illustrator , concept-artist

My hardware and software

Published the 30 june 2014 in Hardware and Software with tags : Linux, ergonomy, article, cc-by

Software : 100% open-source

Since 2009, I produce my artworks using only Free/Libre Open-Source Software ( FLOSS ). Constraining my tool to 100% open-source is a choice I made . This technical choice doesn't affect compatibility with my clients : I still provide industry standards and I can save or open any regular files. Working with open-source tools doesn't mean having to produce only free and open-source artworks. I'm still in control about the license of my own production, and I can commercialise it, or use copyright on it without any issue.  Here are the software I mainly use : 

GIMP : image manipulation tool
I use GIMP for many manipulations on colors, or specific image file format. I also use it to add text and label to images.
website :

Krita : professional digital painting software
Krita is my main tool and I use it to paint my artworks
website :

Mypaint : digital painting software
Mypaint is a lightweight digital painting software. I use it as a sketchpad.
website :

Blender : full multimedia studio, with a focus on 3D
I use Blender to create rough 3D models to paint later on it. I also use often the video sequencer. 
website :

GNU/Linux : an ecosystem
I run Linux systems. There is many Linux distributors. My favorites : ArchLinux, Manjaro, Fedora , OpenSuse , Antergos and the one I'm using right now Ubuntu Gnome.

Hardware : Linux compatible

I use a single computer with two screen connected to it. One of the screen on left, is a Wacom Cintiq 21ux tablet. But I prefer to use my Intuos 4 Medium, and use the Cintiq as a secondary screen. The Cintiq is mounted on a Ergotron LX arm , I can still move the Cintiq to directly digital paint on it. I have a professional monitor able to display a wide range of color ; an Asus ProArt. It allow me to display subtle printed colors, such as richer greens or oranges. It's delicious to digital paint on it.

Main computer :  Dell vostro PC
Processor : Intel® Core™ i7 CPU 870 , 2.93GHz × 8
Memory : 8GB
Graphics : GeForce GTX 650 Ti
Screen : Asus ProArt 24HD

Laptop : Clevo W550 ultrabook
Processor :  Intel® Core™ i3 CPU 3120M , 2.5GHz × 4
Memory : 8GB
Graphics :  Intel HD Graphics
Screen : 15.6'' , 1920x1080,  LED,
Weight : 2,2Kg , slim case
Note :  I use a Wacom Bamboo Fun A5 tablet when I'm travelling with it

Other : tools for graphist
Colorimeter : Pantone Huey Pro
Scanner : Canoscan Lide 30

Creative Commons License


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friday 21 february 2014, 20:27

Hi David,
As always a great post. Thanks for the time of making this "technical" entries, and for sharing your tools. Quick question, I was going for Linux Mint with Cinamon as my main distro. How is Ubuntu Gnome with other apps, like Blender?

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friday 21 february 2014, 21:51

Hi there.
You mention the reasons why you prefer to work in the Krita, instead MyPaint?

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3. n-pigeon

friday 21 february 2014, 23:49

Nice article, it will be very useful for newbies in FLOSS.

Small correction - Unity is only a shell on top of Gnome so it uses it's tools to correct aspect ratio of tablets and it works perfectly, as in Gnome Shell.
friday 21 february 2014, 23:55

@Mauricio Vega : Last Linux Mint 16 (Petra) with Cinamon 2.0 share same versions of package than all the 13.10 ecosystem of Ubuntu packages and other Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Ubuntu Gnome...etc... so, you get same apps version. Gnome windows compositor behave very well with Inkscape, painting, gaming ( even windowed ) video editing and Blender.
If you come from Windows, and don't care a lot about tablets, and color management ; Linux Mint is a good choice and probably the easiest entry door to Linux ( with Linux Mint KDE ) . Gnome needs a little learning curve to be adopted.

@bialyikar : Hi, Mypaint is a small application compare to Krita. In Mypaint, no selections, no color mode as CMYK or 16bit ; no filters, no transform etc. I really like Mypaint. But I also really like now the possibility to make an artwork from scratch in a single app; from rought to final file I send to the printer.
saturday 22 february 2014, 00:10

@n-pigeon : Hey ;-) Ubuntu main fork the Gnome control center from GNOME 3.6 ( and they will still do it for 14.04 ) and Nautilus to GNOME 3.4. That's why installing GNOME over Unity conflict so much. They also make a lot workaround. It's not only a shell. GNOME 3.6 Wacom panel didn't has the feature to correct aspect ratio, when a screen is 16:9 and a tablet is 4:3 . On GNOME 3.10 a new button 'Keep aspect ratio' was added intot the 'map to monitor' dialog. And I know very well about it, because the idea to add it in GNOME born into my conference in Madrid at LGM 2013, when I demonstrated the feature on the KDE wacom panel. After Unity 7 with this Gnome control center fork ; the Ubuntu team will release Unity 8 with it's own Control center. I imagine they'll rewrite all tablet support and color management in Qt for it ... or not xD

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saturday 22 february 2014, 03:02

I like the new Gnome shell, I've been using xfce for many years with Ubuntu Studio (I just upgraded to 13.10). It's very spartan and simple, so takes some getting used to, as I am used to having right click app menu and desktop icons. It is difficult to customize but there are addons you can install. The GUi for Wacom tablet is worth it!

I found an old 1600x1200 monitor to use with my Cintiq 21UX, so I can stretch apps across the two monitors and retain same dimensions. Especially good for an app like TVPaint where you really need two monitors to work. New LightWorks video editor for Linux is also wonderful across twin monitors!

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saturday 22 february 2014, 03:08

MyPaint is a great app for quick sketching, thumbnailing and things like that. I love the water brushes it has, too (which I don't think Krita has, good water brushes). It's good for a beginner, like ArtRage or Autodesk Sketchbook, so you don't get overwhelmed with a lot of menus and settings.

Krita is more like Corel Painter, more advanced natural media, color management, filters, etc. It's good for more advanced artist who needs more fine tuned editing, rendering, etc.

I still like to use Gimp for a lot of things, too :-)

And of course TVPaint, which is a commercial app, and has the best brush engine of them all!

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saturday 22 february 2014, 09:25

Nice Article! I had to laugh, reading your critique about unity :D I agree to it... A while ago a friend called me to help him with a 'broken' Linux install. The problem: no space left on the home partition. Guess which distro was installed. Although I fixed his problem, he returned to windows later, with a bad opinion about linux.

However, i have some questions. I would like to know more about additional tablet stuff. Do you have extra-pens (airbrush, artpen)? What do you think about that - is it worth an investigation from a professionals point of view, or more a luxury toy? And another thing are the nibs. Do you use different nibs regularly? I use mostly only the basic ones, maybe because i am to lazy to switch or i am lacking of painting experience to make an advantage of their usage. So, this are detail questions.. but i am curious what do you think about it.

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9. Dandy

saturday 22 february 2014, 10:29

This is a well timed post for me, as I've just been thinking quite hard about switching distros -- I'd have stopped using vanilla Ubuntu some time ago if it weren't for the fact that I love the colour orange in the interface... so shallow :)
I hadn't thought much about tablet support in the different desktop environments, so I'm really glad you discuss this. With regards to the ones where tablet support requires script/command line work, is that especially complicated? I'm really happy with using Krita built according to your tutorial for cats, so now I don't mind if something doesn't have a graphical interface as long as it's easy to understand.
I have a feeling that I'm going to get very picky about my choice of desktop environment when I switch, so it'd be good to have more options to work with :)

Would you say that your monitor has been a good choice? I intend to replace my current monitor as soon as I can afford to, and I don't really know as much as I'd like about what to look for.

Thank you for all this information you've already provided!
saturday 22 february 2014, 11:02

@Brett McCoy : Hey Brett, :) Thanks for the comment. For dual screen, yes, keeping the same height for both is really an additional comfort. It was hard for me to find a good 1920x1200 screen 16:10 ; the 16:9 are everywhere now.

@Vasco Basque´ : Haaa... I should really report this thing to Gnome dev about cats sitting on PrintScreen :D damn hackers cats ! also yes ; I was a bit bitter with Unity 'cons'.
Oh, sure for your suggestion ; I should expand/update the article about stylus. I'll do :) In a nutshell ; I have a specific grip when drawing with a pencil. With default Wacom stylus ; they are so large that my natural grip position is ruined. So, I get used to buy the thinner stylus or tweak myself the plastic shell of the stylus to make them two time thinner. I'll post photos !

