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Photography Related Software For Linux

For better or worse I’ve been using Linux exclusively for a long time now. More specifically I use Ubuntu Linux as it is pretty user friendly (for Linux).

That being said, I spend a lot of time processing and editing images.

Here is a list of software I’ve been using on Linux and a little about what I think of each one:
Adobe Photoshop CS2
Yeah, I actually use my license of Photoshop on Linux through Wine. It’s thankfully around 95% there functionality wise (Bridge doesn’t work). There are little quirks to the interface here and there, but all of the functions that I’ve used work as they should. I had to tweak a setting in Linux (Gnome interface) to get tools like the clone brush to function with the alt-click:

System >> Windows >> Preferences
Change the Movement Key from Alt to Super (or “Windows logo”)

That way you will be able to Alt-click to select an area for the clone brush to use. Or use the Alt and mouse wheel with the magnification tool to zoom in and out.

Sure, I know Gimp exists and I have used it on occasion, but for various reasons I’ve stuck with Photoshop as my tool of choice.

In addition to Photoshop through Wine, I have been using the Noise Ninja Photoshop plug-in successfully. With their full license, you can also use their stand-alone Linux version.

Edit: I’ve been researching the issue with Bridge and if you dual boot with windows and have Photoshop installed on both OS, you can copy over the install.adb files and Bridge should work. I don’t have that setup so I can’t test it myself. The file should be located at “Program Files/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS2”

I use this program to preview my DNG raw files as it is quite fast in that capacity. Seeing as Adobe Bridge doesn’t work in Wine, it’s a good alternative to viewing raws quickly. I still need to open the images using another method (file explorer or directly through Photoshop).

I use this program to sort my files. The way I have it setup is that I can feed it a directory and then it reads all of the images in there and copies them to a directory that is sorted by year, month, and day based EXIF data in the image files. This is an extremely big help when dealing with thousands of files (especially old unsorted pictures). I went from directories of say 30,000 unsorted pictures in various directories to one single directory all sorted up into dated sub-directories. It’s great. The picture browser is pretty nice as well.

Another option for sorting would be:
digiKam (showFoto for standalone image editing):
I learned about this after F-spot, but I have not really had a chance to try it out. I’m pretty sure it provides the sorting ability as well as other various things like built-in image editing through showFoto. As I said, I have not used it much but it’s nice to have multiple options out there for Linux.

Other software I’ve heard of and/or used occasionally:




Picasa for Linux

Keep in mind that a lot of the programs can be installed easily through the built-in methods of Ubuntu (or your distribution of choice). So say you can search “Ubuntu Software Center” for Rawstudio and install it in one click.

Edit Jan 30 2011:
Ubuntu 10.10 comes with a picture browser/manager application called Shotwell, which is fast and pretty much the best picture browser I’ve used so far in Ubuntu. Their website is here: