How to install Inkscape 0.92 (latest) as a snap in Ubuntu 16.04

Inkscape is professional open-source vector graphics editor. The latest version is 0.92. Here is a video demonstrating the new Inkscape 0.92 features. And detailed Inkscape 0.92 Release Notes.

Here is how to install as the Inkscape snap on Ubuntu 16.04 (and other GNU/Linux distributions that support snaps). The snap was created by Inkscape Board member Ted Gould.

Let’s see what is available as a snap for Inkscape.

$ snap info inkscape
name:      inkscape
summary:   "Vector Graphics Editor"
publisher: inkscape
description: |
  An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to
  Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector
  Graphics (SVG) file format.
  Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending,
  etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface.
  It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace
  bitmaps and much more.
  We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using
  open, community-oriented development.
  stable:    0.92.0     (1880) 148MB -
  candidate: 0.92.0     (2307) 149MB -
  beta:      0.92.0     (2307) 149MB -
  edge:      0.92+devel (2314) 149MB -

We can see that there is already a stable snap for 0.92. If we are comfortable with the stable snap (it’s 0.92!), we can install it from the Ubuntu Software as well.

The one with the nonfree tag is that snap. The other is the package from the repositories, an older version. For some reason, the snaps have the nonfree tag, which weirdly helps to distinguish from the repository packages.

Let’s install the stable Inkscape snap and let’s run it.

Ok, it has a retro look. What’s going on? Is retro in fashion again?

Let’s run the snapped Inkscape from the command line:

$ inkscape
Gtk-Message: Failed to load module "overlay-scrollbar"
Gtk-Message: Failed to load module "gail"
Gtk-Message: Failed to load module "atk-bridge"
Gtk-Message: Failed to load module "canberra-gtk-module"

So this is what is going on. There is a bug in the current stable version of the snap. These errors mean, among other things, that the theming is not working. You can read some feedback in a recent AskUbuntu answer about snap packaging by Sergio Schvezov. In addition, it was a bug that was mentioned on G+ a few days ago.

Let’s try out the package from the edge channel and see whether it has fixed the theming issue.

$ snap remove inkscape
inkscape removed
$ snap install inkscape --channel=edge
inkscape (edge) 0.92+devel from 'inkscape' installed

Instead of the option –channel=edge above, you can also use –edge. My preference is to show the verbose version when I type commands in tutorials so that it is easy to see that edge refers to the channel.

Let’s run the edge Inkscape from the command line.

$ inkscape
Gtk-Message: Failed to load module "canberra-gtk-module"
Gtk-Message: Failed to load module "canberra-gtk-module"

Only the canberra GTK module is missing now, which is a nice improvement. canberra refers to libcanberra and has to do with sound events.

Let’s try Inkscape, minus the sound events.

Here it is then, and it looks fine.

Most users do not know much about vector graphics. Inkscape makes it easy to learn because it has built-in tutorial.

Here is how to get it to load up.

You click on Help→Tutorials→Inkscape: Basic to start off with the first tutorial. You can see that there is a good set of tutorials.

Here is how the first tutorial looks like. It is an Inkscape document (*.svg), and you can freely edit the document while you are reading and learning more about Inkscape!

Make an effort to complete the full set of the Inkscape tutorials.

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