Post Installation: Graphic Design Applications!
To begin I want make it clear:
With all the advanced tools available as freeware or with paid subscription, making Desktop Publishing or Digital Graphic with
GNU/Linux is a total act of masochism!
I mean in future probably will be there only opensource applications that will be available through paid subscription because this is the trend, hence it is not going change anything for you, but now there are few applications really not very polished like the closed counter part but this doesn't mean that aren't powerful, but are pretty rough hence difficult to use.
More than ten years all the famous and well known applications weren't so easy to use as today, those were somehow are as today the most famous gnu graphics applications. At that time we used to call these application professionals today we watch at the gnu alternatives and we say not-user-friendly.
However that doesn't mean that aren't professional. Today a very famous suite is targeting mainly prospects with few and nothing knowledge of Graphic Design. Professionals are almost forced to use or at least to know these applications by necessity, but those new prospects need easy tools to use rather than professional tools (with a step curve learning) hence those software are sacrificing something to make themselves easy to use for everyone and the result is that today graphic communication has the tendency to be quite flat and similar.
Gnu applications instead are very hard to use but if you are able to squeeze them properly you can achieve the same result. At the end of the day the difference is made by you not by your software. I can confirm that most of these gnu application are truly professionals, the limits belong to you, but you don't need to learn them.
There are very few reasons to learn these software and I'll list you:
- you are an amateur and you will never use pirate software to create your digital craft-works;
- you are firmly convinced about the goodness of the free software and you will fight for them till the end;
- you are a genius and you can create magic with free-software.
- you are sick and tired to depend by these corporations and you work as free-lance or alone.
- you are really desperate without a budget but need some graphics application for free.
- you are a kid and some illuminated person taught you these software because s/he took care about your digital (and mental) freedom.
You may overlap many of these factors, but if you don't match even any of those, don't do the error to even try any of these software, just live your life as is and leave us alone with our affairs.
If you are still reading maybe you are really interested to learn more, software I was referring are #Gimp (learn more) and #Scribus (learn more). In this article I will speak just about how installing them, how they do or how to use them it is not my current scope.
One thing to say is: the versions available through repository are old, if you are just learning or are just curious you can use them. From my part I want the latest version, I prefer handle with crashes but having new features rather than stable software that eventually aren't really-really stable...
I used to have
Debian Testing with pinning toward
Experimental for very long time in order to have the most updated software but today for Linux and the
.DEB distros based there are several options to get updated software:
- Appimage (GOOD)
- Flatpak (GOOD)
- Snapd (NOT QUITE GOOD)
- PPA (VERY BAD)
I am not a real supporter of
Snap but since the moment I am now on an Ubuntu based distro I decided that it is fine if I use it, hence I did some researches on
Snapcrat but I didn't find some software I need: Scribus and Atom Editor; but I found those on Flatpak!
Flatpak has been designed with Gnome3 in mind and since the moment POP! is based on Gnome3 is another viable solutions. Appimage are fine but Scribus 1.5.4 got crashed repetitively on Debian and I guess will be the same on POP! as well.
PPA are one the worst invention by Canonical, it has created epic disasters on many Ubuntu installations, on my system the only
PPA I can tolerate is the one that belongs to System76 but they had better to use a conformed repository rather than a
Flatpak but Fatroot
Flatpak.org gently provided the instruction we need to unleash the flatpak power at https://flatpak.org/setup/Pop!_OS/
sudo apt install flatpak
Add flathub as source
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
Unfortunately it requires a complete restart and it won't probably work on the
Every time I read the words shop, market or store associated with the free-software I can't avoid to feel bad, a wiser name it will be ever appreciate!
As I wrote above we need to install flatpak applications through terminal even because the POP!_shop (:facepalm:) shows only the GUI application and I don't consider useful a software center that hides to you half if not even more of the applications available on your system, so far I can I prefer avoid it.
I was convinced to use
WAYLAND but it seems I was wrong:
echo $XDG_SESSION_TYPE x11
Hence I can install the good-old-one
sudo apt install synaptic
Straight to the point
It is time to install the following software:
$ flatpak install flathub org.gimp.GIMP $ flatpak install flathub net.scribus.Scribus $ flatpak install flathub org.kde.krita $ flatpak install flathub org.freecadweb.FreeCAD $ flatpak install flathub io.atom.Atom
Cool now I have some of my favorite applications updated and I keep my system quite clean but with a price. Now I'll show how the system got fat because
du -chs /var/lib/flatpak/ 5.0G /var/lib/flatpak/ 5.0G total
5G for just five application... 🙀*
Still software installation:
sudo apt install trimage fbi gv imagemagick mupdf mupdf-tools pdf2svg pdfshuffler pstoedit wkhtmltopdf inkscape xournal xpdf icc-profiles displaycal gpick xsane exiv2 ufraw gimp-ufraw gsfonts-x11 ttf-dejavu* vdpauinfo xfig *uniconvertor
One of the software I use diary on my job is Google Web Designer (GWD)
It is provided as DEB and RPM, I hope in the future will also be available as FLATPAK or APPIMAGE.
