How to install GIMP on mac OS X 10.5.2 or greater

This guide will guide you through installing GIMP on mac OS X 10.5.2 or greater with easy-to-follow and clear instructions.

Installing X11

GIMP requires X11 to run on mac. There are two ways to install X11 on OS X 10.5.2. The first one is to use the packages provided by Apple. The second is to install the packages provided by the XQuartz project. Installing from XQuartz is usually easier, and they are more up to date, however they are not official packages and some people reported problems when using XQuartz. We recommend you try XQuartz first since it's easier to install, and on failure (if GIMP crashes, for instance) you can try installing the packages from Apple. You only need to install one of them, not both.

Path A : Installing X11 from XQuartz project

Download a full package like XQuartz 2.2 from the XQuartz project (XQuartz also provides updates to Apple's X11, if you never installed Apple's X11 make sure you get a full package) Simply install it by doule-clicking the package and following the instructions. Once this is done, you can continue to the Downloading and installing GIMP section.

Path B : Installing Apple's X11 package

Insert your OS X install disk and locate the Optional Installs package. Double-click it.

An installer window will appear. Continue using the buttons at the bottom until you reach the installation type step. When you have reached this step, expand the Applications subsection in the tree by clicking on the triangle next to it, and check element X11. Once this is done, click on the Update button to continue, and perform installation.

importantIf your are installing the for the first time from your Leopard Install CD (containing MacOS 10.5.0) on MacOS 10.5.2, you have to reinstall the 10.5.2 Combo-Update. Otherwise GIMP will crash. !!!

(Some people reported being unable to install the combo-update. In this case, try to get your hands on a OS X 10.5.2 install disk and install X11 from there. Otherwise, if it's impossible, just install the GIMP package for OS X 10.4, it should work anyway.)

Downloading and installing GIMP

Once X11 is installed, download GIMP from the Wilber Loves Apples file downloads. Locate the MacOS 10.5 Leopard subsection and pick either the PPC or Intel build depending on your computer. (If you do not know which one to download, select About this mac from the Apple menu)

Once downloading is done, double-click the dmg file. Drag and drop the GIMP icon to your Applications folder.

You can now eject the disk image by dragging it to the trash. You can also delete the dmg if you wish.

There's one small operation we can now perform to make it easier to use (note that this is not necessary). Doing this will save you many unnecessary double-clicks during editing by not requiring you to activate GIMP windows before you can click on them. While Gimp and X11 are closed, open /Applications/Utilities/Terminal, and paste the following command in it and press enter:

  • If you installed the XQuartz packages :
    defaults write org.x.X11 wm_click_through -bool true
  • If you installed the Apple X11 packages :
    defaults write wm_click_through -bool true

    A few more things to note:

  • Menus in Gimp will not appear at the top of the screen like regular OS X menus, but in every window instead (this happens because Gimp comes from Linux where menus are like that. A non-X11 version of Gimp, when it comes, should have the menus at the right location.)
  • When you open GIMP, there will be 2 icons in the dock: Gimp itself and X11. You can mostly ignore X11, but just be aware that Gimp requires it to remain open while it runs to work.
  • Do not quit Gimp from the dock, instead quit from the File menu or by using the keyboard shortcut. This is one more limitation caused by X11.
  • Keyboard shortcuts by default use the Control key instead of mac standard Command. You can make it use Command by following the instructions here .

    GIMP can now be opened by double-clicking on its icon in your applications folder! Note that the first time you open it, there will be a slight delay before anything appears on screen.

    Happy Gimping :) Logo