Thursday, July 17, 2008

Getting the Gimp on the Mac

I haven't been settling in smoothly with my new computers. I haven't yet got a flash-plug-in running on my 64-bit Linux box, nor have I set up an NFS network between my Mac and Linux boxes. I haven't had much success running my favorite Unix programs on the Mac yet, either. (I run Carbon version 1.6.0 of Emacs.) I downloaded two different versions of GIMP from the Apple web site, and neither would launch; meanwhile I got OpenOffice to limp along enough to print some files, but not enough to use.

When I saw an article in Macworld's August 2008 issue (you get a free year's subscription when you buy a Mac) called "Secrets--Geekfactor: OSX's Other GUI: Run Unix apps from the comfort of X11's graphical interface," I read it with some interest. It includes a source for a different version of GIMP: Wilber Loves Apple.

What follows is the step-by-step narrative of installation, something I find useful to keep because it preserves the mistakes and mishaps, which recur all too often, and are never found in "real" documentation.

  • I go to Wilber Loves Apple--we bring GIMP to the Mac. It warns me that I need to first install the latest version of X11, Quartz 2.2, and it sends me to "XQuartz X11 2.2.3 : Released: 2008.06.17 This release contains Xquartz-1.3.0-apple21."
  • So I download the latest X11 .pkg file, and click on it, which launches an Installer window. Click, click, it goes.
  • Ever hopeful, I wonder if this will make OpenOffice launch better. No, it doesn't. Now, OpenOffice won't launch at all. So, let's check OpenOffice downlaods page, 2.4.1 for Mac OSX Intel. Hmmm. I have 2.3, so let's update to the latest one. Start downloading. (Big package, takes a long time, even with broadband.) Well, this doesn't work either. I check the Open Office Community Forum and find that there's a native Aqua version of OpenOffice in beta.
  • I got to 3.0 Beta 2 and grab the MacOSXIntel Aqua download.
  • OK, I install this, and it works! So, I'm a little better off than when I started (Open Office opens more smoothly, and more of its functions work than before.)
  • Now, hours later, back to the GIMP....I go to Wilber Loves Apple--we bring GIMP to the Mac. I download the MacOS 10.5 (Leopard) Intel GIMP....
  • Note: there are some tips from the end of the Gimp Install page that are important, and easily overlooked: There's one small operation we can now perform to make it easier to use (note that this is not necessary). Doing this will save you many unnecessary double-clicks during editing by not requiring you to activate GIMP windows before you can click on them. While Gimp and X11 are closed, open /Applications/Utilities/Terminal, and paste the following command in it and press enter: If you installed the XQuartz packages :
    defaults write org.x.X11 wm_click_through -bool true
  • Hey, it launches! It opens files, closes them, and doesn't crash! I blew a lovely summer morning on this--it'd better come in handy!

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