Asset Folders

So You Want to Install Some Assets?

GIMP allows users to include various types of assets to extend its functionality. These include common items such as brushes, patterns, palettes, fonts, Plug-Ins, and Scripts. A common question from new users is how to install these assets, so we are going to look at that here!

Finding Asset Folders

GIMP searches for these assets in locations specified in the Preferences dialog.

To open it on macOS, make sure GIMP is the active application then on the menu bar go to:

To open it on Windows or Linux, go to:

Which will open the GIMP preferences dialog:

GIMP Preferences Dialog

Expanding the Folders (click the “+”) in the left pane of the dialog will expose the various asset folders:

GIMP Preferences Folders Dialog

Selecting one of the options on the left will show the current paths that GIMP will search for that option. In the example above you can see that there are three locations that GIMP will search for Script-Fu scripts:

C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\share\gimp\2.0\scripts

You can make scripts available (ie: install them) in GIMP by placing them in any of the listed folders.

Before you just start placing scripts in any folder you see here though, let’s think about this for a moment. The first two locations are default locations that are created by GIMP. The third entry, however, is a custom entry.

It can be very helpful to save GIMP assets to a directory outside of the default paths. In the event that you want to upgrade or try a different version of GIMP, you can simply point the appropriate folder to this location to make the assets available again. You can also use a folder as part of a file-syncing service to make scripts and assets available across different computers.

Defining Asset Folders

On the right side of the dialog there are a series of buttons that allow you to manage the folders in the list:

GIMP Preferences Define Folders Dialog

The first button is to define a new folder location to search. The second and third are to change the order that GIMP searches the folders. The fourth is to delete an entry. The fifth invokes the file dialog. The sixth opens the file manager at the selected location.

To define a new location, start by pressing the first button. Then use the file chooser button on the far right to navigate your file system and find a folder you’d like to add to this list.

For example, I’ve navigated to, and chosen, the folder F:\Personal\github\test-gimp-scripts:

GIMP Preferences Define New Folders

If you’re happy with your choice, you can press the OK button to save your changes. If not, you can press the Delete button to remove that entry.

After adding new assets, you need to tell GIMP to re-read them. Many, for example Brushes, Gradients, Patterns and Pallettes, can be refreshed by clicking the refresh icon at the bottom of their respective dialog. .scm scripts can be refreshed by going to

.py scripts (Plug-ins) will require restarting GIMP. On Linux and macOS, .py scripts (Plug-ins) will need to be allowed to run as a program/made executable to work.

In Conclusion

This is the definitive means for determining where GIMP is looking for these various assets. It will work regardless of OS and should be the default method for finding these folder locations.

TIP: If possible, consider using a separate folder to store your own assets in, and then linking to it from these dialogs.

Creative Commons License GIMP Tutorial - GIMP Quickies (text & images) by Pat David is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.