@Dandy : Hey :) Making Xsetwacom script for a tablet is not really complicated ; I used this during years. You can find about it on my old article here ( wacom chapter ). Just it's not flexible. For example ; if you setup all on a laptop , it will take you a little hour ( the time to read doc ; to do attempts ) . If you have a single tablet on a single screen and keep the same setup, that's fine. But ... If you happen to travel , and connect to a video projector 1024x768 ; you risk to get surprise during the presentation with a 16:9 tablet. And when this happen ; taking an hour to make the math to get the good ratio of the tablet proportionnaly used is really not the good moment. That's why GUI are faster. Here with the Cintiq ; I can do calibration whenever I want ( to follow my position ) . Before , with command line, I made a single calibration only, then I kept it , because it was too long to redo one. My Cintiq is mounted on a 'Ergotron arm' , so I can move it around ; doing calibration with 2 clicks is a real comfort.
My monitor, the Asus ProArt 24HD , was a really good choice :-) It is even a good gaming monitor too , and I enjoy the 16:10 ratio 1920x1200.

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11. n-pigeon

saturday 22 february 2014, 16:01

Ubuntu Unity/Gnome is not 100% compatible and thats why you have to install Gnobuntu env on Ubu or something, but still Unity is mostly shell on up to date Gnome tech and 'keep aspect ratio' is present in Ubuntu for a long time (year maybe...) :) so it is supported. I know I use it ^^.

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12. k

saturday 22 february 2014, 17:49

Thanks for this guide! Very useful.

I'm looking for a good monitor, but it should also look good since it has to be in my living room.. So, artists and designer people: Do you know of any matte (non-glossy) monitor that looks as good as the Apple displays, can give fairly faithful colour reproduction and works with regular (Linux) laptops?

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13. Aaron Marsh

sunday 23 february 2014, 22:35

The Debian "Testing" Release gives swifter updates, and I have had no stability issues as of yet: most stability user cases agree.
sunday 23 february 2014, 22:52

@n-pigeon : Ok :-)

@k : Thanks ! You know the thing with Apple displays is a myth. But ok, those are nice (glossy) display compare to shitty cheap supermarket brands, but they are not exeptionnal for all the spec compare to a pro screen. If you want faithful colour reproduction, you need a colorimeter + a screen able to display at least the sRGB gamut fully.

@Aaron Marsh : I do like Debian. Just, package takes 3 or 4 month lagging to pass threw experimental/testing/etc stack ; I think Gnome 3.10 just landed inside ( I check this page since month ) . Also, installation is not really digital-painter friendly. It's far from the ease of an Ubuntu install ; so hard to recommend. Maybe too much made for technical poeple only ?

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15. Brendon Yenson

monday 24 february 2014, 00:00

Thanks for the very interesting article! Your scanner seems like the odd one out in your collection. As far as I know it is mostly for documents, not optimised for images. (The image sensor is a row of different line sensors across the width of the platen. Any misalignment in these sensors means bad image registration.) I suggest trying a cmos based scanner for the replacement when the time comes. They are bigger and heavier but probably better suited to your needs.

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16. k

monday 24 february 2014, 14:14

@David REVOY: When I said "look good", I meant when it's turned off ;) By just looking at the Apple display I can tell that, even if their colour faithfulness is so-so, it's not a myth that they can work as a piece of furniture. Unfortunately I can't find any other monitors that have that one feature.

(In my ideal world, I would have a monitor that looked like an Apple display, worked with the regular displayport of my laptop, was matte/non-glossy and had better colour faithfulness.)
monday 24 february 2014, 14:22

@Brendon Yenson : Ha sure, this scanner is really really not perfect :) but fine enough for scanning black&white sketch and inking. I'll have a watch at good scanner with Linux plug-and-play compatibility. Can be useful to scan watercolors with more color fidelity and precision. Thanks for the advice.

@k : Oh, sorry ; I missed the 'design' part ; yes, Apple designer does a good job about it ; for phone, laptop and screen.

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18. Cestarian

tuesday 25 february 2014, 00:54

Beat me to a few reviews I see :3 I'll be doing some more detailed ones on youtube fairly soon with pics and whatnot. My primary focus I guess rather than distro review will be WM/DE reviews. I always thought you used Mint. If you like Gnome shouldn't you be using Fedora? you're off about it being for developers I think, I believe fedora is a general purpose, average user distro similar to Ubuntu, just less mainstream than ubuntu. But you're very right about Arch being nice for Devs.

I can see you've been around your fair share of distros, I like arch the most, I don't mind the CLI installation process.

I'd say a con for KDE is that it's slow and clunky in my experiences :P My favorite DE/WM is actually Enlightenment 17+ (19 now) but what sucks abuot it is that it's in an alpha/beta state so it's unstable and largely just experimental. Alternatively I use OpenBox and until recently I used XFCE a lot, but I liked Mint's Cinnamon a lot.

Looks to me like another 4-8GB of RAM couldn't hurt your desktop, otherwise it looks pretty fine (apart from being company assembled rather than custom, I've never been a huge fan of that and dell in particular I've had some shitty experiences with, but maybe they're better than they used to be, I wouldn't know since I always build my own rigs)

Btw what is a Colorimeter? I've never heard of such a device.
tuesday 25 february 2014, 10:38

@Cestarian : Ha Fedora.... Yes, I tested it quite deeply, because as you say ; it's the home of Gnome development. But by the end ; it's a distro for developper, geek, nerd . It's not focused on noob userfriendlyness.

By the end of the day ; I figured I'm a simple user with just a focus on painting. Not a nerd, and all Linux install stuff start to piss me off seriously. All of this is just a lost of time to draw/paint. I don't want to waste my life into fixing a drivers. That's why I decided to go back the ecosystem of Ubuntu ; it's bloated with workaround; half of the default package are half broken , but the choice is large, the install made a lot of thing working out of the box. So, more time to paint for me, and that's the essential :)

My colorimeter is this one : :-) not the best. But at the time I bought it , the ColorHug wasn't available. If I had to buy a new one, I would go for the ColorHug.

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20. Cestarian

tuesday 25 february 2014, 22:12

Oh so colorimeter is a monitor color calibration tool that creates custom color profiles for your screen? I see, that might be useful :3
wednesday 26 february 2014, 16:20

@Cestarian : Yes, it's a mini USB device you can stick on the screen ; his 'eyes' can read colors ; so the system has a feedback of how the screen display the color, and so can correct it with a profile.

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22. karl

friday 28 february 2014, 15:52

Tiles windows on any wm -->

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23. tynaud

saturday 01 march 2014, 23:59

Hi David,

You wrote :
Note how the interface on screen follow the shape of the tablets.
The LED label of the Intuos4 display the keyboard shortcut attributed to the button automatically.

I juste tested ubuntugnome 14.04 on live usb to see if I could configure my wacom intuos4M with the same tools you show in your article, and I was disappointed to not find them. Am I missing something or is it a special hack of your side ?
sunday 02 march 2014, 14:50

@tynaud :Hi Tynaud, first ; 14.04 is not released yet ; so, you use a different version than mine. I don't know what version of Gnome is used into future 14.04alpha . The new intuos stuff is in 3.10. Also, maybe upgrade Gnome via the ppa I provide in the 'Install' chapter. Last point because I receive a lot of email of poeple reading just 'Ubuntu' and not the 'Gnome' part. I use "Ubuntu Gnome" witch is different from Ubuntu. I'm almost sure you talk about the same distro, but I prefer write it again in case you have the Unity desktop.
Also , Unity use a fork downgraded version of the Gnome Control Center ; if "Ubuntu Gnome" team don't package well , they might prefer this for the 14.04 future stable ( witch would be a mistake, but on Ubuntu package world, countless of package mistake and rape of upstream work is daily made ... so no surprise )

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25. Valeria

thursday 06 march 2014, 23:49

I'm new in digital drawing, so the tablets that you own are too expensive for me. I really want to choose a linux-compatible tablet.
So, Do some brands have more Linux compatibility issues than others?
Could you give me some recomendations?
friday 07 march 2014, 00:15

@Valeria : 'Expensive' is relative here : Professional digital-artist tools are far less expensive than even amateur musician. For Linux and tablets, my rule is simple :
1. Wacom
2. Not new on market ( to let the linuxWacom project have the plug&play driver )
I'm sure you can find on ebay or similar website Wacom with good price. Intuos 3 and Intuos 4 are really nice ; 'Bamboo' also.

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27. Michael Copple

tuesday 11 march 2014, 04:32

David, I see a Smudgeguard on your desk. What is your personal opinion as a user of the Smudgeguard? I am a user as well and I use it for my traditional art as well as my tablet work. Maybe here would be a good place to recommend them to other artists and tablet users? (I don't work for Smudgeguard or get paid to sell them by the way.) I am a left handed artist who finds his pencil work smudged and messed up by the pinky finger, and it makes a mess. Also this allows for my hand to smoothly slide across the tablet face when sketching digitally. Awesome.
tuesday 11 march 2014, 12:15

@Michael Copple : Yes, it is a smudge guard. Good idea, I'll add to the review on the next edit I do. In short : I like it too. I can't work on Cintiq without it :)

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saturday 15 march 2014, 01:58

Hi David,
how the hell did you managed to have on screen buttons configuration for your Intuos4 and what's more important... will it work for Intuos5?
Currenlty I'm using Mint 16 and obviously there is no way to configure Wacom with GUI but if settings for Intuos5 gonna work as well as for Intuos4 I will consider returning to Ubuntu.

Linux Mint team is currently working on implementing Wacom Settings

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saturday 15 march 2014, 03:08

It's me again... I figured out that on screen button configuration is a Gnome 3.10 feature and it will work with Intuos5:)
I've also seen that you already made some contribution into Linux Mint team effort for bringing back Wackom Settings.

By the way, what distro you are currently using, Manjaro or Ubuntu 13.10? I was using Ubuntu all the time but it started to pissing me off so I've installed Mint and damn, I really like Mint 16(first Mint that suits me) but it lacks of features especially Wacom settings.
saturday 15 march 2014, 10:27

@Michał : Hi Michał ; Yes, it is unfortunate about this Mint 16 release and non tablet support. I'm really hopping Mint 17 ( built on Ubuntu 14.04 Long Term Support ) will bring this back. If they do ; the LTS + Wacom + Cinnamon could be a top experience.
Right now I'm still using what I show on the article : "Ubuntu Gnome" ( not the main Ubuntu, I don't like the main edition choices ) . It's a Ubuntu derivative ; based on 13.10 Ubuntu. I update the Gnome environment with a PPA ( see Install chapter )
My TV media center use Manjaro Gnome , and my laptop also use Manjaro Gnome. I'm still a big Manjaro / Arch fan , but I really get 'burn' on my main workstation.
Updates can be dangerous.
"Ubuntu Gnome" is a bit a dirty distro ; a lot of little tweaks have to be done to get the 'Alt' key back ; the PPA system and apt-get is really really so slow and uneffective comparing to the Arch AUR and Pacman ... I'll probably get back to Arch + Gnome on the long run ...

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32. Charblaze

sunday 16 march 2014, 17:53

Tip for testing new distributions: install unetbootin. It's a tool to create bootable Live USB drives from iso images.
It's faster than burning CD/DVD, put old USB keys to good use, avoid piling up discs that you trow away 6 months later because they are obsolete, install times are shorter too.

I'm using Antergos since December. The graphical installation is easy and it seems stable for now. I check ArchLinux's site for warnings before updating (usually once a month).
monday 17 march 2014, 16:31

@Charblaze : Thanks for the tip ;-) Oh, and yes, Antergos is defintely on my scope in top position for my future O.S. Don't hesitate to keep giving news here about it. I'm really interrested into Arch derivative. I think it's the way to go.

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tuesday 18 march 2014, 00:12

I have big hopes about Mint 17 - beside wacom setting I really ejoy using Mint 16 and Cinnamon.
Till Mint 16 I was using Ubuntu and I liked first run of Unity(it was 11.04 as I remember) then it turned into some bloated shit so I tried Gnome Shell and with some extensions it was awesome experience... With Ubuntu 12.04.2/3 some annoying glitches appeard so I switched into Cinnamon.
Cinnamon was epic till Mint team started separating it from gnome which resulted with unusable Ubuntu and my journey into Mint begins:)
I was thinking about installation of Ubuntu 13.10 (12.10 & 13.04 were horrible) but soon there will be next LTS release so there is probably no point of doing this especially that I heave no major problems with using Intuos5 on Mint 16.

Threre is one big advantage of Mint 16... it is almost perfect out of the box which I can not say about Ubuntu - too much tweaks to make Ubuntu usable at leats in my case.
tuesday 18 march 2014, 11:17

@Michał : Hey, I totally agree about the 'out-of-the-box' of Mint. Really few distribution are so 'user-friendly' and that's a shame.
I started following Linux with the first series of Linux-Mint back 2006 and was a real fan.

During the 'shake' of the post Gnome 2 desktop ; I went to Mate first ; but mate wasn't stable in the first hours, so I moved to KDE at this moment. The era of Gnome 3.4 / 3.6 and derivatives ( Cinnamon and Unity ) wasn't an option for me , because the windows compositor was really eating performance. After 3.10 its solved.

Yes, 13.10 is really short life. I'm not really proud of this temporary move back to Ubuntu base. I really prefer what I learned from Arch and Manjaro. But this distros requires way too much tweaks to make works certain devices ...

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36. Michał

tuesday 25 march 2014, 01:11

Hey David,
I'm writing because maybe you can help me with Krita. I was using Krita 2.8 with Mint 16 and it was superb till today. I was forced to reinstall my system and after installation of Krita from Kubuntu Backports ppa(as always) I encountered some problems - Krita won't start, splash screen appears and message like this shows up "Essential application components could not be found. This migh be an installation issue. Try restarting, running kbuildsycoca4.exe or reinstalling". I've tried purging ppa, reinstalling Krita and whole Calligra, restarting my pc, etc. Nothing helps, ech time I install Krita this message shows up. Do you have any idea what could be done to fix this issue?
tuesday 25 march 2014, 11:13

@Michał : Hi Michał, sorry, but I have no idea about it :-/ In my opinion, this should be reported immediately to the Kubuntu backport packager. I know yesterday the source of Krita 2.8 were tagged to 2.8.1 to bring corrective. I wonder if Kubuntu backport already ship 2.8.1 ... Bleeee... Did you tried to install other calligra package as kritasketch ? ( I don't know the exact name, but I know Kubuntu backport packager splitted Krita in two :-/ ). A napalm method if you want have free 600MB on your disk is to also install kde-base ; it won't slow your computer, just probably brings all the KDE libs to let krita find his happyness. But normally it shouldn't be like this...
Good luck , and I'm curious if you find the answer.
( note : there is probably the name and email of the packager if you look details/properties of the package on Synaptic package manager , it can help )

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38. Michał

tuesday 25 march 2014, 14:05

Thanks for quick respond.
I've found solution on LM forum - it looks like there is something wrong with dependencies so first you need to install Krita 2.7 from Mint Software Center, then add kubuntu backports ppa and update Krita to 2.8.

For now there is no Krita 2.8.1 in backports ppa, I'm using 2.8.0 version.
Some news about future Mint releases
tuesday 25 march 2014, 14:58

@Michał : Thanks for sharing the solution :-)
I just built from source 2.8.1 and there is nothing really 'more' than 2.8 ; mostly fix for specific graphic card, Windows glitch and other bug backported from 2.9development. It should be in the update soon.

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40. sergious43

tuesday 25 march 2014, 16:09

Je tourne avec manjaro et j'en suis très satisfait avec une tablette intuos 4. Seul inconvénient : pas d'interface graphique pour les boutons de raccourcis de la tablette, mais j'ai l'habitude de me servir du clavier...
Mais beaucoups d'avantage notament très stable et les softs toujours a jour. Interface super légère avec xfce
Merci pour ces partages super instructifs
tuesday 25 march 2014, 19:38

@sergious43 : Hello, Manjaro tourne bien en effet ; il faut juste se méfier d'une chose qui m'a couter une installation ; ne pas avoir trop de librairies system compilé avec yaourt (AUR). Surtout le multiarch :-) En tout cas , c'est sur ; Manjaro fût pour moi une chouette introduction à Pacman, Yaourt et ArchLinux.

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42. george mburu kibaru

thursday 27 march 2014, 17:21

hi david
could you please send me the previous Guide : My hardware and software for Digital Painting not the updated one please
thursday 27 march 2014, 20:09

@george mburu kibaru : Hi, Sorry, but the last one was already outdated. Can you tell me witch part you miss, and why ? I might bring it back again...

