Best Photo Manager Editor for Linux

When I switched to the Linux platform several years ago, one of the most important tasks I needed to do (and still do) is process photos. F-Spot served me well for quite awhile, as did Shotwell. Gimp in combination with ufraw picks up where the aforementioned lack in terms of advanced editing, but at the sacrifice of management and ratings functions. None of them were really doing what Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop Elements would, ie be a direct Linux replacement. I modified my work flow to match the features of the tools available. A recent update to Shotwell seems to have caused exported images to be distorted, either stretched horizontally or vertically. So naturally a Google session ensued in search of a solution.

Bonita The Cat prefers Darktable.

Bonita The Cat prefers Darktable.

A few hours later, I was up and running with a new photo manager I hadn’t heard of before called Darktable. (http://www.darktable.org). I could go on for pages about the amazing features and quick performance even on a modest machine. If you’re looking for one application to manage, sort and rate photos then perform basic to advanced darkroom adjustments, this is it. I also like how it handles photos already on your HDD. Just create your own folder tree as YOU see fit, then import and instead of wasting disk space copying and duplicating files, it only makes a database of the images and any pending edits you’re selected. Only upon exporting are these changes committed. This is true non-destructive editing of the original.

Jellybean likes open source software too.

Jellybean likes open source software too.

A quick-list of just some of the features found in version 1.2:

  • Levels
  • Curves
  • White Balance
  • Crop
  • Straighten
  • Noise Reduction
  • Blending Mode
  • Geotagging
  • Handles most RAW formats
  • Handles 8 or 16 bit formats
  • HDR High Dynamic Range
  • Releases for popular distros of Linux and OSX
Pru The Cat.

Pru The Cat.

Be sure to visit their website for instructions on adding to your software sources as the version presented in Package Manager by default is dated and lacking much of the bad-ass-ness of version 1.2.  🙂

Hooray Open Source!

– Kenneth Ranous

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