The darling of the Linux software for graphics is something called Inkscape. Free open source version similar to CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator. Fantastic program. There are a couple ways to use Inkscape with a Vinyl Sign cutter, probably the best of the bunch being SignCut for Mac. Signcut is great but a little pricey and has a subscription service, however it’s worth it to me as my Roland GX-24 is worthless without a good cutting program.

Roland_GX-24_Vinyl_Cutter_02

For Linux though the choices are a little more limited. TuxPlot is one way but the latest version only supports Ubuntu 12.04 and no higher.

That pretty much leaves Inkcut which is a very basic and somewhat limited intermediary cutting program. The good news is that it will do most everything this untalented guy needs to do. The whole reason I wrote this blog is because I needed to document the installation procedures which are .........uhhhhmmmm........wrong on the webpage. They tell you to to this:

- Download the program to your Downloads program.

-Use this command to install:

tar -xzvf Downloads/InkCut-1.0.tar.gz -C .config/inkscape/extensions/

Well, fine and dandy but there are two problems here. Number one is that in Linux the Downloads folder resides not by itself and neither does the .config folder that you install it to.

Here’s what it should look like (and this is assuming your home directory is named john, you know, since my name is john and all).

sudo tar -xzvf /home/john/Downloads/InkCut-1.0.tar.gz -C /home/john/.config/inkscape/extensions/

Ok now the program will install. Now here’s another problem. It won’t launch. See in my picture below where Export is highlighted? Then it says “Send to Signcut”? Ignore that. I’m making my tutorial on my Mac. What it should say there is “Inkcut Version 1.0” (only under another selection called “Cutting and Plotting” not “Export” I’ll fix this later with the right screenshot.)

Screenshot 2014-11-17 06.40.18

If you’ve installed up to this point with the commands I’ve given nothing flies out to the right (from Cutting and Plotting) that says “Inkcut Version 1.0”. That is because for some reason a folder located at

/home/john/.config/inkscape/extensions/inkcut/

has the wrong file permissions. In order to fix this you need to change the folder permissions. Do that by issuing this command as root, or superuser.

sudo chown john:john -R /home/john/.config/inkscape/extensions/

This makes everything in the extension folder and beyond belong to user john, and again make sure you use the appropriate user name: and group name here. I’m user john, group john (john:john).

Last thing. This worked perfectly on LinuxMint 17. For some reason on ElementaryOS Freya I had to hand make the directories.

cd /home/john/.config/inkscape

mkdir extensions

cd extensions

mkdir inkcut

Now it works. Happy free cutting on Linux.