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44. george mburu kibaru

friday 28 march 2014, 14:30

@david revoy after installing ubuntu what next??
friday 28 march 2014, 14:45

@george mburu kibaru :

I get Ubuntu Gnome 13.10 here :
I update Gnome-Shell thanks to this ppa :
I do classic post-install stuff, flash, mp3, graphic drivers ( check a search engine for '10 things to do after installing Ubuntu 13.10' )
I build Krita from source like this : but you can also get the last using the Lime ppa
I grab all the other packages I like from the built-in app-store : Gimp, Gmic, Blender, Mypaint etc...
Litlle post install I also do ;
- Gnome-thumbnailer for *.ora and *.kra files.
- Theme ; Numix , with "global dark" in GnomeTweak.
- Gnome extension : Top Panel Workspace Scroll

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46. george mburu kibaru

monday 31 march 2014, 13:22

thanks a lot david
happy painting!

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47. Charblaze

thursday 03 april 2014, 11:51

I've got the "kbuildsycoca4.exe message" issue too on Antergos.
The solution is to create a file with:
export KDEDIRS=$HOME/kde4/inst:$KDEDIRS
export PATH=$HOME/kde4/inst/bin:$PATH
and put it in /home/<your-username-here>/.kde4/env
If there is no env folder in .kde4 create it.

Since your blogpost is the main reference for building Krita, adding a note would be of great help to many.

Something like:
If starting Krita gives the following warning:
krita: Critical Error
Essential application components could not be found.
This might be an installation issue.
Try restarting, running kbuildsycoca4.exe or reinstalling.

mkdir -p ~/.kde4/env
cd ~/kde4/src

export KDEDIRS=$HOME/kde4/inst:$KDEDIRS
export PATH=$HOME/kde4/inst/bin:$PATH
and save

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48. ecki

wednesday 09 april 2014, 17:24

Hey David,

you've brought me to giving gnome another try and I really like it for painting.
The only thing that I really wonder is: Were you able to set a modifier (like 'Ctrl') to a stylus button? I know that with Krita and Mypaint you can set color-picking to a mouse-button (which I already did), but I really liked being able to combine the Ctrl-button on the stylus with other stuff (like rotating the canvas, etc.)

Best wishes,
thursday 10 april 2014, 10:00

@ecki : Hey Ecki, yes, this is a limitation of the Gnome GUI for setting a modifier on the stylus button. Here I launch a startup additionnal *.sh script with a xsetwacom command to set it up manually.
I opened a bug report on Gnome bugzilla, but for the moment, I think my usage of 'Ctrl' as a color picker fell into a not productive discution wondering if user should attribute a 'Ctrl' ( keyboard key ) to a stylus ; and not directly a 'Color picker action' to the button... well , meanwhile, it don't work , and need manual workaround.
I hope you'll find your way with xsetwacom ; if not tell me ; I'll dig in my script folder and guide you how to setup this.

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50. sergious43

saturday 12 april 2014, 10:21

J'ai un soucis avec krita 2.8.1 sous manjaro : Impossible d'enregistrer un fichier et ce quel que soit le format demande !
avec mint 16 je n'ai pas ce problème
J'ai reinstaller plusieurs fois mais cela persiste même en compilant la dernière version en beta la 2.
Alors je contourne le probleme en preparant un canvas sous gimp que je peut ensuite ouvrir avec krita et la o miracle il accepte que je l'enregistre
Curieux bug dont je n'ai trouvé aucun echo sur le web.
Au fait bonne chance pour le projet Goosberry
Je vais tester ubuntu gnome

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51. Tame

sunday 13 april 2014, 14:56

Bonjour David !

J'ai découvert votre travail il y a quelques semaines et je suis admiratif ! C'est vraiment encourageant de voir que de tels résultats sont réalisés avec des logiciels libres. J'ai téléchargé les logiciels recommandés et je m'éclate ! :-)
Le problème, c'est que je suis un peu perdu avec toutes ces versions de Linux. Ma copine a installé Ubuntu sur son ordinateur portable mais l'interface Unity ne me plaît vraiment pas : design trop pensé pour les tablettes, et je trouve le bureau peu intuitif et pratique. J'en déduis donc que l'environnement Gnome est une bonne solution, mais quoi prendre parmi toutes ces versions ? Je me débrouille en informatique, mais je suis loin d'être un expert du code... L'avantage d'Ubuntu, c'est que l'installation et les mises à jour sont vraiment faciles et compréhensibles.

Merci encore de prendre le temps de rédiger tous ces tutoriels !! :-D
tuesday 15 april 2014, 19:46

@sergious43 : Désolé d'entendre que vous avez cet horrible bug. Les developpeurs auraient besoin d'être informé ; depuis la version 2.8 je ne suis plus trop en contact quotidien , le bug est a poster ici : ( note : j'ai entendu parler d'un bug qui forcait à ecrire le nom de fichier + extension manuellement au moment d'enregistré. )
Merci pour le projet Gooseberry ; on croise les doigts :-)

@Tame : Bonjour Tame, Merci. Vous avez raison ; toutes ces versions, c'est un peu le bazar dans les communauté Linux. Je ne suis pas sure que Gnome conviennent là ou Unity ne convient pas ; Gnome est aussi particulier à sa manière ( même un peu plus 'barré' dans le paradygme tablette ) . Un systême 'à jour' et pas trop prise de tête devrait être "Ubuntu Gnome" 14.04 LTS ; ( sortie dans quelques jours ) ; il devrait y avoir pas mal de choses dessus.
Aussi, je suis assez enthousiaste par le prochain Linux Mint ( pour fin Mai 2014 ) : qui devrait embarquer les technologies tablette de Gnome ; grace au Bureau Cinamon 2.2.
Ici , j'ai toujours un "Ubuntu Gnome" 13.10 avec un PPA pour avoir Gnome 3.10 au lieu de Gnome 3.8 , je donne les détails dans un commentaire , le 28 mars 2014 ici meme.
J'attends Linux Mint le prochain avec impatience. ( La version actuelle n'a pas de support de tablette , pour configurer via une interface )
Bon courage ! il en faut ...

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53. Tame

wednesday 16 april 2014, 11:52

Bonjour David ! Merci beaucoup pour tous ces renseignements !
Je me suis documenté sur Linux, et il est vrai que ce n'est pas évident de s'y retrouver. Je suppose que c'est une question d'habitude !
J'attends demain la sortie Ubuntu 14.04 pour tester Ubuntu Gnome. Mais étonnement, je trouve peu d'informations sur cette distribution.
Contrairement à Manjaro ou Fedora où d'importants forums sont disponibles, Ubuntu Gnome semble plus distrait. Est-ce une distribution officiellement soutenue par Canonical ? Est-ce que le adware Amazon est également présent par défaut ?

Désolé pour toutes ces questions... Je découvre un tout autre monde !! :-)
wednesday 16 april 2014, 13:51

@Tame : Hello Tame, oui tout ça est cryptique, et demande de naviguer en Zen dans ce bazar. Au bout de 5 d'utilisation pro ; je peux dire que rien est jamais aquis : certains distro stable se retrouve vraiment instable du jour au lendemain ; les changements dans les projets parfois endommage tout l’écosystème ; et comme partout, il y a des petites guerre de pouvoir et de raison qui font que l'ensemble se construit tout autant que se démoli lui même.

"Ubuntu Gnome" est un petit projet avec une petite équipe, oui ; je pense que Canonical soutiennent seulement dans l'autorisation d'utiliser le mot 'Ubuntu' dans le titre, et d’accéder au paquets distribué par les serveurs Ubuntu. Un peu comme les projets Lubuntu ( LXDE + ubuntu ) ou Xubuntu, Kubuntu , etc... Ubuntu Gnome étant plus récent. Techniquement, ce n'est que le bureau de Gnome au dessus du choix des paquets Ubuntu. Il ne développe pas ( contrairement à Fedora, OpenSuse, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Manjaro, qui se servent de ses projets de bureaux comme XFCE, KDE, Gnome, etc... pour les modifier avec des outils propre à la distribution ... ).

La distribution faite sur mesure pour 'Gnome' est sans conteste Fedora , qui développe Gnome pour Fedora et Red Hat Entreprise. Tous les dev Gnome que je connais utilise Fedora.
Ceci dit, j'ai souvent testé sans m'y retrouvé dedans. Il faudra que je réessai ...

Je ne pense pas que le mouchard pour Amazon soit présent dans Gnome-Shell ; c'est une des "fonctionnalité" d'Unity.

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55. Tame

wednesday 16 april 2014, 22:20

Bonjour David !

