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Scribus Open Source Desktop Publishing

Scribus is an open-source program that brings award-winning professional page layout to Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 and Windows desktops with a combination of "press-ready" output and new approaches to page layout. Underneath the modern and user friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation.

Scribus 1.3.5 Release Candidate 3 Available

The Scribus Team is pleased to announce the third release candidate of Scribus 1.3.5 (1.3.5.RC3)

The Scribus Team is pleased to announce the third release candidate of Scribus 1.3.5 (1.3.5.RC3)

This release adds the following over the previous release candidate:

* Fixes to the story editor
* Some PDF/CJK export fixes
* Scripter and Image Frame fixes
* Import/export plugins for text and image frames updated

As noted with the prior RC announcements, please note we have branched our code repository:

* 1.3.5 will be released from the new branches/Version135 branch (svn://scribus.info/Scribus/branches/Version135/)
* trunk is now versioned 1.5.0svn and remains the development area (svn://scribus.info/Scribus/trunk) and has already undergone many changes in the last month

Please update your notes/scripts to reflect this change.

1.3.5 will be a major release with many new features, a rewritten canvas and text layout engine and a complete port of Scribus to Qt4. Almost 1100 bugs and feature requests were resolved during this release period.

Scribus 1.4.0 will be released based on 1.3.5 code.

With 1.3.5, the minimum Qt version supported is Qt 4.4.0, so installing it on older Linux distributions may be difficult. In addition, users should be warned that 1.3.3.x cannot open 1.3.5 files. So users are recommended to only use backups or duplicate copies when opening older version files with 1.3.5.

We now recommend all distributions package only Scribus We would only recommend additional packaging of 1.3.5svn/1.5.0svn releases if they are marked as experimental or development only.

Getting Scribus on Ubuntu/Kubuntu up and running

Adding repositories with Scribus related packages

Repositories are provided for the majority of Debian and Ubuntu based systems. If you are uncertain which distribution you are running the file /etc/lsb-release will probably contain that information.
Vendor Distribution Available sets
Debian sid main contrib non-free
Debian etch main contrib non-free
Debian lenny main contrib non-free
Debian sqeeze main contrib non-free
Debian stable main contrib non-free
Debian testing main contrib non-free
Debian unstable main contrib non-free
Ubuntu jaunty main non-free
Ubuntu intrepid main non-free
Ubuntu hardy main non-free

# debian.scribus.net - Primary repository
deb http://debian.scribus.net/debian yourdistribution yoursets

# debian.tagancha.org - Backup repository
deb http://debian.tagancha.org/debian yourdistribution yoursets

Example for the current release of Ubuntu

If you are using the latest release of Ubuntu, your /etc/lsb-release should look similar to this:


Based on this information, using the primary site, the repositories you would add are:

deb-src http://debian.tagancha.org/debian yourdistribution yoursets
deb-src http://debian.scribus.net/debian yourdistribution yoursets

An example of adding both repositories successfully to a system running breezy with Adept Manager.

* Go to KDE menu/System/Adept (Package Manager)
Ubuntu: System/Administration/Synaptic (Package Manager)
* In Adept go to Adept/Manage Repositories
Ubuntu: in Synaptic go to Settings/Repositories/New
* Add the following repositories one by one using the Add field and click on Apply:
Ubuntu: Fill the fields and use the OK button to add the following repositories:

Image:Adding scribus repositories.png

Adding the repository key

Our repositories are cryptographically signed for added security. Add the gpg-keys for our repositories to avoid having to confirm your installation choice to the package manager each time you update a scribus or scribus-ng package.

On recent systems

As root:

# apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver subkeys.pgp.net EEF818CF

As a regular user:

$ sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver subkeys.pgp.net EEF818CF

On older systems

As root:

# gpg --keyserver subkeys.pgp.net --recv-keys EEF818CF # gpg --armor --export EEF818CF | apt-key add -

As a regular user:

$ gpg --keyserver subkeys.pgp.net --recv-keys EEF818CF $ gpg --armor --export EEF818CF | sudo apt-key add -

Last update

The key was last changed in March 2007 by Alex (Malex).

