GIMPshop on Snow Leopard

14 Nov 2009
Posted by bobbyn

I’ve gotten used to GIMPshop, though the application hasn’t been maintained in a long time.  It only supports Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) and 10.4 (Tiger) out of the box, but you can get it to work on 10.5 (Leopard) and 10.6 (Snow Leopard) with a few minor changes.

Once you install GIMPshop and open it, the app crashes with the following:

Reason: Incompatible library version: libXft.2.dylib requires version 5.0.0 or later, but libfontconfig.1.dylib provides version 2.0.0 

Ultimately, the fontconfig and iconv libraries distributed with GIMPshop need to be replaced as they are not compatible with the current X11 environment.  I already had MacPorts installed, so I just built universal variants of them (I also had to build universal variants of a couple dependencies - expat, freetype, and zlib):

sudo port install libiconv +universal expat +universal freetype +universal zlib +universal fontconfig +universal 

Then, I just removed the offending libraries distributed with GIMPshop and replaced them with symlinks to the ones I just built:

sudo rm -f /Applications/* 
sudo ln -s /opt/local/lib/libfontconfig.1.dylib /Applications/ 
sudo ln -s /opt/local/lib/libfontconfig.dylib /Applications/  
sudo rm -f /Applications/* 
sudo ln -s /opt/local/lib/libiconv.2.dylib /Applications/ 
sudo ln -s /opt/local/lib/libiconv.dylib /Applications/ 

This was done on a MacBook running Snow Leopard.  The file below contains the compiled fontconfig and iconv libraries (note: they have x86_64 and i386 architecture support, but not ppc).  You may be able to just replace the libraries bundled with GIMPshop with these and skip the whole MacPorts process.
sudo rm -f /Applications/* 
sudo rm -f /Applications/* 
sudo cp libfontconfig.1.dylib libiconv.2.dylib /Applications/ 
sudo ln -s /Applications/ /Applications/ 
sudo ln -s /Applications/ /Applications/ 

... download ...
Size: 1697351 bytes
MD5: 521b7ac9b9159ea288a2cf1436d49157
SHA1: bd5f31fef865198193a817f81e91b963a1384fa4



Thanks for posting this- I finally got gimpshop to work on Mac OS X 10.5.2. But the gimpshop helpbrowser still fails to start:

Dyld Error Message:
Library not loaded: /sw/lib/libgtkhtml-2.0.dylib
Referenced from: /Applications/
Reason: image not found

Do you have this problem? Or is it something I mucked up in previous attempts to get gimpshop to run? Any info appreciated.

Anonymous (not verified) | Dec 4th, 2009 at 10:14 pm


gimp now works for me on Mac 10.6. thanks !

Anonymous (not verified) | Sep 18th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Worked a treat...

...on my MacBook Pro with 10.6.3. Thanks very much!!!


rej (not verified) | Jun 4th, 2010 at 7:54 am


Huge thanks for this! Got GS working on my newly snowleopardized macbook... Awesome!

JP (not verified) | May 1st, 2010 at 12:54 am


Hi, thanks for great article.
I'm trying this (with MacPorts) on Leopard (10.5.8) and I'm still getting this error:

Dyld Error Message:
Library not loaded: /opt/local/lib/libfreetype.6.dylib
Referenced from: /Applications/
Reason: Incompatible library version: libfontconfig.1.dylib requires version 11.0.0 or later, but libfreetype.6.dylib provides version 10.0.0

Thanks for any hints!

Michal (not verified) | May 14th, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Another error message

Dyld Error Message:
Library not loaded: /sw/lib/fontconfig2/lib/libfontconfig.1.dylib
Referenced from: /Applications/
Reason: no suitable image found. Did find:
/Applications/ unknown required load command 0x80000022

Anonymous (not verified) | Aug 7th, 2010 at 2:27 pm


I just tried opening Gimpshop again and got the same error you are seeing. It looks like I upgraded fontconfig at some point since I originally posted this and the upgrade is what caused the problem. I tried recompiling fontconfig/freetype/expat but still ran into the same problem. If you can run an older version of fontconfig, it should still work. I downgraded to 2.7.3 at it seems to work again. I had the older version still on my system so running 'sudo port activate fontconfig@2.7.3_0+macosx+universal' worked for me. While not the right answer, it could be a temporary workaround.

bobbyn | May 14th, 2010 at 7:47 pm

One liner form

one liner cut and paste form for those unused to Bash:

sudo rm -f /Applications/* ; sudo rm -f /Applications/* ; sudo cp libfontconfig.1.dylib libiconv.2.dylib /Applications/ ; sudo ln -s /Applications/ /Applications/ ; sudo ln -s /Applications/ /Applications/ 

Anonymous (not verified) | Jan 28th, 2010 at 12:11 am

I got that error on 10.5, but

I got that error on 10.5, but it doesn't present itself on 10.6. MacPorts has a port for libgtkhtml but it isn't the right version and won't solve the problem. When I reached that point, I figured that GimpShop was running fine and I would just deal with clicking the Ignore button on the Help Browser error window.

bobbyn | Dec 11th, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Worked like a champ....

on a PowerBook running 10.5.8. PPC users rejoice!

Hyperkinetic (not verified) | May 21st, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Can you upload the .app file

Can you upload the .app file for download?

Taylor (not verified) | Jun 4th, 2010 at 5:20 pm