C'est quand même étonnant : d'après ce que j'ai lu et compris, une grande partie des utilisateurs d'Ubuntu n'ont pas du tout apprécié l'arrivée d'Unity, d'autant plus que sa désinstallation au profit de Gnome provoquait quelques bugs et instabilités du système. L'arrivée d'Ubuntu Gnome quelques années après aurait dû être acclamée, téléchargée des centaines de milliers de fois !
La documentation d'Ubuntu étant tout de même phénoménale, c'est vraiment la distribution qui paraît la plus accessible lorsque l'on a passé une dizaine d'années sous Windows.

Et pourtant, j'ai vraiment l'impression que cela reste le projet d'une petite équipe de développeurs (d'ailleurs, ces derniers semblaient manquer de bêta-testeurs (cf : ). D'où mon étonnement ! Est-ce une bonne distribution ?

C'est promis, j'arrête mes questions après ça, je ne voudrais pas abuser de votre patience ainsi que de votre gentillesse, et je suis parfaitement conscient qu'il existe des forums spécialisés pour discuter de tout ça ! :-D

Encore un grand merci d'avoir pris le temps de me répondre.
thursday 17 april 2014, 03:53

@Tame : C'est sur que le lien vers l'article ne dit rien de bon quand aux support de 'Ubuntu Gnome' .
Gnome de nos jour ( v3 ) est bien different de Gnome avant Unity ( v2 ) . Avant Gnome 2 était par defaut pour Ubuntu , Linux Mint, etc...
Gnome 3 a sa sortie a été complètement réécris, et à exploser tout l’écosystème des bureaux Linux à sa sortie.
De Gnome 3.0 a Gnome 3.10 ; il y a eu 10 versions instable de Gnome 3 ; et l'équipe de Gnome c'est mis en projet de simplifier le bureau. Beaucoup de fonctionnalité de Gnome 2 n'y sont plus.
Ubuntu ont donc forké Gnome 3 pour en faire Unity
Linux Mint ont donc forké Gnome 3 pour en faire Cinnamon
Linux Mint ont donc forké Gnome 2 pour en faire Mate
C'est pour ça que Gnome 3 n'est pas trop acclamé. L'équipe de Gnome c'est un peu embrouillé avec beaucoup de distributions...

Ici, je viens de voir que Linux Mint Cinnamon 2.2 était déjà dans les paquets de Antergos / Arch Linux ( ainsi que Krita 2.8.1 ) ; Cinnamon 2.2 devrait théoriquement avoir les même capacité de configuration des Wacom que Gnome 3.10 . A tester :-)

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57. Guilherme

friday 18 april 2014, 05:57

Hi David, I have bought a Wacom Intuos pen and touch small, and It's have been hard to I work . I can't draw continuos lines, all lines that I make are twisted. But In the paper I make good lines, you have something tip or tutorial to better that? Thanks and sorry my bad english :Z
friday 18 april 2014, 13:47

@Guilherme : Hi ! The 'Small' model is probably too small ; here my minimum is always 'Medium' ( around A5 ) , and Medium is fine on a laptop , but on a 1920x1200 it's almost not big enough.

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59. Tame

friday 18 april 2014, 16:42

Merci pour tout, David !

Je teste Ubuntu pour le moment, et tout se passe bien. Mais il n'empêche que je garde un œil sur la future version de Linux Mint tant attendue !
Bonne continuation, je suivrai de façon assidue les prochaines publications de vos œuvres ! :-)
friday 18 april 2014, 19:05

@Tame : Merci !

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sunday 20 april 2014, 13:45

Love it! I would like to pass to open source. I work as sysadmin under linux, I know it very well. But I don't find the way lo leave photoshop! Damned! I know that my cintiq 13hd would work great under ubuntu (my preferred distro) but I have really no time to experiment while producing a comics a week (as hobby for tom's hardware italy). I really don't like gimp. I find its user interface crazy and really hard to use! Why they do not copy photoshop?

Anyway great job David. You're the one ;-)
sunday 20 april 2014, 14:01

@cryx : Aww, thanks ! and good luck for keeping your weekly comic production if you decide to do the jump. Maybe install Krita on windows to learn this alternative before doing the jump . :)

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sunday 20 april 2014, 17:01

Unfortunately I have a mac, and krita does not run. Mypaint has problems too. I have to install in dual boot win or ubuntu (why not?). Mac was a great mistake but has done, so need to manage it :-). I'm observing krita thanks also to your blog of course. Recently I tried clip studio paint (mangastudio) and it is very interesting (and cheap). Once I did a little book illustration for a friend with gimp and I'm still having nightmares!
monday 21 april 2014, 13:22

@cryx : :-) oh, yes, sad to see not a lot of Mac user develop for open-source. They are really rare on projects. Dual boot, or Virtualisation is probably the best way to get them running.

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65. SAMD

tuesday 22 april 2014, 02:04

Super setup mais quel triste siège que tu as là. =)

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tuesday 22 april 2014, 08:25

Surely dual-boot not virtualization... too slow. The problem is tahtevery time I decide to try a new tool (like clip studio paint recently) I have no time to experiment! Hope in the next summer holidays ;-)
tuesday 22 april 2014, 10:34

@SAMD : Hey :) J'ai testé la chaise ergonomique à 600€ pendant quelques années, avec pistons reglage, rotation, etc... Au final , une bonne vielle chaise d'Ikea en bois m'endors moins que le confort mou sur roulette d'une chaise d'administratif. Prochaine étape : un gros caillou.

@cryx : Oh, yes, time invested in learning ( or visual development, skill training, software effects exploration ) is a real budget. good luck !

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68. Vespertinus

sunday 04 may 2014, 16:33

Hi David, thanks for the article. Could you provide some information about you choice to draw on intuos instead of cintiq? Its difficult for me to draw on tablet with the quality that i have on paper. Currently i think about switching from intuos 4L to cintiq 13hd
sunday 04 may 2014, 17:56

@Vespertinus : Hi, thx. I think it depends the person. Cintiqs can helps, for drawing and detailing. I think it's about personal preferences at the end if I'm back to normal tablet. I know many artist who can use only Cintiqs, I know other who use tablets only even if they try or purchased Cintiqs. Unfortunately , you can know it only after some month with the trying both. If you feel you can get an evolution with it, do it ! You can still sell back later, and you'll know if it wasn't a good device for you... If you don't purchase, you'll still wonder what it could be to paint with one :-)

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70. Vespertinus

sunday 04 may 2014, 20:23

Thanks David!, I will try!

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71. samriggs

monday 26 may 2014, 23:47

Hey David nice article, I was thinking of switching over to gnome to use the new fancy dancy gui but finally got it working with xfce instead through arch.
Had to come up with a solution to speed things up and it works nicely, I been digging into this new gui ever since you mentioned on seafault I tried gnome 3 but still didn't like the layout factor so I went xfce route for speed instead but it does work with the gnome 3.1 wacom gui nicely, just takes a bit to set up, thought you might be interested in it, if for anything just for curiosity sake.
Keep up the good work.
monday 26 may 2014, 23:58

@samriggs : Hey thanks for the feedback :)

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sunday 01 june 2014, 18:49

Hey David,
LM 17 is out and I really recommend it - it's fast and very stable, atleast for me. After two days of usage I have no glitches/freezes, etc.
What's more important Wacom settings are back... not so fancy as in Gnome 3.12 but it works.
So far so good and I think that LM17 gonna be my main OS for a long time.
sunday 01 june 2014, 21:37

@Michał : Hey, yes, I tested last week on 17 RC release , to check the Gnome Wacom support's fork. I'm happy it's work ok for you.
For me , it wasn't good news, as you know, the Wacom support of Mint 17 looks sort of based on Gnome 3.8 wacom panel ( as far as I could guess by the design of the GUI ). Ubuntu Unity 14.04 is also based on Gnome 3.8 wacom panel. Even 'Ubuntu Gnome edition', prentending shipping Gnome 3.10 pack a regression : the Control Center Version 3.8 ( but write on their website it's Gnome 3.10 - and duh ! - even not written in the release notes .... :o ).
A lot of things got fixed after 3.12 ( especially for Cintiqs , OLED and GUI ). For my dual tablets, and Cintiq, I can't use this 3.8 version, I also have issue for mapping certain shortcuts to buttons. It's now 10 time better ; Check this video to see new version running. A pity *this* wasn't forked in Mint, because I know they renamed all 'Wacom tablet' to 'tablet' only to make this part on their code, and this work on their side will certainly block an easy port from 3.8 to 3.12 Wacom libs...

