Wanting to use GIMP on my Mac proved to be a challenge, not in a way I planned. I’d gone to GIMP’s website to download both the 2.8 and 2.10 pre-compiled dmg files to install GIMP. I’d read up a bit beforehand; the articles I’d found indicated that some useful Script-fu scripts came with the 2.8 version but had disappeared in the 2.10 upgrade. On top of that, I’d discovered that the well-known script library, registry.gimp.org, had shut down. This registry had been the location for many of the GIMP special effect scripts. But I had read that if I installed 2.8 and then 2.10 I could copy the scripts from the 2.8 version into the 2.10 scripts folder. No guarantees that the scripts work would but still in desperation I was more than willing to try.
Unfortunately, my install confirmed that the pre-compiled dmg file for GIMP wasn’t built for Mac’s High Sierra OS. I wasn’t alone in that assessment. I’ve run across other’s observations of similar issues in installing GIMP on Mac OS High Sierra.
Based on my experience, my annoyances with the dmg install method showed major hangups with using GIMP. In particular, running most scripts left Script-fu frozen or hung. I’d then have to close GIMP and start over. I also noticed that trying to use my wireless mouse in GIMP textbox windows wasn’t working. The focus within the window would respond only to the keyboard commands.
At this point, I started looking for answers to find out what other Mac Users were doing to get GIMP working on their Mac’s. My to my chagrin, it looked like the GIMP pre-compiled dmg just wasn’t going to work on High Sierra. I had a copy of CrossOver for Mac and loaded the windows version of GIMP on that which I’ll cover in a separate article. But I wasn’t ready to give up installing GIMP on my Mac.
Because I also use Inkscape I already had a copy of MacPorts loaded and decided using MacPorts to install GIMP might be an option.
If you’re not familiar with MacPorts it can load useful software on Mac that the Apple Developers decided not to include. While this thread is a bit unrelated, but I had loaded MacPorts so I could install Xcode, “XQuartz” for use with Inkscape. Now I found Xcode was also a requirement for GIMP as well. If you’d like to load MacPorts, go here. The instructions will walk you thru getting it installed.
So, I search for how to load GIMP with MacPorts. It is available if you search under available ports however when installing I still ran into a compile error ‘Module build error’ indicating that babl or gegl were missing/unavailable. Since I don’t pretend to be a developer or coder I started looking at other options for installing GIMP.
At this point I ran into Homebrew. What a relief! It too installs many useful programs and utilities that Apple in its infinite wisdom decided to skip. There seems to be no conflict having both Homebrew and MacPorts installed so I quickly added Homebrew. Although I’d love to give a step by step guide I’m just grateful that Homebrew worked.
My new install of GIMP on Mac OS High Sierra runs error-free and doesn’t freeze when using Script-fu.
If you’re seriously running into issues using GIMP on Mac High Sierra I’d strongly recommend installing with Homebrew.
Need more help?
The general consensus is to install homebrew, cask and then GIMP. Open a terminal window.
1. Install Xcode
2. Install Homebrew
ruby -e “$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)”
3. Check that Homebrew is installed and functional
4. Install cask
brew install caskroom/cask/brew-cask
5. Install GIMP on High Sierra
brew cask install gimp
The beauty of this is that with brew you can install other packages like wget etc simply by searching for the name like so.
brew cask search name then brew cask install name-of-package
You can even uninstall
brew case uninstall name-of-package.
Now I have a completely functional working version of 2.10 GIMP on High Sierra that even runs Script-fu scripts without error or freezing.