I know about digiKam and Photivo, both of which are excellent software for post-processing RAW photographies and performing minor edits. However, these two programs aren't that good at organising large amounts of photography files, the way Lightroom is. On the other hand, there is Shotwell, F-Spot and I dare even mention Picasa, for being also available for free use. These programs have the advantage of coping really well with vast galleries of photography, but they don't have nearly as potent editing capabilities as the other programs. It seems to me that the only software that combines good post-processing capabilities and the ability to handle large amounts of photography data is Adobe Lightroom. My question, then, is the following: do you know any software for Linux which has a good balance of these two essential features?


As far as I know, the best bet for Linux is Darktable. Workflow management with raw and JPEG editing all in one.

Some teaser images from their screenshot site: enter image description here enter image description here

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    Darktable is my workflow software of choice. I haven't used Lightroom, so I can't describe all differences. But I have used ufraw and RawTherapee and can confirm that Darktable offers more functions than them, in fact I mostly end my editing in Darktable without touching up in GIMP. It has many powerful modules, and runs stable despite being a 0.x version. You can do some very fine-tuned color and sharpness correction with it. The two things I miss in it are a) brushes (all effects apply to the whole image, you can't select areas) and b) Lab editing, almost everything happens in RGB.
    – rumtscho
    Feb 13 '12 at 11:28
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    (continued) Beside editing, it gives you niceties such as tethering, tagging, saving and reapplying styles (all changes are done non-destructively). I also appreciate the fact that it is being actively developed, it has changed considerably since I started using it maybe a year ago, and I liked all the changes, they extended the functionality a lot. If you want an example for editing, see this gallery where I played with unnaturally strong effects on boring midday-sun green pics: rumtscho.smugmug.com/Nature/colored-beeches/…
    – rumtscho
    Feb 13 '12 at 11:39
  • I have discovered darktable and I believe it is awesome! Thanks for introducing me to such great free-software, rfusca! Feb 17 '12 at 17:40
  • @the.midget - you're welcome :)
    – rfusca
    Feb 17 '12 at 17:41
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    I don't recommend using this professionally unless you backup regularly and have an alternative editor. Last version I used (1.2) bombed out when importing 200+ RAW files (thats a typically low number for an event photographer)
    – James
    Apr 29 '13 at 22:23

The only one comparable which I have tried is Bibble Pro. The product has since been bought by Corel which now produces AfterShot Pro from the same technology.

Overall, I found Bibble Pro to perform extremely well. They claimed 10X times faster than Lightroom and my measurements were close to that. The filtering and search was very intuivie and powerful too. Once great advantage was that the workflow part is completely optional and it lets you work on unmanaged images too while Lightroom does not.

Honestly I intend to give AfterShot Pro a try because the only reason I chose Lightroom over Bibble was that Bibble NEVER answered my emails, calls and faxes regarding a bug I found in the software. It seemed unwise to trust a software with such lack of support. On the other hand, Corel has had excellent support in the past, so this may not be an issue anymore.

The Darktable program suggested in the other answer looks very much like Lightroom but I've never tried it. Considering its free, there is not much to lose to give it a spin though.

  • I tried Corel AfterShot while in search of some paid raw edit, but never find it good, not even better... Since I started using Darktable, I have not even looked back to Lightroom then... Feb 21 '19 at 7:16

I use Corel AfterShot Pro, which was formerly Bibble Pro. I tried Darktable, Shotwell, F-Spot, Rawtherapee, and just about all the other open-source photo managers/editors I could find and while I liked certain aspects of them none of them were a complete solution. I find AfterShot Pro is to be a complete workflow solution; it works very well and I'm extremely please that I purchased it.


Since version 4.x, RAWTherapee is a compelling alternative. Its functionality and the quality of its filters have substantially improved, with 32-bit float processing throughout in ProPhoto RGB, CIECAM if you want that, and huge amount of intelligent features - its automatic chromatic aberration correction is better than anything you can achieve manually in most other software, for example.

It even works well for filtering of non-RAW images, too, due to its support for higher bit depths and its 32-bit float processing. This beats the pants off GIMP, for example, and it has good batch processing.

Here is its new dual tone curve editing being used for a high-key photo. The weighted standard curve mode chosen on the bottom curve here is great for boosting/smoothing contrast but keeping realistic colors.

Note: I actually use it on Windows. It's cross-platform, using GTK, so it's natively Linux.

  • I liked it, but its learning curve is more steeper than Darktable. I've adopted darktable and left Lightroom for that.. Feb 21 '19 at 7:18

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