Grassland Science Group

Installing the GIMP Resynthesizer Plugin on MacOS X Catalina

Notes from Werner Eugster, ETH Z├╝rich

Short summary: Installing the Gimp Resynthesizer plugin on MacOS can lead to a tricky Procedure 'plug-in-resynthesizer' not found error. Here I describe how I solved this on my Mac with Gimp 2.10.

Gimp is a great open-source alternative for Adobe Photoshop, and there is a cool plugin called resynthesizer. This plugin can be used to patch away unwanted parts in an image. However, I found its installation on MacOS X rather tricky and thus took some notes for anyone who runs into the same issues.

If you do not know what the resynthesizer plugin actually is, then check out the tutorial pages first:

For which system?

My description should work on MacOS 10.15.7 (Catalina) with Gimp 2.10 (I actually run version 2.10.22 right now). Gimp uses a fixed version number in the path to the plugins (see below), so if you run a different version (ignoring the last part of the detailed version number), you probably have to check out the correct name of the path to the plugins.

Download the resynthesizer plugin

Download the plugin from here: You should scroll down until you see the file ResynthesizerPlugin-Gimp-2.10-osx.tgz which you can download as is (do not unpack it yet, otherwise this guideline won't work as expected). I placed it on my Desktop.

Install the plugin for Gimp

Open a terminal shell and key in the following command:

cd "$HOME/Library/Application Support/GIMP/2.10/plug-ins"

which brings you to the plugin directory of Gimp. Maybe it is an empty directory (check with ls -l), but maybe you already installed other plugins here.

Now unpack that tgz file that you downloaded. If you also placed it on your Desktop, then the command is:

tar xf ~/Desktop/resynthesizer/ResynthesizerPlugin-Gimp-2.10-osx.tgz

Allowing access to the plugin in Gimp

Most likely there will be another issue to be solved, but first we want to check whether we can at least get the security issues solved. MacOS tries hard to discourage us to use this plugin. When you start Gimp, a popup will show up telling you that you should move 'resynthesizer_gui' to your trash (Move to bin), but you can also simply cancel. Press cancel, and then a second popup of the same type comes up, telling you that you should move 'resynthesizer' to your trash bin. Also press cancel here. Then Gimp will start, but the plugin won't be available. Thus, you have to open System Preferences (MacOS screen on top left where the apple is found one of the menues should say System Preferences). In System Preferences go to Security & Privacy.

In the lower half of that window there is an entry that sais Allow apps downloaded from:, and here you should see either 'resynthesizer' or 'resynthesizer_gui' with a button next to it to a Allow Anyway, which is what we want. Click on that button, then close Gimp, start it once more, and repeat the procedure. Only one of the two (resynthesizer and resynthesizer_gui) can be activated at a time, so repeat until Gimp starts and quits without extra messages.

Testing the plugin in Gimp

Now we can test the plugin. Open a picture, then select a region with the selection tool (e.g. a person you want to patch out of the image), then use the menue Filters > Enhance > Heal selection... If the plugin is correctly installed, a popup window similar to the example below should appear.


If you press the OK button and the procedure starts then you are all set. However, in my case I got an error saying Procedure 'plug-in-resynthesizer' not found. If this appears in your case, solve this as described below.

Solving the Procedure 'plug-in-resynthesizer' not found issue

It turns out that the plugin uses a newer dynamic library than what I have on Catalina. In detail, both resynthesizer and resynthesizer_gui are linked against the dynamic library with the name libintl.9.dylib, but on Catalina I only have the earlier version libintl.8.dylib. Normally I get the opposite problem that software links against outdated older libraries, but in this case it seems to work to simply make a symbolic link to the existing library to pretend this is also a version 9 library. On my system I found libintl.8.dylib in directory /usr/local/lib. Thus, the command to establish that link is:

cd /usr/local/lib
ln -s libintl.8.dylib libintl.9.dylib
After restarting Gimp and trying again it should work. In my case the example above then looks like this:


Last updated 07 February 2021 by Werner Eugster