Installing Scribus and related packages

Launch Adept (on Kubuntu) or Synaptic (on Ubuntu) and install the following packages:

  • scribus – Scribus 1.3.3.x (stable branch) or
  • scribus-ng – Scribus 1.3.x (development branch) scribus-ng package can be installed paralelly to the scribus package
  • scribus-template – developer and user-contributed additional templates
  • scribus-doc – Scribus 1.3.3.x documentation, which has to be provided as a separate package due to its non-free nature by the Debian Free Software Guidelines
  • scribus-ng-doc – Scribus 1.3.x documentation, which has to be provided as a separate package due to its non-free nature by the Debian Free Software Guidelines
  • icc-profiles – a collection of common ICC profiles to use with Scribus and other color profile-aware software
  • lprof – hardware color profiler that can be used to create color profiles for your hardware to be used with Scribus
  • qt3-qtconfig – Ubuntu users are strongly advised to install this package for finetuning the Scribus GUI with their Gnome desktop
  • gs-afpl – The AFPL Ghostscript PostScript interpreter, the Ghostscript version recommended by the Scribus team

Optionally, install the following high quality font packages:

  • t1-xfree86-nonfree
  • ttf-bitstream-vera
  • ttf-gentium
  • ttf-xfree86-nonfree
Finetuning Scribus

Default GUI font (Ubuntu users only)
  • Launch gtconfig: ALT + F2 / enter "qtconfig" / hit Enter
  • Go to Fonts tab and choose the font family and size to match your Gnome settings

External tools and additional fonts
  • Launch Scribus and go to File/Preferences/External Tools
  • PostScript Interperter: enter gs-apfl
  • Image Processing Tool: gimp-remote
  • Go to Fonts subsection and add/disable/enable additional fonts
Image:External tools.png

How to install Scribus on Debian or Ubuntu GNU/Linux Distributions


This document is about using Scribus Team repositories to obtain up-to-date Scribus packages for Debian GNU/Linux (unstable/testing/stable also known as sid/squeeze/lenny) and on UbuntuJaunty/Intrepid/Hardy). We have two identical archives - debian.tagancha.org and debian.scribus.net - that provide bandwidth redundancy and failover capability, so you can use either one or both of them. Instructions are the same whether you run a 32-bit or a 64-bit distribution. (

Keywords: Debian, Ubuntu, .deb, packages, repository, archive, step-by-step guide, 42.

I. Short instructions for the impatient and experienced

Stable Scribus (1.3.3.xx) is provided by the "scribus" package available for all releases. Developmental Scribus (1.3.5svn) is provided by the "scribus-ng" package for Debian unstable/testing/stable or Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex and Jaunty only. We have both i386 and amd64 packages in our archive. Both scribus and scribus-ng packages can be installed on your system at the same time.

1. Add the repositories to package manager software

Scribus archive's source lines can be simply added to /etc/apt/sources.list:

Debian stable (Lenny):
deb http://debian.scribus.net/debian/ stable main non-free contrib
deb http://debian.tagancha.org/debian/ stable main non-free contrib
Debian testing (Squeeze):
deb http://debian.scribus.net/debian/ testing main non-free contrib
deb http://debian.tagancha.org/debian/ testing main non-free contrib
Debian unstable (Sid):
deb http://debian.scribus.net/debian/ unstable main non-free contrib
deb http://debian.tagancha.org/debian/ unstable main non-free contrib
Ubuntu Hardy Heron (hardy or 8.04):
deb http://debian.scribus.net/debian/ hardy main non-free
deb http://debian.tagancha.org/debian/ hardy main non-free
Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex (intrepid or 8.10):
deb http://debian.scribus.net/debian/ intrepid main non-free
deb http://debian.tagancha.org/debian/ intrepid main non-free
Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope (jaunty or 9.04):
deb http://debian.scribus.net/debian/ jaunty main non-free
deb http://debian.tagancha.org/debian/ jaunty main non-free

2. Add the Scribus Archive signature

Our repositories are cryptographically signed for added security. Add EEF818CF key from any major keyserver to apt-key to be able to verify that our packages have not been tampered with by a third party and to silence apt warnings about untrusted packages being installed.

$ gpg --keyserver wwwkeys.eu.pgp.net --recv-keys EEF818CF
$ gpg --armor --export EEF818CF | sudo apt-key add -

3. Report bugs to the Scribus Bug Tracker not Debian or Ubuntu BTS

Do not file bug reports about the packages from the Scribus archive in the Debian or Ubuntu Bug Tracking Systems (BTS). Use distribution BTS only for the package versions currently present in that distribution. You are encouraged to contact the maintainer directly if you have package installation questions or for comments and suggestions about this document. If you have a Scribus issue unrelated to packaging you should use the scribus BTS.

II. Step-by-step instructions for the patient and new users

We will be using Synaptic package manager for this as an example. If it is not installed on your system then please install the package "synaptic" before continuing.

