Linux has come a long way in terms of the applications that are available for the platform. Whatever your specific needs are, you can be sure that there are at least a few applications available for you to use. Today, we’ll look at 10 free Linux photo editors, and I must say, there are a lot of image editing tools available.
This post selects just 10 of these awesome tools and talks about them briefly looking at what makes them stand out. In no particular order, let’s start.
10 Best Linux photo editor apps free
I know I said in no particular order, but it would be wrong if GIMP was not mentioned at number one. GIMP is an advanced photo editor for Linux. You can use it to edit, enhance, and retouch photos and scans, create drawings, and make your own images. It has a large collection of professional-level editing tools and filters, similar to the ones you might find in Photoshop. Numerous fine-control settings and features like layers, paths, masks, and scripting give you total control over your images. Many image file formats are supported, including JPEG, Photoshop (.psd), and Paint Shop Pro (.psp) files. It can also be used to scan and print photos. GIMP is the most popular free image editing tool amongst Linux users and rightly so.
Also Read – GIMP Photo Editor – A Free Photoshop alternative
Second, on the list is Inkscape. Inkscape is an illustration editor which has everything needed to create professional-quality computer art. You can use it to make diagrams and illustrations, technical drawings, web graphics, clip art, icons, and logos. There is excellent support for paths, gradients, layers, alpha transparency, and text flow control. It also has an extensive library of filters that allow you to apply realistic effects and extensions to work with bitmaps, barcodes, and printing marks, amongst other things. Most of the common vector formats are supported, including PDF, Adobe Illustrator, and AutoCAD files, and it has unrivaled support for the SVG web graphics standard. So this could be the photo on your Linux machine.
Pinta is an easy-to-use drawing or editing program for Linux. With a simplified experience for casual users. Some of its features include Auto level, Black and White, Sepia, Motion blur, Glow, Warp, and similar effects. It also supports multiple layers, unlimited undo & redo, drawing tools such as Paintbrush, Pencil, and shapes. Pinta is awesome for those seeking a simple, lightweight, and great photo editor.
The Unidentified Flying Raw (UFRaw) allows you to decode and manipulate raw images from digital cameras. You can change parameters such as the exposure or the white balance of an image. UFRaw uses the code from the DCRaw raw image decoder and supports over 600 camera models, including many Sony, Nikon, Canon, and Fuji cameras. It can be used as a stand-alone tool or as a Gimp plugin, and images can be batch processed using the command-line interface.
F-Spot is a full-featured personal photo management application for the GNOME desktop. It simplifies digital photography by providing simple tools to help you share, touch up, find and organize your images. Individual photos can be retouched and globally corrected. The number and sophistication of the correction scale to the imagination of the user. You can even work on photos in batches. F-spot is easy for beginners to get started with.
Darktable manages your digital negatives in a database and lets you view them through a zoomable lighttable. It also enables you to develop raw images and enhance them. It tries to fill the gap between the many excellent existing free raw converters and image management tools (such as UFRaw or F-spot). All editing is fully non-destructive and only operates on cached image buffers for display. The full image is only converted during export. The core operates completely on floating-point values, so Darktable is not usable for photography but also for scientifically acquired images or output of renderers (high dynamic range).
Krita is a creative Linux photo editor for raster images. Whether you want to create from scratch or work with existing images, Krita is for you. You can work with photos or scanned images, or start with a blank slate.
Krita supports most graphics tablets out of the box. It is different from other graphics design programs. It has pluggable brush engines, some supporting brush resources like Gimp brush files, others offering the sophisticated simulation of real brushes, color mixing, and image deformations. Moreover, Krita has full support for graphics tablets, including such features as pressure, tilt, and rate, making it a great choice for artists.
There are easy-to-use tools for drawing lines, ellipses, and rectangles, and the freehand tool is supported by pluggable “drawing assistants” that help you draw shapes that still have a freehand feeling to them. Krita is part of the Calligra Suite.
