The only way I've found is to install Nik Software on Windows 7 in VirtualBox. The problem is that it's working really slow, though the host system is an Intel Core i7 with 8GB RAM, and all the other programs work fine in VirtualBox. Has anyone got a solution for this problem?

I use different versions of Kubuntu / KDE Neon.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How many CPUs/cores have you assigned to the Windows guest, and how much RAM have you given the guest? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @scottbb 3Gb RAM, 4 cores. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 20:02

3 Answers 3


I published a small open-source application for using Nik Collection plugins on Ubuntu. The app compiles both under Linux and Windows, but it is recommended to compile Windows version and use under wine. Pre-compiled binary is available for direct use. Project is hosted here: https://nik4nix.sourceforge.io

The app will talk to Nik plugins and to some other image editors on Linux for an integrated workflow. You can use it stand-alone to just load a photo and edit it with Nik. Then either save or export directly into gimp/pinta/darktable.

Will release more features related to integration with Picasa3, because IMHO this is the best photo manager that one can run on Linux, and I'd like to be able to use Nik Plugins from it via nik4nix.

Tested with wine version >=3. Some screens: main program window program running on Ubuntu under wine program window with history of edits with Nik plugins as thumbnails (on the right)

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's pretty neat. Is there anything Ubuntu specific about it? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KrisJace Am I right that in order to work it needs wine? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 19:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm, there is a small level of integration with Ubuntu. But that wilp grow as I am primarily Ubuntu user. Current pre-compiled version depends on imagemagick package for generating thumbnails so you would only see thumbnails under wine but not on real Windows. I added built-in thumbnail generator today if you compile from source. Will only update pre-compiled binary once in a while. Probably over the next weekend. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kris Jace
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 15:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Eugene, the Nik Collection will require wine or actual windows vm. My program will work regardless if yo7 compile it as native linux or as native win application (exe). Even if compiled as win app it will know if it runs under w8ne and will still see your Linux system and talk to it, integrate with your linux desktop. The 8ntegration is small now (exporting directly or via clipboard to other programs on Linux like Gimp, Pinta or darktable. But it will get further.). \$\endgroup\$
    – Kris Jace
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 15:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Eugene, I want to add that wine is not so much a requiremwnt for my program as it is for Nik plug8ns, mean8ng that even if you use native linux version on nik4nix you still won't be able to use Nik plugins because they don't come in linux version. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kris Jace
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 15:53

You can get VirtualBox to give the guest Windows OS access to the GPU via 2D and 3D acceleration.

On the VM you wish to use, right click to get the pop-up menu, select Settings, then Display. Click the radio boxes to Enable 3D Acceleration and Enable 2D Video Acceleration.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Both accelerations are switched on on my Windows virtual machine. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 17:37

A quick search yield the following: http://www.evolware.org/?p=440

Though I wouldn't hold my breath - many photo-editing software uses the GPU and emulating that hasn't been Linux's strong suit.

Edit: steps copied from the site. Credit to Christian Pellegrin.

1) Install WINE of course. I use Arch Linux, which comes with extensive instructions. It really just boils down to pacman -S wine after you have enabled Multilib. An important trick is using Win32 mode which usually works better (I’m running other software, like AutoStakkert, Registax, WinJUPOS and Deep Sky Stacker without troubles in WINE with Win32). The link above goes into the details, basically you have set-up some environment variables before starting the Windows executable (I keep the Windows file system in a directory win32 under my home one):

export WINEPREFIX=$HOME/win32
export WINEARCH=win32

Also I use winecfg to select a Windows 7 personality. Also note at least WINE 1.8 is needed, 1.6 won’t work (thanks to Victor Lavaud who reported this and my wrong usage of auto-quotes).

2) Download the .exe installer and run it under wine, with the current version: wine nikcollection-full-1.2.11.exe. Be aware that there’s a bug (some API not entirely implemented or being confused by the spaces in filenames maybe) that will pop-up a window about the impossibility of writing a file (in the resource directory for each filter). The fix is easy, just create that directory and press the retry button. If you followed my convention about directories, the following commands will do the trick:

  mkdir -p "$HOME/win32/drive_c/users/Public/Application Data/Google/Analog Efex Pro 2/resource"
  mkdir -p "$HOME/win32/drive_c/users/Public/Application Data/Google/Color Efex Pro 4/resource"
  mkdir -p "$HOME/win32/drive_c/users/Public/Application Data/Google/Dfine 2/resource"
  mkdir -p "$HOME/win32/drive_c/users/Public/Application Data/Google/HDR Efex Pro 2/resource"
  mkdir -p "$HOME/win32/drive_c/users/Public/Application Data/Google/Sharpener Pro 3/resource"
  mkdir -p "$HOME/win32/drive_c/users/Public/Application Data/Google/Silver Efex Pro 2/resource"
  mkdir -p "$HOME/win32/drive_c/users/Public/Application Data/Google/Viveza 2/resource"

or replace win32 with your wine directory (the default is .wine which I find a bit confusing being normally hidden).

3) You should be able to to use the plug-ins standalone. This makes a lot of sense, for example, for the HDR one: you should feed it the RAW pictures with adequately different exposure times. In this case just run: wine "$HOME/win32/drive_c/Program Files/Google/Nik Collection/HDR Efex Pro 2/HDR Efex Pro 2.exe". On a just partially related note: I’m not sure NEF Nikon RAW files can be opened directly (I tried to install the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack in WINE but no luck) but you can always create a linear 16bpp TIFF from the RAW file using dcraw.

Anyway it is much simple to just use the filters as plugin for GIMP, so I customized the ShellOut GIMP plugin. Grab the modified version of ShellOut.py and put it into ~/.gimp-2.8/plug-ins. A new menu entry ShellOut… should appear under the Script-Fu menu. When you activate it you should be given the choice of running any of the available plug-ins on the current layer or a copy of it. You should consider 2 customizations to ShellOut.py:

  • The already mentioned top-level WINE directory that might be different than win32.
  • The file you use for the exchange. I use tif because, in the newest, right now still experimental, GIMP 2.9.2 it supports floating point pixel depth (for this version of GIMP the plug-in directory moved to ~/.config/GIMP/2.9/plug-ins). There are 2 caveats: it is a bit slower and you get some annoying error messages about some TIFF flags not being supported. To mitigate the later problem, you can dock an error console, so the messages won’t be impacting. But, if you don’t care about high pixel depth just use png instead of tif: it is pretty faster.
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    \$\begingroup\$ Please include the details from the link in this answer - external links have a nasty habit of going dead over time. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 22:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ It describes installing Wine on archlinux and then installing Nik Software on Wine. In my experience, using Wine is almost always worse than Virtualbox. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 6:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @EugeneBarsky It looks like you missed the second part of the post. OP describes installing Nik Software on Wine, and then installing a particular Gimp plugin called "ShellOut". With this plugin, a new menu appears in Gimp that allows to launch any Nik Plugin on the active layer or the latest layer, then imports the result back as a new layer. This provides seamless integration when working with Gimp, which, in my opinion, makes it a better option than running a VM. \$\endgroup\$
    – qdii
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 18:32

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