Akira, the new Linux design tool


A very interesting tool for designers on Linux is openly funded, its name is “Akira”. A program that aims to stand up to proprietary competitors, made by designers and designed for designers.

Paraphrasing Alessandro Castellani, Akira’s leading developer, »[…] the current status of Linux on the Desktop, does not allow designers to be productive and competitive, in such a fast-paced world […]”. “[…] And Akira’s only purpose is to drastically change that”.

I know it sounds a little audacious, but at a time when professionals are increasingly dependent on proprietary tools. A new Open Source alternative, can provide ports that for some reason, applications such as: GIMP, Inkscape, Krita, Gravit Designer or any other software, they did not bring, either due to difficulty in adapting the user, interface or some non-existent functionality. A new tool can be a new starting point.

The collective financing of the application is being done through KickStarter. In the “Everything or nothing” category, in which the project will only go ahead if it reaches its objective March 4th.

Technologies in the development of Akira

Who claims that applications in GTK alternatives are inferior in terms of QT, as it contains limitations of features in development, you will be surprised by the choice of Akira developers. Who decided to write the software base entirely in Ditch and GTK + 3. The project creation system, Meson, will be used in its development.

The application aims to be a viable alternative to the big software on the market, and totally native to systems based on Linux. Information on support for other platforms was not given by those responsible for the project.


Distribution forms

Initially with a proposal to be distributed in the ElementaryOS app store, is at Flatpak. Akira developers were open to other forms of packaging, such as: Snap and AppImage, but in these cases, with the help of community collaborators.

a PPA with the Daily Builds, with the evolution of the project, is also in the plans.

List of resources for first version

Adaptable themes and a highly customizable interface, Akira aims to bring greater freedom in the visual handling of the application, whether with dark mode or windows with labels or without labels, it doesn’t matter. The intention is that the designer has control.

dark-akira-windows-themes mode

A project within the project

The Akira team intends to build a new library to deal with the application’s screens, something based on SVG vectors, giving the software greater scalability. This library will be independent of the application and can be incorporated into other projects.

More features

As with all vector image software, geometric shapes for a variety of uses. Layers panel, for organizing project layers. Font manager, but at first the native of the GTK standard, with future plans for something developed by them.


Formats supported by the application

A new format will be used for the project “.akira«, written in JSON, it will bring all the necessary information, such as: colors, fonts, symbols, etc. With the possibility of versioning control within the file.

The export formats will be: SVG, PNG, JPG and PDF, without initial support for proprietary formats.

A little about the development team

With a team of 4 people in its development, 2 of them being members of the Gnome Foundation and 1 of Elementary OS. The Akira project aims, in 4 months, to launch the first version of the software. A very short deadline, by the way.

In this context, the choice of some technologies around its development is evident. But this in no way disqualifies such technologies, on the contrary, if experienced developers are willing to use them in such an ambitious endeavor, it only demonstrates their technical capacity and technical feasibility in the project.

Collaborate, the more good alternatives, the better!

Collaborations for the development of the Akira application, can be done in your KickStarter page, with more information and features of the app.

So, did you like the possibility of new software for design on Linux? What did you think of Akira’s proposal? Leave in the comments, which software you use to create your work. I use GIMP a lot together with Inkscape.

See you in the next post, until then, SYSTEMATICALLY! ?