North » Blog Archive » Gtk+ natively on Mac OS X Says:

    […] Read about it in his blog. […]

  43. Filzgalk2 Says:

    hi. nice blog. is there a place where can i download native gimp? i tried compiling it but failed about 3 times and gave up. i did download the gtk+ native as a framework. havent tested it yet.

  44. Stopped Clock Blog Says:

    […] Quite naively I thought I would refresh the gimp stock icons over the weekned to follow the Tango Style Guidelines. With the native aqua gtk version coming and projects like Seashore I can’t wait to hear from mac people if we succeeded at merging-in on the mac as well as XP. About time we focused on our own tools. […]

  45. Gimp Tutorials Says:

    Nice gimp tips. thanks..

  46. wyrfel Says:

    Ja wie geil is das denn!(2) 😉

    When i grow up, i’ll port GTK to the web, i promise.

  47. mela » Blog Archive » Non più X11 per far girare GIMP. Says:

    […] North: Gtk+ natively on Mac OS X – Blog Archive – An early Glance at GIMP on OS X Gtk+-Cocoa — Gtk for Mac OS X November 19th, 2005 in […]

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