Logo für Inscape von Andrew Michael Fitzsimon, GPL

Inkscape, the “official” open source program for vector graphics, has been in existence since a spin-off in 2003. Target groups are illustrators, layout artists and web designers. Inkscape is therefore recommended as an open source counterpart to commercial applications such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw.

Instead of using proprietary formats, Inkscape works with SVG as its primary graphics format. Inkscape has a comfortable function for the export of PNG files, but also handles PDF and Postscript files. With the last major update in 2017, support for Postscript 3 was added as well as a feature from Adobe Illustrator: the implementation of mesh gradients.

Still missing is a customizable interface (Theming) as well as built-in support for high-resolution monitors. Both are scheduled for release 1.0, which – after 15 years with 0.x version numbers – is available as alpha version for testing.


While Inkscape has no dedicated built-in help function, there are several ressources available in the program’s  “help” menu. There is an extensive online manual by Tavmjong Bah in four languages; however the latest version is only available in English. The Inkscape website has a collection of tutorials and videos in several languages.


Since the release of version 0.92.4 Ubuntu’s official repositories are behind:

sudo apt install inkscape

Luckily, the Inkscape developers provide for an official PPA with stable versions:

sudo add-apt-repository
sudo apt update

Those interested in the coming version 1.0 may use the Inkscape developers’ “trunk” PPA, which holds daily builds of the main Inkscape development branch:

sudo add-apt-repository
sudo apt update