I've just got a new camera, which I have already started taking a lot of photos with. Hard drive space isn't THAT cheap, and I would like to get a work-flow together to quickly go through images, selecting the keepers and deleting the rest (along with maybe tagging, etc.).

I am using Linux, and Darktable looks great, but it seems like it just stores changes in a database without actually deleting the images.

How does one delete rejected photos from within Darktable?

  • I know it isn't an answer, but at .2 cents per 23 megapixel RAW file (around 40 megabytes), disk space really is THAT cheap. Particularly in a field where a good camera will run you over a grand and likely several grand.
    – AJ Henderson
    Mar 3 '13 at 4:23
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    I do agree things really are pretty cheap. However, I'm moving around Europe a bit and sold my NAS/fileserver. As I'm not a professional and working with a 2TB external + cloud as a backup solution for mine and my wife's laptop, I'm hoping to have anything I keep be a "keeper". Mar 4 '13 at 16:30
  • Have a look at digikam!
    – Unapiedra
    Mar 7 '13 at 23:05

How does one delete rejected photos from within Darktable

Use 'Delete' button (Lightroom mode, right panel, 'Selected Image(s)' module): it "physically deletes" selected images from disk. It helps to display only previously rejected images by setting 'View' filter (Lightroom mode, top panel) to 'rejected only'.

For faster use, you can associate a hotkey with 'Select all' and 'Delete from disk' functions (as with many others, see Settings->Shortcuts).

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    You can associate a hotkey with 'Select all' and 'Delete from disk' functions (as with many others, see Settings->Shortcuts), but I can't see the option for 'Select rejected' or 'View rejected'. You may want to ask on darktable-users mailing list, Darktable is being actively developed and usability suggestions seem to be at least taken into consideration. Mar 4 '13 at 21:02
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    It doesn't appear I can up-vote your last comment, but maybe that belongs in the answer, as it is very helpful. Thanks! Mar 6 '13 at 8:25
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    I can't see the Delete from disk action in Shortcuts, using the latest version 1.4.2. Was it removed? Apr 26 '14 at 11:46
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    @DmitryPashkevich: In 1.4.0 you can find it in shortcuts tab, 'modules' -> 'selected image(s)'. I'm not sure about 1.4.2, but I guess it should be the same. Apr 30 '14 at 16:23
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    Thanks @MaciejHrynczyszyn, found it! I was looking in the lighttable section, didn't realize it was hidden in a module. Apr 30 '14 at 20:17

If you want to delete all "reject" photos, change view to "rejected only". Then you can select all by "ctrl-a".

Simply hit delete key to delete from the collection.

If you wanna delete from the disk, you need to open "selected images", and the select "delete". Of course, say "Yas".

I setup shotcut to "ctrl-delete" and it's work very well for me.

  • Where did you set up the shortcut for deleting from disk? I don't see such action in Settings->Shortcuts Apr 26 '14 at 11:46
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    @DmitryPashkevich shortcuts > modules > delete from disk or send to trash
    – cjh
    Jul 15 '16 at 6:37

There doesn't seem to be a feature like that in DT.

Will you add file manager capabilities in the future?


Pretty please?


They suggest using the file manager and expect you to be able to know how to do so.

Side note: When I read this on the faq I was kind of disappointed. Being able to delete from the program is a pretty essential feature.

  • It appears Maciej's suggestion works for deleting images works, so perhaps they are referring to moving files, renaming, etc. Still a bummer, though. Mar 4 '13 at 16:27

Learn Ruby, write a script to read the Darktable SQLITE file, select using suitable settings the files that you have tagged for deleting. With Ruby, read the file path_to_image and then use FileUtils.rm(path_to_image).

You can even set this up as a cron job to run as often as you need to. This will wipe your files as needed, so you don't need to worry about doing anything.

Note: When testing copy from backup files and only use copies until it works as required.

  • Why use ruby in particular? Can you use the sqlite (or sqlite3) command to accomplish the same thing?
    – mattdm
    Oct 2 '13 at 23:38
  • Also, isn't this kind of stretching the definition of "within Darktable"? Just sayin'! :)
    – mattdm
    Oct 2 '13 at 23:39
  • Interesting. I hadn't thought of this. I would probably use python for such a thing, but I have been content with the method suggested by Maciej; though, I am not sure I won't change my workflow. Thanks. Oct 3 '13 at 7:38

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