Best Linux photo manager?


 
To answer this question I have tested F-Spot, Shotwell, Picasa, Digikam and KPhotoalbum to see which is the easiest to use, does fastest imports, has best features and is stable.
 
Here are some features that are a mush have for any photo management app:
* free rotation
* slideshow
* save tags info into image metadata not only in private database
* fast import
* stability
 
From every aspect I have compared apps F-Spot comes at top. Until Shotwell adds some basic features like free rotation and slideshow I just can’t see it replacing F-Spot. Competition is a great thing that will probably inspire both Shotwell and F-Spot devels.
 
Picasa has some great features, best UI but it also has some really strange crashing issues. When it starts to crash there is no way to troubleshoot it and repair it, and your photos are unavailable. If Picasa becomes native open source app and fixes crashing issues it would be the best Linux photo manager, but it fails too often 😦
 
Other apps have some really strange UI design choices and aren’t as intuitive as Shotwell, Picasa or F-Spot.
 
Fusion Linux will use F-Spot as default photo manager because it is has most of features that regular users need (Picasa has some cool unique features), has really clean and intuitive UI (Shotwell has excellent UI also) and is stable as a rock (Picasa has some strange stability issues).
 
Unfortunately there is actually not much choice, when you eliminate most of apps that have one shortcoming or other you are left only with F-Spot.
 

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15 Responses to Best Linux photo manager?

  1. Matěj Cepl says:

    Did you try jbrout (http://jbrout.manatlan.com/, packaged in Fedora of course)?

  2. Matěj Cepl says:

    (the latest version, not yet in Fedora proper, is on http://mcepl.fedorapeople.org/rpms/)

  3. valent says:

    I haven’t tested jbrout before but now did a yum install in Fedora 14 and after answering startup question jbrout just crashes 😦 I would put it in same unstable category as Picasa.

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/usr/share/jbrout/jbrout.py”, line 3011, in
    main()
    File “/usr/share/jbrout/jbrout.py”, line 2984, in main
    window = Window()
    File “/usr/share/jbrout/libs/gladeapp.py”, line 125, in __init__
    obj(*(args),**(dargs))
    File “/usr/share/jbrout/jbrout.py”, line 941, in init
    self.label_image_infos.set_text(“welcome”)
    AttributeError: ‘gtk.HBox’ object has no attribute ‘set_text’

    • Matěj Cepl says:

      It isn’t bug in jbrout itself, but in my packaging and in the versions of dependent packages. I will fix this shortly (by upgrading to my package).

      What kind of error you get on import? Please, file a bug and I will look into it shortly.

  4. linuxtitan says:

    I agree with f-spot as the choice. I can understand the tendency to shy away from all things mono but I’m only looking at the features. I also prefer banshee for my media player. If rhythmbox can stop wasting toolbar space, clean up the interface and work as well as banshee then I will use that instead. The same goes for shotwell. I want a functional desktop. I would like to have the most open desktop possible as well but what’s the point if nothing works for you.

  5. dragonbite says:

    I usually use Picasa when I am on Windows and the closest equivalent I’ve found with Linux is DigiKam which I have running on Gnome.

    Part of the reason why is because we can sort pictures in albums. Another part is that if we want to pull a picture into a document we only need to right-click and select copy, then paste it into the document. Last time I tried Shotwell this wasn’t an option and I don’t remember if it was in F-Spot either. Yes, I know it sounds dumb, but it’s better than having to look up where the picture is and manually place it in the document.

    I also like how it not only uploaded to Picasa, but it can download as well! I put a lot of my pictures in Picasa kinda like an online backup repository plus some other family members use Picasa so when I want to download all of the pictures from, say, a cousin’s wedding, I can have it all downloaded easily.

    I wish the gnome-based solutions have all of these features, but until then I’ll install digikam

    • Andi says:

      F-spot rqueires mono and that alone is reason enough to say that it is the WORST photo manager. One of the pillars of Fedora is Freedom. How can you include F-Spot when F-Spot needs Mono which is patent encumbered and thus NOT free?! Fedora has removed F-Spot as its primary photo manager and has chosen Shotwell. Even Ubuntu has chosen Shotwell. They have both made a good decision. Anyone who cares about Freedom should say NO to Mono and any Mono application.

  6. Pieter says:

    F-spot requires mono and that alone is reason enough to say that it is the WORST photo manager. One of the pillars of Fedora is Freedom. How can you include F-Spot when F-Spot needs Mono which is patent encumbered and thus NOT free?!

    Fedora has removed F-Spot as its primary photo manager and has chosen Shotwell. Even Ubuntu has chosen Shotwell. They have both made a good decision. Anyone who cares about Freedom should say NO to Mono and any Mono application.

    • linuxtitan says:

      Mono scares me…but in comparison to f-spot, shotwell needs A LOT of work. I don’t feel the shotwell interface is very useful or friendly (it feels like I’m looking at a blank sheet of paper to be honest). I wish someone could explain to my why projects like shotwell and rhythmbox create such painful-to-use UIs. I know that this is really unfair to say since I’m not a programmer but I find it very frustrating to look with hope to the open source options only to find disappointment. Perhaps I should JUST learn C++ programming and shut up. Sorry to disappoint you with my lack of support for freedom.

    • valent says:

      Stop spreading FUD. Have you actually used ANY photo management software?!?

  7. linuxtitan says:

    Sorry, valent. I didn’t want to start an argument.

  8. Thub says:

    I use gphoto as an image viewer, but after finally upgrading to F13 recently was alarmed to find that it had dropped some of the nicer image viewer specific features. It turns out that it’s also grown quite a bit as a photo manager however. I need to find a new image viewer, but I’m tempted to move from F-Spot to gphoto.
    The main disadvantages for me are the lack of raw format support — I have to do most of my work with raw formats on the command line anyway — and the awkward menu-driven tagging interface. Still, I’ve been using F-Spot for a few years now and I’m pretty sick of its many long-standing bugs and I might just switch.

  9. Pingback: F-Spot 0.8.0 in Fedora 14 and in Fusion 14 | Fusion Linux

  10. Pingback: Fusion 14 Release Candidate is out | Fusion Linux

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