Category Archives: GIMP

Adding a custom theme to GIMP

GIMP running on .nix distributions that support the Gnome desktop environment can be used with custom themes. Following is a brief how-to which covers doing this on OpenIndiana oi_151a x86, with GIMP 2.6. The method should be very similar or identical for Linux distributions (e.g. Ubuntu).


First, let’s locate a sample GTK theme. I am using a rather nice theme called “Darkilouche” found here:

Simply download the compressed file in the above link, and extract the contents to disk.


Next, we need to locate the gtkrc file in the uncompressed theme folder. The sample theme we are using contains the following files and directories once uncompressed:

$ ls -al
total 7
drwxr-xr-x 4 dave staff   5 2012-03-07 22:47 .
drwxr-xr-x 3 dave staff   3 2012-03-07 22:47 ..
drwxr-xr-x 6 dave staff   9 2007-02-28 00:22 .svn
drwxr-xr-x 3 dave staff   4 2007-02-28 00:22 gtk-2.0
-rw-r--r-- 1 dave staff 240 2007-02-28 00:23 index.theme

The gtkrc file sits within the gtk-2.0 directory, and appears to be the only critical file that is needed.


Next, we copy the gtkrc file into the GIMP themes directory. In this example, I am using the global GIMP themes directory at /usr/share/gimp/2.0/themes. We simply create a directory named after the theme we are installing (in this case “Darkilouche”), and copy the gtkrc file into it.


Finally, we launch or restart GIMP and test that the theme is accessible at Edit -> Preferences -> Theme. The following screengrab illustrates that GIMP has found the theme, and, it is also the active theme:

Darkilouch GTK theme installed in GIMP


Freedom in video media production

ffmpeg to do screen captures: $0
Audacity to capture audio, perform clean-up and EQ: $0
GIMP to design titles and watermarks: $0
OpenShot to edit footage, add transitions and effects: $0
Web delivery transcoding to the free, patent-unencumbered Theora codec: $0
The Ubuntu OS to run it all on: $0

And seamless video playback (without stupid plugins) using Firefox

Theora playback in Firefox

Freedom rules.

Draw arrows in GIMP…

… with this handy plugin:

I love this application!

GIMP draw arrow plugin settings

GIMP drop shadow plugin

Great little plugin here, a collection of cool effects actually:

The settings in GIMP 2.6.7 on OpenSolaris I use (first I increase the canvas size by 5 percent and center it):

GIMP canvas settings

GIMP drop shdow plugin settings

Scribus – New Zealand book

From Marcus Holland-Moritz, a stunning example of outstanding design chops coupled with open source software – and a New Zealand reference (my home) to boot:

New Zealand Book, made with Scribus and more...

In the author’s own words:

“I’ve put several months of work into this project. It features about 200 out of the 15,000 photos I took during my five weeks “down under” along with some anecdotes about my journey across the two islands of New Zealand.

The book was created exclusively using free and open source software. It is itself available under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND license.”


As I put it in my other entry about Scribus, I know of people who couldn’t assemble anything anywhere near this good with full access to a megabucks Adobe CS license.

The book may be purchased at: – and I might just purchase a copy myself. I love open source!

GIMP reflection plug-in

No need to spend time fiddling with transparency layers and gradients in GIMP trying to obtain the (presumably soon to be passe) reflection effect with this neat plug-in: (Updated: As mentioned by wajeemba in the comments below, there is now a dedicated site containing this plug-in and a whole bunch of others maintained for later GIMP releases, at

Pic with GIMP reflection effect