I am looking for a simple drawing tool that can be added to a shell script. I want to draw quick sketches without having to click a lot like in full featured tools. In GIMP I have to open, create a new document, draw, save the document, choose the file name and finally close the program. Lots of clicks for a drawing of 10 seconds. I just want to Open -> Draw -> Close, the file handling will be done in my shell script. It should accept the output file as command line argument and should automatically save the file when closing or pressing a button.

I only need basic functionality. Colors would be nice but are not necessary. Could be just a white drawing screen with an "OK" button on the bottom.

Does anyone have an idea? Thanks :)

  • If this is for Gimp only, please change the title to "how to automate GIMP form the command line". If you are open to other drawing packages, I can help; especially if you tell what sort of thing you want to draw ... diagrams ... scenes of natures?
    – Mawg
    Feb 2, 2018 at 7:26
  • 1
    This is not only for GIMP, I basically just need black/white drawing. No filters and stuff that GIMP offers. Don't know if GIMP can be automated that much (no save dialogs). I want to draw diagrams and write by hand using a drawing tablet. So basically just a freehand pencil would be nice :) Feb 2, 2018 at 8:23

1 Answer 1


I have not found a program that is simple enough for command line integration, so I programmed one. In case someone is looking for a similar program, it's open source.

It can be directly integrated into shell scripts by using

> java -jar drawingPad.jar output.png

You can download the program here.

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