Ubuntu PPA for Annotator – Elementary OS Image Annotation Tool

Linux has quite a few image annotation tools. “Annotator” is the one designed for Elementary OS with specific features. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.10, Ubuntu 22.04 via PPA.

Without using GIMP image editor, I sometimes uses Shutter to annotate image quickly. As well, Ksnip has some useful tools (e.g., drop shadow, invert color and add border) that I use regularly.

Annotator is an app looks kinda like MacOS Preview. Like other tools, it allows to add text, rectangle, ellipse, sequence number, line, arrow, blur effect, crop and resize image. What makes it different is the “Magnifier” tool. It adds a circle on your image and enlarge the area inside. By right-clicking on the circle, it offers option to change magnification.

Also, it allows to add stickers, such as industry, mobile and data icons, different type of arrows.

Install Annotator in Ubuntu:

Though the app is designed for Elementary OS, it works on other desktop environments. The developer team provides official package as Flatpak. Make sure the flatpak daemon is installed, you may then install the app via command:

flatpak install https://appcenter.elementary.io/com.github.phase1geo.annotator

However, the Flatpak package requires separated Elementary OS platform and SDK as run-time libraries. The run-times take about 700 MB space while the app itself is only a few hundred KB.

So I created this unofficial Ubuntu PPA for those want to try out this annotation tool with native DEB package. So far, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 21.10, and Ubuntu 22.04 are supported.

1. Add the PPA

Press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run commands to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/annotator

Type user password, no visual feedback, when it asks and hit Enter to continue.

2. Update package cache

Ubuntu 20.04 and higher refresh system package cache automatically while adding PPA, but some Ubuntu based systems may not. To do it manually, run command:

sudo apt update

3. Install Annotator:

Finally, install the app using command:

sudo apt install com.github.phase1geo.annotator

Once installed, search for and open it from start menu (activities overview) and enjoy!

Remove Annotator & Ubuntu PPA:

To remove the Ubuntu PPA, use command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/annotator

And remove the annotation tool via:

sudo apt remove --autoremove com.github.phase1geo.annotator