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75. Michał

tuesday 03 june 2014, 21:56

I've tried Ubuntu Gnome 14.04 - it was dissapointing with only partial Gnome 3.10 implementation... and I'm very used to Cinnamon desktop so I've returned to LM.
Wacom GUI in LM 17 is definitely from Gnome 3.8 - I'm not happy with this solution but atleast it's back and working.
By the way, for me it's easier because I never really developed habbit to use tablet buttons:)
Sadly it seems that tablet support isn't priority for Linux OS developers and I don't expect any spectacular improvements in near future... atleast in LM - that's one of the reasons that is stoping me from buying Cintiq 13 HD.

Another weird thing is Krita - in LM16 I was using version 2.8.2 and there is version 2.8.3 already but not in LM17/Ubuntu 14.04... only 2.8.1.
tuesday 03 june 2014, 22:22

@Michał : Hey, yes on UbuntuGnome 14.04 I use the staging-ppa to get Gnome 3.12 full. But I'm studying Fedora to move to it ( I need to learn about repo, packaging and firewall ). For Krita, the Kubuntu-update ppa got already 2.8.2 and soon 2.8.3 ; Ubuntu in general is really fastly outdated... too bad

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77. Michał

wednesday 04 june 2014, 01:06

Thanks for the repo, I was looking in kubuntu-backports.
As for Ubuntu, I'm very disturbed when I look the direction they are heading... for now LM is my distro of choice but we will see how it's gonna be, especially with decission to stick with 14.04 as a base for next 3 releases.

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78. GuilleAcoustic

wednesday 04 june 2014, 22:53

Bonjour David,

cela fait déjà un moment que je suis vos travaux. Je suis toujours autant impressionné. Je suis développeur professionnel et dessinateur à mes heures. J'ai besoin de changer de PC car le mien est en train de rendre l'âme. Je n'ai pas utilisé ma bonne vieille tablette depuis un moment, il s'agit d'une Intuos 2 A4 mais j'ai un projet qui me démange depuis quelque temps.

Devrais-je plutôt m'orienter vers un core i5 ou un core i7 pour Krita ? Dans le même genre 8 ou 16 Go ? Je pars sur de l'animation traditionnel et j'aurais donc pas mal de calques simultanément.

Merci d'avance et encore bravo pour votre talent.

- Guille -
thursday 05 june 2014, 04:06

@GuilleAcoustic : Bonjour ! Merci pour le petit mot.
Pour le processeur ; l'important pour la 2D est la puissance d'un seul ; et j'estime qu' au dela de 2 processeurs et de 2.2Ghz , ça tourne.

Exemple; j'ai un laptop avec un Intel® Core™ i3 CPU 3120M , 2.5GHz × 4 ; he bien il se retrouve plus véloce que ma station de travail Intel® Core™ i7 CPU 870 , 2.93GHz × 8 .
Un i3 rivalise avec mon i7 pour la 2D ... Ca s'explique par la puissance du thread seul :
exemple :[]=1442&cmp[]=832
Sur cette page on peu comparer mes deux processeurs : "Single Thread Rating" donne un score supérieur en faveur du i3. est très un bon outil. Surtout pour étudier un achat. Idem pour le GPUbenchmark pour la carte graphique. Je conseil Nvidia; et du costaud. ( Krita a un canvas 'openGL' )

D'un autre côté, dès qu'il faut rendre de la vidéo ou de la 3D ; le i7 avec tout ses threads en parrallele se débrouille le mieux quand même.
Pour la 2D , 8GB de ram sont confortable. Mais 16GB ne peuvent faire de mal. Un SSD pour le system est un vrai boost.
Bon achat!

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80. GuilleAcoustic

thursday 05 june 2014, 08:19

Bonjour, merci pour ce retour ultra rapide. Cela confirme ce que je pensais mais je ne trouvais pas l'information pour single vs multi thread. Il ne reste plus qu'à trouver le bon équilibre entre performance, prix et longévité de l'ensemble.

Je vais m'entrainer avec vos super tutosriaux en attendant que les pièces arrivent. Il ne me reste que le point du soft d'animation à résoudre. J'en ai vu plusieurs mais testé aucun (en dehors de Plastic Animation Paper, dont l'ancienne version est gratuite maintenant, mais non disponible sous linux).
thursday 05 june 2014, 21:42

@GuilleAcoustic : :-) La reference en animation 2D pro, reste TvPaint, et tourne sous Linux, mais est propriétaire. En libre ; on en est au début ; synfig, krita(un future plugin en préparation cet été ) et GimpAnimationPackage, Pencil2D , et XsheetMypaint ... ( renomé DopeyAnimation )
Bonne continuation !

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82. GuilleAcoustic

friday 06 june 2014, 00:23

Super, merci pour toutes ces précieuses informations.
Bonne continuation!

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83. Hmiss

saturday 07 june 2014, 10:45

bravo pour ton site intéressant. Que penses tu de l'écran nec pa242w comparé à l'asus pa249q? Je dois changer d'écran et le choix qu'il faut faire est un petit dilemme. J'utilise un intuos pro m sur un écran vieux qui a rendu de bon service mais est en fin de vie
saturday 07 june 2014, 14:13

@Hmiss : Bonjour, Merci :)
Pour le Nec, il semble avoir le même genre de dalle ISP que l'Asus. L'Asus étant à moitié du prix du Nec, c'est sans hésiter que je me tournerai vers l'Asus.
Voir, si il y avait le budget pour le Nec ; pourquoi pas tester la démesure du Asus PA279Q ; avec ses 2560 x 1440 pixels sur 27'' :D
La gamme ProArt Asus est vraiment bien ; voir les test de à leur propos.
Bon achat !

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85. Hmiss

friday 13 june 2014, 21:02

Merci pour la réponse. Je crois que je prendrais le Asus, même si au départ je penchais plus pour le Nec. Merci

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wednesday 30 july 2014, 09:52

Hi David. I'm a Linux digital artist (in training) and I'm just becoming one of your fans :D I've bought your DVD tutorials from the blender store and I think it's awesome!
You said on a past comment that fedora is for developers and nerds. I'm using fedora and I think it's not that hard to install and use. The installation process is even more faster than in ubuntu. And I just need to use the terminal a bit to install my basic software (although there's a software center pre-installed). I don't even have to configure drivers. Anyway, only you know what's better for you to use and I'm still thinking about getting sticked to Fedora or not. Please never stop using Linux and open source software.
wednesday 30 july 2014, 16:14

@Ayaskull : Thanks for the feedback Ayaskull , that's good to know you use Fedora.
Sure, my previous experience with Fedoras was not successful, but time changed ; I installed it on a WM last month , did a system upgrade and I'm more and more impressed with newers releases. Especially for the Gnome parts. I'll probably switch to it one day, and at least it's still a distro into my top5 scope. But for the moment, I'm just lazy looking for the easiness of stuff I already know ( I'm in a frankensteinish Ubuntu-Gnome with Xubuntu desktop installed over it , and conky stuff ) . I'm on this lazy/easy side just to invest more time on artworks and drawing ( Pepper&Carrot ) . Sure , I'll not leave open-source!
Good continuation to you :)

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saturday 09 august 2014, 19:47

Hi David,
I'm new to Linux and I wish to install it on my PC, but I'm wondering between Ubuntu and Ubuntu Gnome... what is the difference? I think Ubuntu Gnome uses Gnome 3 by default, but I can choose between Gnome, Ubuntu Unity, and KDE at the time of "Vanilla" Ubuntu installation isn't?

I'm confused :S
Thanks for consider my comment and keep the great work!!

Best Regards,
monday 11 august 2014, 22:03

@Jose Navas : Hi Jose,
Here is the difference :
* Ubuntu use Unity desktop
* Ubuntu Gnome is a Ubuntu variant who use the Gnome desktop
You can't choose the desktop during the installation. You need to choose before.
You can still install another desktop environment on the top of any distribution, but it's often resulting into a mixed system, and so unregular system ( not tested ). An efficient way to find annoying bug never reported :)
For a basic usage, Xubuntu, Ubuntu, Ubuntu Gnome or Kubuntu all are ok in 14.04 version . Just browse a bit on Youtube reviews, to see how they look, and install the one you prefer.

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90. Jose Navas

wednesday 13 august 2014, 01:24

Thanks a lot David!! it is much clear now :)

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91. Akis

saturday 30 august 2014, 20:23

Hi David,

First of, congratulations on your fine tutorials, they 've been very helpfull since I'm slowly migrating from windows to linux (and I also like to paint of course).

