Note: the following information is verbatim from 1998. gsumi-1.1.0 apparently compiles succesfully with GTK+-1.2, which, though long out of date, can still be found in some Linux distributions. To my knowledge, gsumi was never ported to GTK+-2.0 or later.

- Owen Taylor, 1 August 2009

What is gsumi?

gsumi is essentially a port of xink by Raph Levien <> to the gtk user interface toolkit. See the file README.xink for details about the original program. Almost all of the drawing/rendering code and all of the clever ideas in the implementation are due to Raph.

Briefly, the program allows drawing in black (pen) or white (eraser) on a high resolution bitmap which is filtered down to screen resolution. XInput devices can be used (with pressure support), and different tools and tool properties can be assigned to each device.

The primary purpose of this project was was to create a testbed for my ideas about how XInput support should be added to the GIMP. Much of the code that was developed for gsumi has now been incorporated into the GTK library.

The code of gsumi is still mostly untested for any server other than XFree86 (on Linux and FreeBSD) and any XInput device other than a Wacom tablet. If you get it working with any other combination, please let me know. Bug reports and patches are appreciated, as well as general comments about the interface.

Why the name?

I was originally planning to call this gink (gtk+xink, contracted), but that seemed too close to gimp. So I used the Japanese word for (Japanese) ink instead: (read sumi). It's probably a bit misleading since the program doesn't simulate the action of a Japanese brush (an application for tilt?), but with the eraser, the correspondence to ink was already a bit poor. As a side note, the eraser probably really should be thought of as chalk, since that's what (lit. white ink, read hakuboku) means in Japanese.

What's new in v1.1.0

What's new in v1.0.1

What's new in v1.0

What's new in v0.9

What's new in v0.8

What's new in v0.7

What's new in v0.6

What's new in v0.5

What's new in v0.4

What's new in v0.3


You'll need the GTK+ 1.0.0 or later. (Available from To enable XInput support, you'll should compile GTK+ with the --with-xinput=xfree or --with-xinput=gxid options. See the section Configuring XInput below for more information.


The source for gsumi is available here: (



I hope the operation is reasonably intuitive, but a few notes:

Reporting Bugs

Email bugs to me (Owen Taylor <>). Please let me know:

Configuring XInput

You'll need either to use the gxid daemon, or a sufficiently new version of XFree86. See the XInput HOWTO at for more information about configuring your tablet.


  gsumi version 1.0
  Copyright 1997-1998 Owen Taylor <>

  based upon:

  xink version 0.02
  Copyright 1997 Raph Levien <>

The license of gsumi is that of xink:

  This code is free for commercial and non-commercial use or
  redistribution, as long as the source code release, startup screen,
  or product packaging includes this copyright notice.

Note however, that some portions of the user-interface code may be
covered by the GPL and/or LGPL. See the notices at the top of each
source code file for details.