Install Inkscape Last updated: 2022.04.25

Overview

Debian 11, Debian 10, Debian 9

Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04

Inkscape is either your favorite or to-be favorite vector graphics editor. Inkscape is included in the official repositories for Debian and Ubuntu, but it does tend to be out of date. To get the most recent stable release of Inkscape, it can be installed via the official PPA instead. This bit will also cover installing the AppImage, if you fancy that.

Install Via APT

Inkscape is included in the official Debian / Ubuntu repositories. It can be installed easily using apt.

sudo apt install inkscape

Install Via PPA

Not all applications, or versions of an application, are available from the official Debian / Ubuntu repositories. A Personal Package Archive (PPA) repository can be added to your system sources, allowing you to still install and update application releases with the apt package manager.

Verify that you have the software-properties-common package installed on your system. This is required for the included add-apt-repository utility.

sudo apt install software-properties-common

Add the Inkscape PPA to your system sources.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:inkscape.dev/stable

Update your system repositories, you will see the Inkscape PPA in the list of updated sources.

sudo apt update

Finally, install the Inkscape application.

sudo apt install inkscape

Install Via AppImage

Inkscape can be installed via an AppImage package. AppImage is a portable package system that alllows applications to be easily distributed to a range of different systems; it also does not require administrative permissions.

Download AppImage

Create a new directory for Inkscape to be installed in. We will put this directory in ~/Applications/ as is recommended in the AppImage documentation, but you may choose any location you wish.

mkdir -p ~/Applications/inkscape

Download the Inkscape AppImage to the ~/Applications/inkscape/ directory. At the time of writing this was version 1.1.1. Check the Inkscape release page for the most recent version.

wget https://inkscape.org/gallery/item/29256/Inkscape-3bf5ae0-x86_64.AppImage -P ~/Applications/inkscape/

Rename the downloaded AppImage so it can be easily referenced later.

mv ~/Applications/inkscape/Inkscape-3bf5ae0-x86_64.AppImage ~/Applications/inkscape/inkscape.AppImage

Make the downloaded AppImage file executable.

chmod a+x ~/Applications/inkscape/inkscape.AppImage

The Inkscape AppImage is now ready to go! Launch it via your file explorer or terminal.

Create Desktop Entry

For the application to be accessible in the same fashion as apt installed applications, you will have to create a desktop entry on your system.

Before creating the desktop entry, we will fetch ourselves a launcher icon to use for Inkscape. Store this icon in the same directory as the AppImage, ~/Applications/inkscape/ in this case.

wget https://media.inkscape.org/static/images/inkscape-favicon.png -O ~/Applications/inkscape/inkscape.png

Using your editor of choice, create a new file named inkscape.desktop in the ~/.local/share/applications/ directory.

nano ~/.local/share/applications/inkscape.desktop

Enter the following, replacing USERNAME with your system username. If you are using a different path also apply that here.

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Inkscape
Exec=/home/USERNAME/Applications/inkscape/inkscape.AppImage
Icon=/home/USERNAME/Applications/inkscape/inkscape.png
Type=Application
StartupNotify=true
MimeType=application;

That’s all there is to it, you should now see Inkscape listed in your system application list.

Conclusion

Inkscape is all ready to go! Upon initial launch you will be greeted with a welcome screen and some basic configuration options. You now have an excellent vector editor installed on your system for all your SVG needs.

Inkscape welcome screen.