Exporting to WebP image format from GIMP in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

WebP is an image format employing both lossy and lossless compression currently developed by Google. It is great if you want that slight advantage when you look at your SEO scores, but not so great (yet) for Facebook share images. The problem is, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS comes with GIMP 2.8 by default and this version cannot export to the WebP format.

The solution is quite simple if you want to use WebP in Ubuntu 18.04: Install GIMP 2.10 from PPA to enjoy WebP support and other notable changes:

  • Nearly fully ported to GEGL, allowing high bit depth processing, multi-threaded and hardware accelerated pixel processing, and more.
  • Color management is a core feature now, most widgets and preview areas are color-managed.
  • Many improved tools, and several new and exciting tools, such as the Warp transform, the Unified transform and the Handle transform tools.
  • On-canvas preview for all filters ported to GEGL.
  • Improved digital painting with canvas rotation and flipping, symmetry MyPaint brush support…
  • Support for several new image formats added (OpenEXR, RGBE, WebP, HGT), as well as improved support for many existing formats (in particular more robust PSD importing).
  • Metadata viewing and editing for Exif, XMP, IPTC, and DICOM.
  • Basic HiDPI support: automatic or user-selected icon size.
  • New themes for GIMP (Light, Gray, Dark, and System) and new symbolic icons meant to somewhat dim the environment and shift the focus towards content.
  • And more, better, more, and even more awesome! See the release note. (https://www.gimp.org/release-notes/gimp-2.10.html)

Open up the terminal and with Ctrl+Alt+T and type the following command to add the PPA for GIMP 2.10:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp

After entering your password, the PPA will be added to your system. The simplest way to upgrade GIMP would be with this command that upgrades all your installed software:

sudo apt dist-upgrade

You can also wait a little and the Software Updater will offer to update GIMP for you.

How to restore:

If for any reason you want to get back to the default GIMP version of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, enter the following command to remove the PPA:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge && sudo ppa-purge ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp