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Writing Plugins for GIMP in Python

Creating a Script

April 8, 2009

Have you ever wished you could automate a few functions in GIMP? Today's article will show you how to use Python to write simple GIMP plug-ins.

If you have gimp installed via your Linux distro, GIMP-Python is probably already included. To make sure, look for a Filters->Python-Fu menu. If you built your own GIMP and don't have the Python-fu, it may be that you didn't have python-gtk2 or python-gtk2-dev installed when you built it. Install them and re-run configure and you should be able to rebuild gimp with Python support. (In Ubuntu, you should have Xtns -> Python Fu-- ed.)

GIMP-Python scripts live under your home directory, in .gimp-2.6/plug-ins/. If you're using a different GIMP version, like 2.4 or 2.7, change the name appropriately. So edit a file there -- for example, $HOME/.gimp-2.6/plug-ins/pytest -- and start with the following headers:

#!/usr/bin/env python

from gimpfu import *
The "shebang" line tells Linux this is a Python script, and the second line tells Python that you'll be using the "gimpfu" library.

One more step: your file needs to be executable. So run

chmod 755 $HOME/.gimp-2.6/plug-ins/pytest
or, if you prefer, use your file manager to make it executable. Now you have a runnable GIMP-Python script.
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