Convert Photos to Cartoon or Sketch Images in Ubuntu via XnSketch

This simple tutorial will show you how to convert your photos to cartoon or sketch images in Ubuntu Linux using a simple tool XnSketch.

XnSketch is a very small tool that allows you to turn your photos into cartoon or sketch images. It works on Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Apple and Android devices.


  • 18 different effects (black strokes, white strokes, pastel, pencil sketch, colored sketch, …)
  • Edge strength, and opacity adjustement
  • Contrast, brightness, saturation adjustement
  • Save or share the result to Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, Imgur, Thmblr, ImageShack, Yfrog, GlowFoto, TwitPic, and Email.

Install XnSketch

First download the package:

XnSketch for Windows 32-bit | Windows 64-bit

XnSketch for Ubuntu Linux

For Ubuntu users, decompress the package and copy and paste the result folder into /opt/ folder once downloaded. To do so, press Alt+F2 on your keyboard and type in gksudo nautilus to open file browser with root privilege.

Then drag and drop the extract folder from your ~/Downloads folder to /opt/:

Finally follow below steps to create a launcher for this tool:

1.) Press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run below commands to install required package:

sudo apt-get install gnome-panel --no-install-recommends

2.) Run command to bring up Create Launcher dialog.

sudo gnome-desktop-item-edit /usr/share/applications/ --create-new

In next window type following:

name = XnSketch
command = /opt/XnSketch/
select an icon from /opt/XnSketch/xnsketch.png

Once done, click Ok and you’ll see the XnSketch from the Unity Dash home.

By Ji m

I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to remind me outdated tutorial! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via Buy me a coffee:

1 comment

  1. Hi Ji,

    I love your tool very much. Just wonder how I can call it from my program?

    Many thanks,

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