Installing/Building Pencil2D on Debian

Hi guys!

I’m a Debian Testing (Jessie) user and I’d like to know if there’s any build for Debian.

I’m currently using Ubuntu’s build but it crashes a lot with the simplest of tasks as selecting layers…

Debian and Ubuntu share some of the grounds but their binary does differ. I don’t know if the cause for all these crashes is that or not.

Anywhooooo. If there’s a Debian build, could someone point me to it?

If there isn’t, is there a way for me to learn how to compile it for Debian? I’m no coder…I’m an animator, but I’m sort of a geek and sure would like to lend a hand to Pencil2D!

I also use Debian Testing. The deb files found here: (link from the Pencil2D main page) seem to work as well in Debian as the source compiled myself (excluding whatever bug fixes have been done to the git source). Whatever instability you’re experiencing is very likely a bug in the program. Pencil is not what i’d consider a stable production-ready program, it never has been, and it may be a while before it becomes that. I mean no offense to the devs, it’s just a fact that pencil crashes a lot. Sometimes i think it might be worthwhile to move it away from Qt…not sure why it’s so popular, but in my experience applications built on that toolkit tend to crash about 2000 times more often than those built on Gtk and other toolkits. I might be wrong, but that’s just what i’ve seen…other people have told me Qt is rock solid.

Compiling: I’ve been compiling Pencil2D from the Git source for quite a while, but the last couple of months it hasn’t worked for me anymore, and it seems like recent development is primarily being done in a separate branch that i haven’t been bothered to check out. At this point i’m just waiting to see where it’s going.

Hi , @pacomaro, @mikshaw

I’m working on the Pencil2d’s linux version these days, I have to say sorry that Pencil2d could not be build on linux in past months.

Now I have get rid of almost all compiling problems but the last step, I hope I can resolve it soon.

You can find the build script in latest source code:

ps. I test it on Lubuntu 13.04


Build history on Travis-CI, any help is appreciate, thanks :smiley:

I really need to learn how to build stuff…

Latest Git source compiled with Qt5 on Debian Testing without trouble. Thanks @chchwy

The title bar says “Nightly build Nov 26 2013”…i assume that’s hard-coded for now.

edit: My mistake…I was still running the previous binary from february…didn’t notice there’s now an “app” directory for the binary =o)

I don’t yet know how it performs in comparison to prior versions, but I’ll be spending more time with it when i have the time to spend.

edit2: Seems the only tool that works is the pen. Selecting a new tool shows the cursor change, but it changes back as soon as you try to use it. The tool selected in the toolbox remains as selected, but the cursor and the tool behavior is always pen…or maybe the behavior is brush…looks like the brush from previous version. The cursor is always pen, though.

I’m not sure what to think of the Qt5 interface…seems a little flaky when trying to move elements around, and the tabs waste a lot of space for no benefit. That’s not your fault, i’m guessing, but thought i’d mention it because it’s weird and makes the interface seemingly less useful.

edit3: i see now that you have the option of creating a tab or placing the panels next to each other…that’s much better than i feared. There’s still an apparent visual weirdness while dragging the panels, but i think i can ignore that.

Hello, all, I am new to the forum, and also Debian is also new for me, I had the older original “pencil” on my old linux mint and a ubuntu laptop, just recently got this “new” but used laptop, and wanted to try Debian, well after getting that installed and running good, of course I wanted to start installing some of my favorite softwares,…so then I found ,now the older original pencil is no more, and I downloaded this : pencil2d_0.5.3-20130717.1_i386.deb


Ok well, also I am not much of a “code wizard”, nor programmer, and I couldn’t figure out how to install it, (usually I just use the “synaptic package manager” or the “software installer”), this compiling and building.etc . is confusing to me, scares me, cause as root, I might mess things up,etc.


So I was searching on how to install pencil2d, found this here, …but almost gave up, seemed to advanced, … well I stumbled on to something not mentioned anywhere , (at least that I could find using “google search”)


It turned out very simple, I had a folder where I had put the " pencil2d_0.5.3-20130717.1_i386.deb" that I downloaded, it is in a “zipped” like format, I had extracted it once, in the same folder, but no luck installing it, By accident when I had it “highlighted” or selected with the mouse, I “right clicked” the mouse, and to my surprise, in the options for which application to use to open it, there was 1 option to open it with the “software installer” and also to open it with the GDebipackage installer,


I used the “software installer” and Pencil2d is now installed, and seems to work fine, so far. I am using the latest Debian “wheezy” release. 7.8 32bit


So this is a easy option for those that do not understand or know much about installing,building,compiling , etc,…hope someone finds it help full.

a *.deb file is a debian software package…a binary that is zipped up and ready for installation using your choice of Debian installer. It’s the same type of file that is automatically downloaded and installed when you use synaptic or apt-get, except it’s probably just not available in the official repositories so you have to install it manually.

The standard for manual installation is the command “dpkg -i packagename.deb”, but as you’ve discovered, probably any debian package installer can do it…most likely synaptic as well. I’m not certain, but i think one drawback of doing this is that your package manager might not keep track of manually installed packages…i might be wrong about that.

I think someone should put the tar file instead. Or put the tar file and keep the .deb and .rpm file.

Hello, I’m new to all this so struggling with terminology and well just about everything… I downloaded pencil but don’t know how to instal it? Do I need to download “gdebi”? why does the download say “download the ubantu operating system” ? is that what I need to instal pencil? Sorry for my ignorance!


I recently had to delete my user account on my computer in order to get rid of very aggressive malware so I lost the Pencil2D software. So I want to download it again.

I’m sorry for sounding stupid, but… Where do I download it from? I can’t find the download link for it. I found it on a few alternative websites but I don’t trust those. Anyone know where the “official link” is?

Thanks in advanced.

[Edit:] If it’s one of those downloads where I need to go through a lot of steps I’d appreciate a very explicit answer on how to install it.

@seiunzi Good evening. It is not a stupid question at all. Right now Matt, the lead developer is trying to make a new nightly “official” build available. So maybe that’s why the link to the download on the top bar is not working (which it should).

If you want I can link you the previous stable build 0.54b for windows. I can guarantee it’s virus free, but you are free to check it with your own antivirus software.

It’s setup as a direct download so anyone, even those without a dropbox account, can download it. And it’s a one click download without ads or shady stuff. I hope it helps.

@Jose Moreno Thank you very much. It works like a charm.