Anyway I was looking at the harware you use and I noticed that while you use an Asus Pro Art screen, you have a GeForce as your graphic card. Unless I'm mistaken, I have read that in order to fully utilise a professional monitor, you must use a professional graphic card such as a Quadro or a FirePro.
My question is, is there any really difference in the colors, does that affect your work, or have you' ve balanced it with the colorimeter?

Keep up the great work!
saturday 30 august 2014, 20:55

@Akis : Thanks for the feedback ! The article you read misinformed you. Nowaday, every graphic card are able to work for having the best colors, and for applying the color management ( done with a colorimeter ). Exemple ; my Intel HD gfx card on laptop can apply the *.icc profile I made with dispcalGUI or GNOME control center without any issue ; and Krita can work on image with a lot of depht in pixel colors ( 32bit, float , etc... if you need ).
A good graphic card can make your performance of painting better for software running with openGL ; Krita can benefit about it. But about color quality , a cheap graphic card will be able to handle the best screen around without any issue.

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93. Akis

sunday 31 august 2014, 15:42

You' re information has made some things all the more. clear.

Thank you David!

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monday 15 september 2014, 08:05

Hello again! I have a few questions for you:

1 - Do you need to draw in paper and scan all of your drawing sketches to make a complete digital drawing or you sketch some or most of your drawings digitally from scratch (I draw everything just with a bamboo tablet and I was wondering if sketching on paper would be better)?

2 - Do that scanner work out of the box in Linux?

3 - What do you think about Linux Mint?
monday 15 september 2014, 10:20

@Ayaskull :
Hey Ayaskull,

1 - I can sketch on both. Sketching on digital got advantages, as I can strech, correct, deform a base sketch to make it better without having to redraw it. It's easier to do research, and probably find the right design. So, most of the time ( and even for my comic ) I prefer to concept-art on computer, even if I draw the character on paper later. It's easier to tweaks proportion and build a vocabulary of shapes, etc.

2- The Canon Lite one works out-of-the-box on all 'buntu, OpenSuse, Fedora and 80% of other distro. On Arch/Manjaro, it takes a bit of manipulation, but nothing important to do, and the Archwiki make it straight forward to do. But I changed my scanner last week ; my Canon was really old ( more than 10 years, with many scans by weeks ) and the lens started to got artefact ; just a little bit noisy. So, I decided to use the one bundled in my 2in1 printer/scanner ; a Canon MP560, and so far I can work with it ; it's even a better quality and scan speed than the CanoscanLide ; probably due to the AC/DC powered scanner, and not a USB only 5V motor. The MP560 scanner is plug-n-play with recent Xsane ; and the printer works on 'buntu after a bit of gutenprint tweaks. It even has a dedicated proprietary driver, but I keep the CUPS/Gutenprint free one and it's ok to print invoices, and sometime birthday cards ( I don't print photoquality stuff ).

3- Mint was my fav distro during years ; from 2007 to around 2011 or 2012 ( the Cinnamon era ). I like their concept of making Linux easy, and a entry door for Windows user, with drivers and all ; back to 2008 they were the only distro or almost to do that, and it really made everything simplier.
What I dislike about it, is their choice of forking Gnome make all the work duplicate. Bug report for Gnome also apply to Cinnamon sometime, and both team must solve same issue. Mint team is not as big as the Gnome team ; and don't own the same competences. Support for tablet, color management , performance of composer in Mint is limited due to that, while it's really more advanced in Gnome 3.12 and future versions. And Mint probably can't update their own module to match the Gnome version ; because I think they use and built cinnamon fork on a older "base" of code...
So, I think they make nice distro for general user, those who surf web, listen music, and write in open-office ; but for a workstation I wouldn't recommend it.

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monday 15 september 2014, 16:18

Hello David! I'm wondering if Krita supports rotating the canvas with the touch functionality of the wacom Intuos Pro tablet.

monday 15 september 2014, 19:21

@Bruno Cornelsen : Hi Bruno, sorry I never tested this hardware with Krita, and I don't own it. I can't inform you. It's probably a good question to ask to the developpers on the Krita forum. Good luck !

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98. Dalapane

wednesday 01 october 2014, 13:21

@ David REVOY:

Firstly, I really admire your work and spirit. I wouldn't have made the switch to linux completely if not for your articles.

And, have you ever tried pclinuxOS as a distribution? I'm using it for about a month now, and have to say, it runs a lot smoother and saner than the ubuntu variants. I tried linux mint 17 and for the most part it was very good but I had problems with Nvidia Drivers. I have the same GPU as you do, 650Ti 2GB, but I couldn't find the driver that goes well with it. So, maybe my GPU has screwed but just for a query, which driver do you use?
Just if you are still looking for a distro to try, have a go at pclinuxos. It's a rolling release, so no worries about upgrading or reinstall. And it comes in KDE by default, so krita comes native. Keep creating awesomeness.
wednesday 01 october 2014, 13:28

@Dalapane : Hi Dalapane, Thanks for your nice words ; I appreciate your feedback, and it's always nice to get a recommendation ; I'll try !
( Someone just sent me a 'how to' have a global menu in KDE to save vertical space on screen ; and I want to study this as soon as possible. I'm using right now XFCE; but I still like KDE and GNOME almost as equal ; and even Cinnamon and Unity. I try to keep open mind . )
About the 650Ti ; I tried Unity not long time ago , and I had ugly freeze with Compiz from time to time. I wonder if it's not also what you experienced.

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100. Dalapane

wednesday 01 october 2014, 13:38

Actually, that's exactly what happened with linux mint cinnamon, very serious freezes, and I searched google and found things or two about the compiz and some about the faulty nvidia drivers. But couldn't got it working. So, I've just taken it off my system and working without it. Is it running fine in xfce?

Btw, I'm using KDE and have to say, it's really optimised. With some tweaking around startup services, I've managed to run kDE just under 400mb of memory,even with full desktop effects on.
wednesday 01 october 2014, 13:46

@Dalapane : Oh yes KDE can be very snappy, here I setup the computer of my wife with KDE , and it's a Asus EEEPC, with a single core, 1GB of ram ; and it's run faster than XFCE after removing a lot of things, and using optimised theme, etc... On Xubuntu 14.04, I don't have those freezes ; but I'm not using any compositing/shadows/effect ; a really 2D desktop. Certainly a problem with default nvidia graphic driver then in 14.04.

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102. Dalapane

wednesday 01 october 2014, 13:56

@David REVOY: Will see if xfce solves my issue. Thanks.

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103. Cestarian

wednesday 05 november 2014, 05:05

I noticed when you talked about configuring the wacom drivers that you use xsetwacom for it. With that you can't enable this option:

And I think you need it for that Bamboo of yours. I added that in there myself, seems not a lot of people know how important this setting is, but well to put it bluntly, it's something like this.

Thought you might wanna know ;) You may wanna configure your tablet via /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-wacom.conf so that you can use this option from now on. It makes a world of difference for me at least.
monday 10 november 2014, 14:52

@Cestarian : lol
C'mon, you really think I painted all this year with a bad ratio on tablet ? Do you really think one can draw with bad proportion ? That's almost insulting ;-P

And when you say that with xsetwacom you can't enable proportion ; you are wrong. 'Area' can do it .
I can do it since 4 years ; and here is the little math how you setup two 4:3 tablets to 16:9 display :

# INTUOS 4 Medium ( 4:3 )
# max area : 0 0 44704 27950 ( you obtain this raw value with asking xsetwacom a get area on first usb connect , read xsetwacom doc for infos how to do it )
areaY=$(( $screenY * $areaX / $screenX ))
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus" Area 0 0 $areaX $areaY
xsetwacom set "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 eraser" Area 0 0 $areaX $areaY


# BAMBOO FUN A5 ( 4:3 )
# max area : 0 0 21648 13530
areaY=$(( $screenY * $areaX / $screenX ))
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 6x8 stylus" Area 0 0 $areaX $areaY
xsetwacom set "Wacom BambooFun 6x8 eraser" Area 0 0 $areaX $areaY

That's all :-P

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105. Ammi

saturday 06 december 2014, 08:36

Hi David,
I've been thinking of using open source software in doing creative design work and i am very glad i found you and your website :D

I am currently using elementary OS Luna and thinking of switching to either Mint or UbuntuStudio. What is your opinion on those two distros? Thanks.
saturday 06 december 2014, 12:56

@Ammi : Hi Ammi,
If you have a graphic tablet and you prefer configure it simply with a panel user interface in the configuration menu ; Mint might be more user-friendly as it provide a simple graphic tablet configuration panel. ( the same as in Elementary and Ubuntu ; based on Gnome 3.8 ). UbuntuStudio is a distribution based on the XFCE desktop, optimised for music/sound production more than for visual design. XFCE will require you to do script to customize the tablet. Good luck, here I'm very curious about the next 'Fedora 21' , out the next 9 december. I really like the Gnome desktop, and on 'buntu the packaging of this desktop is always a massacre, buggy and half vampired to make the main Ubuntu working. But, I must admit the ecosystem of 'buntu is still my favorite ; a lot of package available, a lot of article for hardware, a lot of solutions everywhere by a big community. I might miss that if I jump to Fedora. Good luck with your choice.

