Best photo managers for Linux

The winner: Digikam: 9/10

All the software performed well in the tests, even the alpha versions, so at least they all work to some extent. The key question is how well the features of the various programs meet the needs of the average photographer, and indeed, who exactly is the average photographer?

Different people are going to want to do different things with their images. If you have some desperate need for the most professional features at any cost, Bibble 5 Pro is probably the best bet, simply because of the comprehensive feature set. It doesn't play as nicely with Linux as some of the other apps, and the lack of appearance settings might be a pain, but it produces good output.

For significantly less cash, you can get almost the same feature set from RawTherapee, which has an amazing amount of functionality for high-end digital photography. But these are really at the specialist end, and for the home user, lack some of the ease of use and labour-saving functions found elsewhere.

For more general use, Picasa, F-Spot and KPhotoAlbum all have their merits, particularly in terms of organisation. If you share photos online with Picasa already, the Picasa client is a bit of a no-brainer.

F-Spot is very good at organising images and helping you find pictures if you intend to keep them all accessible on your computer, and has more than a few options for uploading and generating web pages too. KPhotoAlbum is restrictive in some ways, because it forces you to store images in a central location, but it does support the widest variety of uploading options.

Perhaps it's because a sparkly new version just came out that Digikam takes the overall trophy here. It combines organisational and editing features, and is almost as at home with high-end files as it is with family snaps.

Winner - digikam

With useful editing tools as well as accessible auto-correction features, it does mostly live up to the claim to be an all-in-one photo app. It might not be the easiest software to understand and use though, so it's far from perfect, and it would be perfectly understandable to opt for something more friendly such as Picasa or F-Spot.


First Published in Linux Format Issue 131

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