I'm slowly getting used to Ubuntu; for I've been a Windows user as long as I've used any computer. I'm hoping someone can suggest a good graphics software.

I'm simply looking for one that works close to Microsoft Paint. (Paint brush functionality, simple paint operations, etc)
Does Ubuntu offer anything like it?

  • 3
    @Lucio That question is asking for editors that don't have tools like brush, pencil, erase, and so forth, and which are in effect mainly image viewers, with minimal editing functions like changing the image's orientation. This is quite different. Aug 18, 2014 at 0:22
  • In my opinion, the other question address the requirements for a MS Paint similar app. Look at the accepted answers of both questions, they recommend the same app! But, as you say, someone might look for a different point of view. It is pretty tiny and subjective the difference here.
    – Lucio
    Aug 18, 2014 at 0:27
  • 1
    Shouldn't the other question be closed instead, if any? This question is older and more popular.
    – Pavel V.
    May 1, 2015 at 9:25
  • 2
    This is not a duplicate. The current top answer may be Pinta for both questions, but that's because Pinta is a very versatile piece of software. The OP's intention is very different in the "duplicate" question.
    – dinosaur
    Jul 16, 2016 at 6:00
  • I agree this is not a duplicate. And neither question should be closed - they definitely are different questions, not duplicates.. This one is looking for a simple application to do simple paint operations. I use Gimp, and I use Paint and they each serve very different cases. Feb 4, 2022 at 18:41

7 Answers 7


The closest MS Paint clone is Pinta. I regard it as vastly superior to MS Paint, but it retains its simplicity.

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Install via the software center


On latest Ubuntu, you have to update permissions to avoid crash.enter image description here

  1. Launch permission window from Software.
  2. Enable the last permission "Read/Write files on removable storage devices."
  • 33
    +1 for Pinta, for newbies to linux its a better alternative than Gimp
    – Chakra
    Apr 23, 2011 at 9:59
  • 11
    +1, did what I wanted. Good screenshot btw - immediately tells you if this program is what you're looking for.
    – Jonik
    Jun 15, 2011 at 9:28
  • 3
    +1 for Pinta. I'm a longtime MS Paint user. Struggled with both Gimp and ImageMagick on Ubuntu. I just installed Pinta. Took 5 minutes to install on Ubuntu 14.04 (sudo apt-get install pinta) and 5 minutes to figure out how to use. So far I've used it to copy, paste, erase, select colors, fill regions with color, and to draw rectangles, lines, ellipses and text. Feb 9, 2016 at 21:40
  • 8
    Not works with Ubuntu 18.04 - crashes when start image editing
    – P_M
    Dec 21, 2018 at 10:12
  • 4
    Pinta is awful. Try drawing a filled rectangle in two clicks. Let me know how it goes.
    – breakpoint
    May 29, 2019 at 0:12

For a basic MS Paint clone I would also suggest xpaint and kolourpaint. Both are available on the Software Centre.

xpaint: xpaint

kolourpaint: kolourpaint

  • 34
    Kolorpaint is the most MS-Paint-like one I've found. Apr 23, 2011 at 17:02
  • 6
    But its meant for KDE, right? Meaning tons of libraries downloaded in vanilla Ubuntu?
    – MestreLion
    Jun 7, 2011 at 12:49
  • 3
    +1 for Kolorpaint. Too bad it drags with it a million KDE dependencies.
    – Gabriel
    May 24, 2015 at 15:39
  • 5
    +1 for kolourpaint, too. Easy to use, does the job, WYSIWYG, etc. No quirks found yet.
    – Tino
    Jan 21, 2016 at 0:59
  • 1
    +1 for KolourPaint! The first software I've tried that can do the extremely basic operations of selecting, moving a selection, deleting a selection and drawing lines properly and intuitively. Oct 29, 2019 at 18:24

There is also Gnome Paint.


Install via the software center

  • 15
    Erm... "Sorry, but the zoom feature has not been implemented yet." Nov 6, 2013 at 18:49
  • 11
    Erm... "Sorry, but the selection feature has not been implemented yet." up to 30 march 2014 Mar 30, 2014 at 18:17
  • 11
    Erm... Yea you get it, still not implemented. Jun 17, 2015 at 7:31
  • 12
    Erm... "Sorry, but the text feature has not been implemented yet."
    – Tino
    Jan 21, 2016 at 0:39
  • 6
    This looks like an MS Paint exact clone...except without many of the features implemented yet...still, as of 9 June 2016. So, if you really want something simple and sweet to keep the kids entertained, KolourPaint is it! sudo apt-get install kolourpaint4 Jun 10, 2016 at 2:08

mtPaint is a lightweight equivalent of Microsoft Paint. It is lighter (requires only 1 MB to install because it depends on GTK which Ubuntu has out-of-the-box) than Pinta, which needs 20 MB disc space on a standard Ubuntu install because of the Mono dependency.

