One of the great things about running Linux is the thousands of free software applications available. Some are already available to you when you first install Linux. Others are available to you (from a disto's repository) with the simple click of a mouse.
One of the best Linux software applications is The Gimp. (Gimp stands for "GNU Image Manipulation Program").
The Gimp has all the features and power that Photoshop has and touts. The gimp suports layers and channels, allows photo-retouching, does digital image retouching, has hundreds of plug-ins available giving the user the ability to create any number of effects, sup0pots many popular file formats, lusmuch much more. The Gimp also opens Photoshop (.psd) files.
So why pay hundreds of dollars for PhotoShop?
Well, this is one of the really big reasons why I've moved to Linux. I can run a terrific program like the Gimp for free. I have all the power and ease of use of PhotoShop without the expensive price tag. In this screenshot (above), you can see how I use The Gimp to add color to my cartoon feature Double Take. (click on the image to see a larger view) I do all the digital editing in Gimp. I add text, draw on the screen digitally, rotate, morph, resize, and change the image. I can cut, paste, add effects, paint, import, export, etc. I do it all with the Gimp! No need for PhotoShop. The Gimp is the perfect program for professionals and beginners alike! I highly recommend any family or school needing a computer system to simply get Linux. All the tools a child or student would need for expressing his/her creativity are already bundled! They are easy to use, free, and allow students (and anyone) to explore digital creativity to their heart's content in a stable and secure computing environment. I use Gimp. It's one of the best digital imaging programs around! And the price cannot be beat!
UPDATE -- I was reminded by Freespire forum member Thorpe that GimpShop is also available. GimpShop is Gimp, but with a more familiar PhotoShop interface.
Check your Linux distribution's repository to see if it offers GimpShop along with Gimp.
Careful, though, my pal Elinux (at the same forum) says that Gimpshop may not be in active development. The package he checked was built on some pretty old libs.