Web projects offered to freelance web developers and designers often include creating a website using graphics already prepared by an employer in Photoshop .psd files. But Photoshop is not available on Linux. Are there any tools available to work with .psd files on Linux, what quality do they have and is there any loss of information associated with using them instead of the official Photoshop software?

2 Answers 2


Before now I have opened PSDs with the Gimp but it is not the same. Layers go missing, things involving text look different and latest features in new Photoshop versions simply do not work.

Therefore, even if a PSD file does open in the Gimp you are not entirely sure if it is looking as it is supposed to. Therefore, you do need Photoshop.

Photoshop works absolutely fine in a Virtualbox PC, it can be made to work with Wine but I have struggled with the user-interface under Wine. Your best bet is to run Photoshop in an XP Virtualbox or on a secondary PC that has Vista/Windows 7 pre-installed.

  • 2
    +1 Like it or not, the Adobe suite is the standard for design tools and it's not likely to change too soon. How bad things go depends on how fancy the PSDs are. You can try to minimize problems by having things like layer styles be rendered down and asking for a flattened PNG or something to be sent along to use as a reference, but in the end you should work toward having an actual copy of Photoshop available. You can now spread the cost out with the new subscription options.
    – Su'
    Jul 4, 2011 at 9:29
  • It's a shame. There are so many startups now which are based on free and open-source software. And to get Photoshop one needs to buy Windows also.
    – user444214
    Jul 4, 2011 at 10:33

Use The Gimp. Despite what anyone else says, my company has interacted with Photoshop users for the web for 8 years without any issue whatsoever. While some may claim they have had problems, and you can find claims about anything for everything including mine, you are not likely to have any problems using Gimp for the web.

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