I don't want really install it on my computer so I will try to find some alternative way to use it without installing it on my system...
Before to start this section I would like to point out something that for me is one of the big mistake that the newer distro are doing constantly: hiding stuff!
Don't hide stuff because you think that newcomers get scary about terminal and commands, those people will be never resilient and at the first difficulty will give up anyway, it is necessary a bit of knowledge to use everything! Instead of hiding stuff is surely much better educating people to have the right approach to the informatics. Aren't useful in any cases, on GNU & Linux, people that have just a basic and nothing knowledge of informatics, for those people there are already valid alternatives even if proprietary. In order to grow up as community we need people that learn and contribute and that are willing to address new challenges.
As I said there are chance that I can use GWD without installing on my root, and in order to that I need to know if I need some libraries to make it working,
GDEBI by default shows this information but
EDDY the alternative provided by Elementary/POP! does not! Check it out:
Eddy vs GDebi 01
Eddy, modern and smart, doesn't show that actually it will install two further libraries like
GDebi, old and ugly, does.
Eddy vs GDebi 02
If you use just
Eddy you will never notice that but I am uninstalled it just to show you.
Eddy vs GDebi 03
As you see
Eddy installed the two libraries without alert you, it did everything silently. This is not modern, this is dangerous. You have the right to know what is happening on your computer, you have to learn how it works. People with zero knowledge are not useful for the entire GNU/Linux ecosystem, unless you are interested in keeping your users ignorant; and this is even more dangerous!
Eddy vs GDebi 04
Now I did everything with
GDebi which informed me about that it will install two further libraries available on my repos. You can also check everything about the package using the bottom tabs, and see what it does opening the terminal. I think that is modern and educative, perfect for newcomers. On the opposite if you install a package externally from your repositories it can do whatever it wants: hiding what is doing it is not smart at all, this is a TRULY, GIANT, ABNORMAL design mistake as well as an EXTREME and HUGE lacking of security...
When you connect this sensational oversights with all the false narration about the encryption and the security you can eventually understand that it is just hot air.
Using Google Web Designer without installing through
As a matter of fact both
GDebi are just front-end for
DPKG, I could also install it with:
sudo dpkg -i google-webde*
But you never know how much big G will dig into your stuff hence better run it without administrative power, thus I just extracted the folder:
and run it through the terminal to see the output:
./webdesigner DevTools listening on ws://127.0.0.1:34549/devtools/browser/77189911-05e2-4f23-8934-b6bcd1941ed1
and it worked without issue, hence until I am going to test it further, I assume that is working properly. The only gap is that I will have to update GWD manually every time, not a big issue by the way.
Fonts and Fonts Manager
There are several fonts available in the Ubuntu (and Debian) repositories however having the system full of fonts may have negative effect on the system performance. My suggestion is to store the fonts on your home and enable it when you need. In order to achieve it you need the fonts and a fonts manager.
About the fonts you can download the entire libraries of Google Fonts through git:
git clone https://github.com/google/fonts.git Google-Fonts
This command will clone the entire repo on the Google-Fonts folder, hence it is up to you to decide which will be the upper folder.
The font manager I suggest you is Fonty-python:
sudo apt install fontypython
Since the moment it is a graphical application, it is probably available on the shop (:facepalm:) as well. Using it is pretty easy, you associate the fonts you want to a
pog then you can activate and deactivate those at need. It will create symbolic links on your hidden fonts folders and regenerate font cache automatically for you each time you did some operation with the
pogs. You can do a web search to see how it works.
Last but not least #Blender 2.8
You don't need to install it just download it, unzip the file run in trough terminal:
tar xvf blender-2.80rc2-linux-glibc217-x86_64.tar.bz2 cd cd blender-2.80rc2-linux-glibc217-x86_64/ ./blender
There is also a
blender.desktop that you can modify accordingly with where you extract the compressed folder and then you can copy it on
I think I stop here. I would like to add another section but I prefer address it alone!