mtPaint is documented, unlike Pinta: mtPaint handbook

  • available in the mtpaint package too Dec 17, 2012 at 12:35
  • +1 for mtPaint. Comes with Lubuntu, works just fine. Sep 1, 2016 at 0:10
  • 1
    The people who write mtPaint should go join the Pinta team and improve Pinta. Feb 12, 2019 at 18:09
  • 1
    the most lightweight yet usable alternative from all answers Mar 3, 2020 at 9:14
  • 1
    Be aware quite a lot of features are missing - for instance I cannot find a way to draw a rectangle, there's only a freehand pencil tool for drawing.
    – user426293
    Apr 19, 2020 at 14:54

Ubuntu has GIMP in the default repositories. GIMP is far more powerful than Paint, but you needn't use all of its functions.

To install GIMP in all currently supported versions of Ubuntu open the terminal and type:

sudo apt install gimp

You just need an good introduction. At Meet the Gimp there are many, many comfortable video tutorials. It isn't easy to not get lost in the big number of options with gimp, but sooner or later you need more, than some simple program is offering, so it might be easier to learn one program in depth than first an easy one, and then the more complicated one too.

  • 39
    I find GIMP to be incredible hard to use if one wants only to draw shapes. Apr 23, 2011 at 9:28
  • 2
    Give it a try to start the gimp from the command line with --no-splash --no-data (and maybe some other option). Then it starts up faster (not the very first time, though), the GUI is less cluttered and it looks like a simple paint program.
    – knb
    Apr 23, 2011 at 18:57
  • 5
    Any paint program that requires a video tutorial TO DRAW A FILLED RECTANGLE has failed.
    – breakpoint
    May 29, 2019 at 0:13
  • 2
    Well, one problem for me, for example, is that there is a really important basic use case I need a DIRT SIMPLE solution for: redacting confidential data from screenshots before filing bug reports. People aren't going to bother unless I can show them how to do it in a VERY short number of steps. And all of these programs fail to do what you can, sadly, literally do in two steps in Microsoft Paint.
    – breakpoint
    Jun 1, 2019 at 8:33
  • 2
    @breakpoint I think the issue is rather that GIMP is not a paint program but rather a kind of PhotoShop alternative. I agree that it should not be recommended as a “program like MS Paint” because it is not. Mar 3, 2020 at 9:10

Look at shutter, the feature rich screenshot tool. In Microsoft App terms, it is actually a combination of the snipping tool and ms paint.

It captures screenshots, but it also has an edit mode for the screenshots (or some file you can load from your hard drive) with some basic drawing tools, which are well thought-out and quite usable for inserting arrows and numbers into images, cropping, etc. Things you do to images to cut +paste them into presentations, after editing.

Update 2021: These days, I would install Shutter from Snapcraft

  • Shutter has very nice features like cropping, annotation with text, arrows and shapes as well as blurring. Perfect for screenshots and also good for other purposes. Jun 7, 2011 at 17:57
  • I've used shutter a lot for screenshotting, it's great for that, but it's not much like MsPaint when it comes to quick and simple drawing etc.
    – user985366
    Nov 21, 2018 at 17:16
  • snap info shutter: error: no snap found for "shutter"
    – Moberg
    Nov 9, 2023 at 18:01
  • How to draw a rectangle? Seems to take many clicks. Also: how to export all of drawing to clipboard?
    – Moberg
    Nov 9, 2023 at 18:04

It isn't Paint exactly but I really like Inkscape. It is a vector graphics editor.

Maybe that is more than you want.


Its also in the repository

  • 1
    InkScape is definitely the easiest and most powerful graphics program I've used, specially for drawing shapes and editing them. However, with my tablet, I sometimes need to scribble text and a dot is not easy to create. For example, when writing freehand text, suppose I want to write a lowercase 'i', the dot won't be visible. But then again, there are alternatives to it and still InkScape is my first choice.
    – itsols
    Jan 18, 2015 at 13:05
  • InkScape is very powerful tool, I have been using that a lot. Mar 10, 2017 at 11:10
  • Inkscape, as a vector drawing tool, as you mentioned yourself, is not 'not exactly Paint' - it's nearly as far from it, as a graphics program can be. The name isn't similar, the license isn't, the file formats aren't. Nov 9, 2023 at 20:23

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