Vector drawing program for Linux
June 20, 2005 9:43 AM   Subscribe

I will soon be acquiring a Linux box as an alternate (and, one hopes, eventual replacement) for my main Windows machine. I have open-source replacements for most of my main software applications -- except for vector-based drawing. I currently use Corel DRAW (and have used Freehand and Canvas in the past), mostly for RPG-related drawings. What /good/ vector programs are there in the Linux world? Does the choice of GNOME/KDE make a difference (I know KDE has a vector program with it, but don't know a thing about it)?
posted by Sand to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
 
Inkscape is in my opinion by far the best. You could run something under WINE (Illustrator is supposed to run, I know), but there are always slight issues with that.

Once you get comfortable with linux, also, I'd recommend ditching Gnome/KDE, and going with a window manager (or at the least, XFCE, which is much lighter weight than Gnome/KDE). I use WindowMaker or fluxbox when I'm on *nix personally.

Good luck with the switch, it isn't easy. That first month is a killer.
posted by devilsbrigade at 9:53 AM on June 20, 2005


Might want to check out these articles on Linux Weekly News,
he reviews several vector drawing apps and shares the ups and downs of each:

Grumpy Editor's guide to diagram editors
Grumpy Editor's diagram editor followup
posted by knave at 9:54 AM on June 20, 2005


I don't do vectors that much, but some friends of mine are -- and they used inkscape. I've gave sodipodi a try once and I liked it.
posted by NewBornHippy at 10:35 AM on June 20, 2005


Choice of Gnome and KDE shouldn't make a difference -- Gnome apps will run if you run KDE and KDE apps will run if run Gnome.
posted by zsazsa at 10:45 AM on June 20, 2005


This one's easy. There's three serious options that I know of: Dia, Kivio and Inkscape. As devilsbrigade said, Inkscape is by far the best (I've made small contributions to Dia in the past, and am currently doing work for Inkscape). It depends on what your needs are, though; Inkscape is targetted mainly at vector art, as opposed to flowcharting and diagramming. I'm not sure what RPG drawing is, but if you're doing something more like diagramming, I'd reccomend Dia. Fortunately, both Inkscape and Dia can be run on Windows machines if you want to test them out. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Also, yeah, XFCE is clean and simple, with less crap for a new Linux user to worry about. It doesn't really matter, though; KDE, Gnome and XFCE will all work well.
posted by gsteff at 11:19 AM on June 20, 2005


I think I've heard that the GIMP is going to have vector art components soon.
posted by cmonkey at 11:28 AM on June 20, 2005


RPG = roleplaying game (i.e., Dungeons & Dragons). I draw maps (of continents, regions, cities, etc.) for the game. I use vector programs because it's useful to "zoom in" an area and draw it in greater detail.
posted by Sand at 11:41 AM on June 20, 2005


Not directly answering your question, but a very useful resource when you're moving from Windows to Linux is the Table of Equivalents, / replacements / analogs of Windows software in Linux.
posted by benzo8 at 12:02 PM on June 20, 2005


Corel Draw was ported to Linux for a few versions. It definitely doesn't exist for v12, I'm pretty sure there was a v9.

Anybody know how well it worked (from the perspective of a Corel Draw lover, not an across the board diss please)? It appears to be very rare indeed...
posted by Chuckles at 3:55 PM on June 20, 2005


With lots of pain you can get corel draw to run under wine. I am told only older versions work, which is great, because after Corel Draw 4 the program became a bloated hellhole of nasty.

Corel Draw 11 seems to be the latest someone has had success with.
posted by shepd at 7:11 PM on June 20, 2005


I haven't used it, but you may want to look into Inkscape.
posted by chunking express at 8:31 PM on June 20, 2005


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