Also Read – KRITA – Creative sketching & painting application for Linux
RawTherapee is an advanced program for developing raw photos and for processing non-raw photos. It is non-destructive, makes use of OpenMP, supports all the cameras supported by dcraw, and carries out its calculations in a high precision 32-bit floating-point engine. RawTherapee supports JPEG, PNG, and TIFF as output formats for processed photos.
Fotoxx is a program for improving digital photos. It allows you to navigate through large image directories using a window of thumbnail images, create HDR (high dynamic range) images by combining bright and dark images to improve details visible in both bright and dark areas, create panoramas by joining overlapped images, adjust brightness and color intensity independently for different underlying brightness levels, reduce fog or haze by removing “whiteness” and intensifying colors. rotate an image (level a tilted image or turn 90 degrees), remove red-eyes from electronic flash photos, sharpen, resize, or crop images, reduce noise in low-light photos, change color depth, and stretch an image by dragging the mouse.
The last one on our list is ShowFOTO. ShowFOTO is a fast photo Editor for Linux with powerful image editing tools. You can use it to view your photographs and improve them. It is the standalone image editor of the digiKam project. It runs without digiKam images database support but comes with all Image Editor functions.
If ever Linux was starved for choices in certain areas in terms of apps, image editing is certainly not one of those. And these apps are not just bare apps, some of these are as awesome as many paid-for apps available on other platforms. So it was all about the 10 best free Linux photo editors. I hope one of these will fit your needs. Thanks for reading!
Really appreciate your article on photo editors. Be an excuse to clean up my art website and start painting again. May start with the last on on your list, just becasue it looks the simplest to use for now.
Pinta is almost the worst and awesome. YOU CANT REDIMENSION A SELECTION, HOW IRRITATING IS THAT!
I am just moving into Linux from WIN10 (LT) and WIN 7 (desktop). For years now I’ve used Photoscape. Simple but limited editing, but sufficient for my needs. Don’t really want to learn something as detailed as Adobe, etc, got any suggestions?
Foe me, transitioning from W7 to MX linux. In W7 I was using what I considered to be the best compromise between user-friendliness and reasonably powerful capabilities. I used Corel Paintshop Pro. Unfortunately its not available for any Linux distro and wont run on wine. After trying out many Linux Image editors, some of which have serious bugs and some dont even launch, I found :
– Actually can’t get v1.7 to work properly on MXL19.2 xfce but V1.6 on 18.3 worked fine.
v1.7 Crashes, and the flatpack version wont follow symlinks in the File-chooser window.
– Missing some of the functionality, but all the menu/toobars are an easy crossover from PSP.
– v1.6 was good to get the simple stuff done quickly. Good for productivity
– One of the few KDE based apps that seems to work without issue on my xfce distro.
– Many of the menus/toolbars are similar to Corel Paintshop Pro. Its like the authors have made an effort to not re-invent the wheel.
– A few new things to learn but the curve is not steep.
After testing out many linux apps for various purposes, Im slowly coming to a general conclusion that the more professional apps are often designed to run on KDE. MXLinux xfxe has the KDE lib’s available in the Rep’s but I think its time for me to move to a KDE based distro.
Great article, thank you!
There is one big misunderstanding of photo editing , photo managing and digital art.
Most of this apps are to bulky over professional or or not user friendly. I’m coming back tomorrow to linux after couple some time spend on mac and ipad and I’m shocked how thing didn’t much changed since many years. I’m semi professional photographer and I’m not over-editing my pictures. Most of the I’ve been using simple tools like build in ios Photos and Pixelomator Pro and they where fast , intuitive programs. If Id have to editing in gimp I’d drop my hobby at all. I’ll give a chance to darktable but it’s way to professional and maybe raw therapy but i shot jpegs so don’t see a point. Probably i will buy corel after shot pro because it’s only one looking fast and and intuitive. I hope it is possible just in case have some android base app like pixelomator to be possible to install.