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107. Ammi

sunday 07 december 2014, 07:15

Thank you for the input.
Thanks also for mentioning Fedora 21. Their vision of the project is quite interesting. I read somewhere that the workstation version is aimed to compete with MacOS. Looking foward to test it too next tuesday :D

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108. Uya91

friday 12 december 2014, 03:55

Hi David, i'm From Indonesian And trying hard to understand how to create the best artwork. i know my drawing not good as i can see. even i try, all fail. does somebody like me who dont have the skill for draw can make it and learned the skill of draw ?? oh yeah, im trying to make 3D from image in the book who send me here. its hard to make neck after clothing "from the book character development in blender 2.5".
give me opinion so i dont lose the hope for trying to draw it again. hahaahahhaha bad luck for me who didnt born as skillfull drawer. and sorry my english bad. i hope i can fullfill my dream to create my character and made it to 3D and also made it to the game. newbie -_-
friday 12 december 2014, 13:50

@Uya91 :
Hi Uya ; No one around is born as skillfull drawer ; that's urban legend.
Drawing is a complex and universal langage, and those who practise a lot younger usually appears to be always-skilled-since-born.
The real talent in drawing is, imo : "the desire to draw, to give life, to storytell or to imagine new things" and also " the setup of personnal time to make it happen in real life" . Technics, skills, anatomy, textures, volumes, perspective, style, etc..etc...etc... are just tools built over this original desire.
You can learn those tools, but they are complex to learn as a foreign langage could be. Compare it as it could be to learn Chinese, French or Polish ; they require time to understand and practise, and a lot of personnal studies , to understand it. The self-commitment required is really high , but it worth the effort in my opinion. If you really want, and invest a large amount of time in it, and learn ; you will be only able to succeed.
Good luck !

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110. dog

friday 26 december 2014, 07:42

What's up, I check your blogs regularly. Your style is awesome, keep it up!

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111. jseb

wednesday 14 january 2015, 22:11

Hello, thank you for sharing your configuration with us ! I've a hard time chosing a good screen which doesn't suffer from «burn-in» (shadow persistence when exposing too long a static picture, for, say, like half an hour). I've already tried two IPS screens, but without any luck for now. I've sent back both of them.

The «burn-in» problem appears very fast with the greys used in the Blender interface.

Can you tell me the exact reference of you Asus ProArt 24" ? When i search in catalogues, i find several references.

Thank you !
thursday 15 january 2015, 02:06

@jseb : Hi JSeb, I should update my guide, because this expensive PA24 from Asus was probably the best screen I had, but the worst deal at final : just after 1 month warranty expired, the power suppply integrated started to be weak, and the screen stopped to work. I tried to replace the bad eletronic elements, but without success on this model. For number of day use ratio with price, it was super expensive.... I replaced it on the hurry with a low cost IPS " Philips 21.5" LED - 224E5QDAB " , a far lower price ( around 130€ for a 21.5 inch 1080p ) , a far lower gamut to display, but good contrast, luminosity.
No ghost printing on screen at the moment... The Asus had them a bit, for the top panel of my O.S.

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113. dpelletier

monday 02 february 2015, 21:00

I installed krita and calligraflow onto my Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon, 'Rebeccaa' ed and received the same critical error when trying to run either application:

Essential application components could not be found.
This might be an installation issue.
Try restarting, running kbuildsycoca4.exe or reinstalling.

What finally worked for me:

mkdir -p ~/.kde4/env
cd ~/kde4/env

export KDEDIRS=$HOME/kde4/inst:$KDEDIRS
export PATH=$HOME/kde4/inst/bin:$PATH
and save



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114. Asanka

saturday 14 february 2015, 06:16

Hi I love open source and I advocate it as much as I can. Hope you can help me with these questions;
1.GIMP does not support CMYK so how do you use it for print work?
2.Are GIMP and Krita competing projects, coz Krita to my understanding support CMYK
Thanks in advance

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115. MJ

tuesday 10 march 2015, 18:21

Thank You! This is really useful for me!
I wast lost in my "how can I do this?" and you give to me a path to follow.

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116. Darko

friday 20 march 2015, 10:09

I am writing this post for a second time,had problems with my phone because I am writing it in a train lol.

Hi David. First of all let me say that I love your work and I really value your art and your knowledge in Linux.
I am writing to you in hope that you will help me with my problem. I have a few questions that I will be really happy if you find time to answer them.
1. I have complex PSD files, tried opening them in latest krita and gimp in windows and they are no good. So my question in what format and how to save them so I will be able to use them or modify something when I switch to Linux.
2.what distro to use? I have wacom intuos5 with Toshiba laptop with ati card.
I hope you will find time to help me and sorry for bothering you.
friday 20 march 2015, 11:54

@Darko : Hi, sorry you had to write your post a second time, and nice your phone and internet connexion on a train work good enough to use my crappy Html forms to enter a comment on website. I should really sit down a week and recode the website to be more 'phone' friendly.

About your questions :

>> 1. I have complex PSD files, tried opening them in latest krita and gimp in windows and they are no good. So my question in what format and how to save them so I will be able to use them or modify something when I switch to Linux.

Unfortunately, I would answer 'PSD' ; but with a pass of cleaning and simplifying them a bit before in Photoshop.
- You can keep all layer with blending modes, Krita does the convert pretty well. But Krita put a priority on the blending mode of the group; so, the blending mode on group/folder of layers might render differently.
- You'll need to flatten the Layer Styles ; they coming soon in Krita, but I guess it will take a little year before they will be enough polished to be production-proof.
- 'Clipping mask' are not compatible
- Mask in general, and special channel to save selection don't save well.
- Text and vector layers also.
So to resume :
Clean PSD to get only raster layers, using simple groups (in 'normal' blending mode) and your PSDs will be 'Linux' proofed

>> 2.what distro to use? I have wacom intuos5 with Toshiba laptop with ati card.

I use Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon 64bit at the moment. With years, I became confortable with the package mess of the 'buntu ecosystem, and Mint use this, the LongTermSupport of Ubuntu 14.04. Even if on a technological point of view, a lot of developpers don't like Ubuntu packaging ( they call Ubuntu/Mint user Noobs :-D ) ; on practical use , each Linux project tries to get 'user-friendly' installation for UbuntuLTS , and good support. That's a huge time saving in production when I need to install a software. Also the database of question/bug/solution online is big enough to solve any sort of problems or almost ; and support is till 2019 . That's the pro ;
On the con side ; the package base is 'frozen' and a bit outdated ( it can be seen as a 'pro' because you get more stable version ) for eg. doesn't contain the last Krita ; you need to add repository ( something Krita website provide ) to get last version. For each 'new version' of a software, you'll need to add a new repo ; it's not a big deal, but I know groups of users ( on Fedora, Arch, Antergos, Manjaro ) considering the distro should always provide 'last package'. In my opinion, it's dynamite in production, I remember a time when I was under ArchLinux and received the new version of my FTP app, and it was really unusable... I had to rely on another (less good) app for my FTP transfert, and the time I lost to find the new apps and learn/setup it was big compare the time I'm loosing on 'buntu ecosystem to just add a repo for the apps I want to follow the new development.
'Buntu ecosystem is large; I advice the LTS ; Long Term Support , the real release ; it's 14.04 now ( 14.10 or future 15.04 are just 'beta' version, done to get free beta tester ; and has only a 8 month support ) ; Mint is doing good with 17.1. You can choose many desktop environment, KDE, XFCE, Cinnamon, Gnome, Unity etc... That's , in my opinion , the real choice to do.
Good luck!

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118. Darko

friday 20 march 2015, 14:33

Thank you for your fast answer David, I'll do what you said.

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