GIMP 2.99.x Development Releases Likely Starting Soon For GIMP 3.0

Written by Michael Larabel in Desktop on 4 January 2020 at 07:04 PM EST. 41 Comments
It's 2020 and GIMP remains one of the last holdouts for a major software application still relying upon the GTK2 tool-kit even with GTK4 potentially coming around the end of the calendar year. Fortunately, at least, the GIMP 2.99.x development releases on the path to the GTK3-based GIMP 3.0 should be starting up soon.

The GIMP project put out their 2019 recap this weekend highlighting some of their advancements for the past year. Among the achievements have been greater usability of this open-source image editor, various tooling improvements, significant performance improvements throughout, a variety of file format handling improvements, new filters, and more.

Meanwhile on the GIMP 3.0/unstable branch in addition to GTK3 usage has been a new object-based plug-ins API that also now allows for writing GIMP plug-ins in not only Python 3 but also Lua and JavaScript.

GEGL/babl as underlying libraries used by GIMP has also seen many improvements, including better CMYK support, better CPU multi-threading support, better memory management, and sharper output when downscaling using the cubic sampler. Also in development has been CTX as a 2D vector context and rasterization engine with a Cairo/Skia/Postscript inspired API.

While no firm plans yet, for 2020 they anticipate to start shipping GIMP 2.99.x development releases "soon" although the timeline for GIMP 3.0 appears to still be uncertain.

More details on the efforts over 2019 via
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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