I'm starting with astrophotography and my DSLR produces CR2 raw images. I use Linux and want to stack series of shots and do RAW processing (curves, RGB balance, etc.) I googled and found software Iris and DeepSkyStacker, but I can't run them under Linux (it doesn't work with Wine). Is there any native software for my purposes?

I also googled RawTherapee and Darktable, but its interfaces cause my brain to burn out.

  • 1
    VirtualBox: virtualbox.org/wiki/Linux_Downloads will allow you to install and run programs for another operating system, e.g. Windows, Unix, Android etc. on your Linux machine. The computer will continue to operate under the Linux OS, so you can continue to run other Linux programs while running a Windows program. Jul 28, 2014 at 22:19

5 Answers 5


Here is the process I use:

cd ~/directory_with_raw_files
ufraw-batch --out-type=tif --out-depth=8 --wb=camera --exposure=0.33 --black-point=auto *.NEF

Of course, you will process CR2 files instead of NEF. I usually open just the first raw file to find acceptable parameters for ufraw-batch, such as exposure.

Then install the stacking package:

sudo apt-get install enfuse
enfuse -o result.tif --exposure-weight=0 --saturation-weight=0 --contrast-weight=1 --hard-mask *.tif

Then open the final result.tif in GIMP to make final adjustments such as levels, sharpening, etc.

Learn more from the manual pages:

man ufraw
man enfuse

Here is an example of a 9-shot stack processed as above: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chili5558/11931659654/

  • i didn't know about enfuse. i'll have to try that.
    – Octopus
    Aug 29, 2014 at 6:43
  • I'd recommend darktable for final touches over GIMP. Darktable is basically the only tool I use for post. Feb 14, 2017 at 17:02
  • 1
    If alignment is desired/necessary, one may want to do something like this: align_image_stack -a aligned_ -v -m -g 10 -C *.tif . Cf. barrygrussling.com/?p=127
    – user21068
    Oct 23, 2017 at 2:41

ufraw will handle raw files for you, and can do the basic processing that you mentioned. If you still need more editing, it connects nicely to gimp.

In case you are running Ubuntu, Mint or a similar flavour, install it like this:

sudo apt-get install ufraw gimp ufraw-gimp
  • 1
    Yes, although if the relatively user-friendly user interfaces of DarkTable and RawTherapee cause "brain burn out", ufraw is likely to cause "brain explode"....
    – mattdm
    Jul 28, 2014 at 18:23
  • With most software similar to Darktable, Lightroom and others you have to the choice to disregard much of the plethora: i.e. concentrate on a few of the modules in Darktable, if one "feels complicated" skip it and try another. Already after coming to grips with 4-5 vital modules your images will start to look good. NOTE: post processing is an art in itself, there is no shortcuts - in that sense it is very similar to photography.
    – Hannu
    Jul 29, 2014 at 8:11

Take a look to Siril. This is a powerful astronomical tool dedicated to (pre)processing operations. Siril can read many RAW file formats.


Take a look at the Discover Astronomy page over at Linux.com, which gives a comprehensive list.


I recommend you put those questions on an astro amateur forum, e.g. Cloudy Nights.

You will get more answers + advice with respect to astronomical use of DSLRs or software...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.