Two Popular MS Paint alternatives for Ubuntu

This article is about the installation of two famous drawing applications on Ubuntu, that give you the same experience as MS Paint. These are the XPaint and Pinta tools. Both these applications can be installed from the Ubuntu Software Manager and from the command line. For educational purpose we will explain a different method of installation for each of these tools:

  • XPaint installation through the command line
  • Pinta installation through the UI

We have run the command and procedures mentioned in this article on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.

XPaint – The simplest alternative to MS Paint

XPaint is a color image editing tool which features most standard paint program options, as well as advanced features such as image processing algorithms. It allows for the editing of multiple images simultaneously and supports various formats, including PPM, XBM, TIFF, JPEG, etc.

The functionality of XPaint is divided into a toolbox area for selecting the current paint operation and paint windows for modifying/creating images. Each paint window has access to its own color palette and set of patterns, although the paint operation in use is globally selected for all windows. XPaint runs on a variety of displays. It should be noted that saving images will adapt them to the current display type (i.e. a color image loaded on a greyscale screen will be saved as a grey image).


XPaint image editor is easily available in the official Ubuntu repositories and can easily be installed through the command line using the apt-get command.

Open your Terminal application either through the system Application Launcher Search or through the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut.

The next step is to update your system’s repository index through the following command:

$ sudo apt-get update

Update Package lists

This helps you in installing the latest available version of a software from the Internet. Please note that only an authorized user can add, remove and configure software on Ubuntu.

Now you are ready to install XPaint; you can do so by running the following command as sudo:

$ sudo apt-get install xpaint

Install XPaint with apt

The system might ask you the password for sudo and also provide you with a Y/n option to continue the installation. Enter Y and then hit enter; the software will be installed on your system. The process may, however, take some time depending on your Internet speed.

Launch XPaint

You can access XPaint from the Ubuntu application launcher bar as follows, or directly access it from the applications listing:

Launch XPaint

Alternatively, you can use the following command in your Terminal to launch XPaint through the command line:

$ xpaint

This is how the XPaint UI looks like:

XPaint on Ubuntu

Remove XPaint

In case you want to remove the Xpaint application through the command line, run the following command as sudo:

$ sudo apt-get remove xpaint

Enter y on the y/n prompt and the software will be completely removed from your system.

2. Pinta – Easily create and edit images

Pinta is an easy to use drawing/editing program. Its goal is to provide a simplified experience for casual users. Its key features include:

– Adjustments (Auto level, Black and White, Sepia, …)

– Effects (Motion blur, Glow, Warp, …)

– Multiple layers

– Unlimited undo/redo

– Drawing tools (Paintbrush, Pencil, Shapes, …)


For a person who does not want to open the Command Line much, installing software present in the Ubuntu repository through the UI is very simple. On your Ubuntu desktop Activities toolbar, click the Ubuntu Software icon.

Ubuntu Software Center

In the following view, click on the search icon and enter Pinta in the search bar. The search results will display Pinta as follows:

Search for Pinta in Software list

This is the package maintained by Ubuntu Bionic Universe repository. From the Software Manager, click on the Pinta entry to open the following view:

Install Pinta

Click the Install button to begin the installation process. The following authentication dialog will display for you to provide your authentication details as only an authorized user can install software on Ubuntu.

Authenticate as admin

Enter your password and click the Authenticate button. After that, the installation process will begin, displaying a progress bar as follows.

Installing Pinta - Progress

Pinta will then be installed to your system and you will get the following message after a successful installation:

Launch Pinta

Through the above dialog, you can choose to directly launch Pinta and even Remove it immediately for whatever reason.

In order to install Pinta from the command line, open the Terminal by using the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut and then enter the following commands:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install pinta

Launch Pinta

You can access Pinta from the Ubuntu application launcher bar as follows, or directly access it from the applications listing:

Pinta Icon

Alternatively, you can use the following command in your Terminal to launch Pinta through the command line:

$ pinta

This is how the Pinta UI looks like:

Pinta Image Editing Program

Remove Pinta

If you want to remove Pinta that was installed using the above method, you can remove it from your system as follows:

Open the Ubuntu Software Manager and search for Pinta. You will see the “Installed” status in the search entry. Click this entry and then click Remove from the following view:

Remove Pinta

Then, the system will prompt you with an Authentication dialog. The software will be removed when you provide the password for sudo user and click Authenticate on the dialog.

You can, of course, explore some more alternatives as well and see which one gives you the closest look and feel to the famous MS Paint application.