1. Add the Scribus Archive gpg key to your package manager using a terminal

  • Start a terminal (Gnome Menu > Accessories > Terminal). "$" below represents the terminal prompt.
  • Fetch Scribus archive key:
$ gpg --keyserver wwwkeys.eu.pgp.net --recv-keys EEF818CF
  • Import Scribus archive key into apt-key:
$ gpg --armor --export EEF818CF | sudo apt-key add -
  • Show installed keys to verify the key installation:
$ sudo apt-key list

Output must contain

pub 1024D/EEF818CF 2007-02-28
uid Scribus Debian Archive Signing Key

as one of the keys.

2. Add the Scribus Archive as a new Repository in Synaptic

  • Start Synaptic package manager (later "Synaptic").
  • Click on "Settings" > "Repositories" (Figure 1).

Synaptic Settings Menu

Figure 1. Settings > Repositories menu.

  • Click on "New" and type or paste in the "URI", "Distribution", and "Section(s)" and click on "OK" (Figure 2).
Add a repository

Figure 2. Adding a repository.

  • click on the "Reload" button in the toolbar and wait for the package database update to complete.
  • Click on the "Search" toolbar button. A "Find" dialog window will open. Type "scribus" in the "Search" field and click on the "Search" button (Figure 3).
Search dialog

Figure 3. Searching.

  • The search should produce results similar to the following (Figure 4).
Search results

Figure 4. Search results.

  • Right-click on the package you'd like to install in the search results or click on the small square in the leftmost "S" column and select "Mark for Installation" (Figure 5).
Mark for installation

Figure 5. Mark package for installation.

  • You should see your chosen package marked for installation in the main synaptic window as indicated by a yellow arrow in the "S" column (Figure 6).
Marked for installation

Figure 6. Package is marked for installation.

  • Click on the "Apply" button in the toolbar. You should see the following dialog window (Figure 7).
  • Apply changes
    Figure 7. Apply changes summary.

    • Click on the "Apply" button in the above dialog window. You should see a succession of messages indicating that the package is being downloaded and installed (Figures 8-9).
    Installing software

    Figure 8. Package being downloaded.

    Installed software

    Figure 9. Package being installed.

    • Depending on your synaptic preferences you might have to click on the "Close" button or the installation progress window might close by itself. At the end you should see a green square in the column "S" in front of your chosen package in the main synaptic window (Figure 10).

    Figure 10. Main window after package installation.

    2a. Use an alternative GUI Installer to install a Scribus package

    For an alternative method using the "Adept" package manager found in Kubuntu see Getting Scribus on Ubuntu/Kubuntu up and running.

    About the Scribus Archive

    There are following Scribus related packages in Debian and Ubuntu:

    Scribus applications and documentation:

    • scribus (Scribus 1.3.3.x) - Stable branch. This is the recommended version to use at this time.
    • scribus-doc Scribus 1.3.3.x documentation.
    • scribus-ng (Scribus 1.3.5svn) - Developmental branch with new features and capabilities. Use if you really need the new features in development, but save your work often and report bugs when you encounter them.
    • scribus-ng-doc Scribus 1.3.5svn documentation.

    Additional data, color profiles, templates, and auxillary applications:

    • scribus-template - Additional document templates.
    • icc-profiles - A collection of common ICC profiles to use with Scribus and other color profile-aware software. You must Install this package if you want to enable color management.
    • lprof Hardware color profiler tool for creating ICC profiles to be used with Scribus.
    • qt3-qtconfig allows users to configure the look and behavior of any Qt3 application - necessary to overcome some Ubuntu problems.
    • podofo is a library to work with the PDF file format. All our scribus-ng packages in the Scribus Archive are podofo-enabled.

    Instructions on rebuilding the source packages are also applicable to other Debian derivatives and custom distributions not covered here. Oleksandr Moskalenko maintains a Scribus Team's Debiain/Ubuntu repository (Scribus Archive) that contains the newest "scribus", "scribus-doc", "scribus-ng", and "scribus-ng-doc" packages. Note that the only way to run latest Scribus versions on Debian/Stable and Ubuntu Gutsy/Hardy/Intrepid is to use Scribus Archive. Unfortunately, Ubuntu has a number of qt3 related problems (see Getting Scribus on Ubuntu/Kubuntu up and running), so we recommend using Debian to run Scribus. Only Debian/Unstable and Ubuntu/Intrepid have the newest 1.3.5svn based scribus-ng packages as other branches have too old Qt4 libraries.

    source: Scribus

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    About Hugo Repetto

    Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that offers an operating system predominantly focused on desktop computers but also provides support for servers. Based on Debian GNU / Linux, Ubuntu focuses on ease of use, freedom in usage restriction, regular releases (every 6 months) and ease of installation.
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