I have just migrated to Ubuntu a few months ago, and find myself wanting Illustrator again. What is the best alternative for vector based drawing? Can Gimp do vector as well, or is it mainly pixel based like Photoshop?

6 Answers 6


You can try Inkscape Install InkScape.

sudo apt install inkscape

enter image description here

It is built for vector graphics. If you need an animation tool, you can use Synfig-studio Install Synfig-studio.

sudo apt install synfig

GIMP can do vector graphics, but it is designed for (and should be used for) raster.

  • Can this open Illustrator files?
    – The Onin
    May 21, 2017 at 2:53
  • Yes it can. I've used .ai files in Inkscape before.
    – RolandiXor
    May 21, 2017 at 12:34

There is also a helpful guide on using Inkscape for Illustrator users.


Inkscape is a very, very good choice for that. It is built for vector graphics, which in many cases is exactly what you want.

For pixel graphics (photos, etc..) the GIMP is nicely powerful and fully-featured.

For Desktop publishing and Layouts, I like using scribusNG

  • Nice one, this will have me from having to ask sooner or later as i occasionally use desktop publisher as well.
    – robx
    Jun 7, 2011 at 2:31

XaraExtreme http://www.xaraxtreme.org/


OpenOffice.org Draw is another alternative.


Inkscape is a good alternative, and if you want more complicated vector graphic, you could try Torapp guilloche designer, it is free and runs in Chrome 20 and above. No installation and plugin is needed.

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