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GIMP or Photoshop?

A friend wants to know how comparable  are GIMP & Adobe Photoshop.

I'm not familiar with either, but I do like Mandriva 2009.1 Spring & looked at GIMP which I thought seemed much like Photoshop Elements.
So he could dual boot with Xp & Mandriva 2009.1.
He could buy a used Photoshop ver. 7.

What other Linux Programs would he want to install/use to avoid buying Photoshop?

He has used Photoshop Elements & wants to get into  "the big Graphics Program".

6 Solutions
It really depends on his purpose.

If he's picking up Photoshop to shop around for a job in the industry, there's really no substitute.  It is the most ubiquitous piece of software, and he'll be expected to have some facility with it.

Then again, he won't get that sort of facility buying an old copy of PS 7 anyway.  He should really pick up at least CS2.

If he's just needing to do graphics editing himself, The GIMP becomes much more of an option.  There are just no substitutes (as far as I know -- someone here may know better) for certain things in Photoshop like the Push tool and some of the more esoteric warping stuff, but The GIMP is a powerful graphics tool in its own right, and can do just about everything you'll need in a graphics program, IMHO.
The short answer is Photoshop for professional work.  Gimp for other.  I use both and I can tell you that Gimp is great because of licensing but PS is the BEST aside from Lightroom.  
Photoshop v. 7 is a little old (from 2002?) Photoshop CS4 is the newest. I'd stick with GIMP - they have nearly the same features. There are plugins for "everything" that is needed. The disandvantage may be that your friend would be more used to adobe style of user interface, but there are a lot of similarities and after some time he will get used to it. There are tons of tutorials for beginners (and others) for Gimp.

Gimp is available for windows as well, so no need to dual boot to linux just for Gimp (although I would recomend switching to windows - for other reasons not relevant to this question).

However it is said that Gimp isn't just yet a full replacemnt to photoshop. If your friend is willing to pay, there is also Pixel image editor, which is said to have all the features of photoshop and more. It costs around 40$ and is available for windows, linux and more. I haven't tried that though so I can't vouch for this program

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As mentioned before, Photoshop is a powerful program for... more "professional" use. GIMP is free and very good for that.

And its not a Linux program (least I don't think so), but I use Paint.NET and absolutely love it (It's a great place to start photo editing, etc.). If you would like more info,
Paint.Net is good too Gimp you can get as a win32 app.  There are a bunch of free apps out there that would work.

Take a look.
Just a few comments on the above:

Lightshop is a Photoshop product.  Limited feature set compared to Photoshop, but with some photo-specific stuff thrown in.

Pixel Image Editor is nifty, but it's no Photoshop.  The standard is the standard for a reason.  I would compare it more to Paint.NET mentioned above -- except I actually like Paint.NET better.

The GIMP has a closer feature set to Photoshop than all of these, in my opinion.  It is very capable of professional-level image editing.  But if you're going to work in the business somewhere, they will have -- and expect you to know -- Photoshop.
jamesg1940Author Commented:
Thank you all. I should've stated the User is an Artist & no intention of going Pro for $$job.
Mostly graphics to build a website (he'll use a site builder anyway) & to create images to print out, & to "have some fun" with graphics (must be nice huh).
As expected he will now agonize over the options & incurring the wrath of the confirmed MAC/Adobe "advisers", who disparage anything non MAC/Adobe.
You all were kind to have avoided that "correctness" issue.
I printed your comments for him.
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