Tom's Definitive Linux Software Roundup: Image Apps


Well, there you have it--the best and easiest to install Linux-based image applications.

For simple image viewers, the KDE and GNOME defaults, Gwenview and Eye Of GNOME (respectively) are our top picks, but most of the contenders in this category will do the trick.

For image managers, we again like the KDE and GNOME defaults of digiKam and Shotwell (respectively) along with gThumb. But digiKam stands out as the most attractive option.

As far as photo editors go, we like showFoto (when paired with digiKam) and RAWTherapee. But nearly every app in this category has features that warrant a look.

In drawing and painting, the race isn't even remotely close. mtPaint is significantly better than any other “simple painting” application I've ever come across.

For image manipulation software, GIMP really is the only contender for a Photoshop replacement on Linux. But most of you probably already guessed the outcome there.

As for vector graphics, we like both Inkscape and Xara Xtreme equally well, though Inkscape is used more heavily by the open source community, and therefore has more help available online.

With regard to 3D graphics, nothing for Linux beats Blender. Not only does this application trump proprietary software in price, but its quality puts Blender on even ground with much more well-known commercial apps.

Shutter is one of the best programs out there for taking screenshots.

For scanning utilities, Simple Scan does what 99% of us need a scanning utility to do, but XSane has an insane number of options. PosteRazor and Hugin were two examples of Linux niche applications that are high quality and surprisingly easy to use.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Tom's Definitive Linux Software Roundup. We'll be looking at audio applications--everything from music players to professional-grade mixers.

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  • jhansonxi
    You forgot MyPaint.
  • jkhanlar
    and scrot
  • Anonymous
    darktable is a good alternative to existing products for both management and processing of photos...missing that one in this roundup.
  • sudeshc
    dont know exactly why but i never tried Linux i guess its time to take a test drive, thanks toms for this article.
  • Anonymous
    I sedcond you, darktable is indeed great RAW software
  • dEAne
    wow I didn't know these things, thank you a lot.
  • nvarras7
    Have been on Ubuntu since 10.04 was beta and haven't looked back!
  • nvarras7
    nvarras7Have been on Ubuntu since 10.04 was beta and haven't looked back!
  • Anonymous
    Definitive? How about programs like feh and gpicview?
    i love linux! but then i look at my steam account and shed a tire D:
  • Anonymous
    Great article. Its always hard to locate programs when friends ask for good free ones. This will help immensity. Now I'll just point them to this source. Thanks!
  • reggieray
    Ubuntu rocks
  • Anonymous
    Picasa is avaiable for Linux...handles RAW images and provides some basic editing capabilities and organization.
  • jamesontoms
    Either I'm out of date,
    or Toms Hardware overlooked the three image viewers I use in Debian.
    I have used their features
    full screen

    a. feh
    feh -D 5 #gives a slideshow, changing every 5 seconds
    feg 0t #Uses the thumbnail approach
    n and p for next and previous image
    b. qiv
    -R #so you don't accidently delete a file within qiv ("u" to undelete)
    -s #start a slideshow
    +/- #zoom
    f #full screen

    c. xzgv
  • jj463rd
    sudeshcdont know exactly why but i never tried Linux i guess its time to take a test drive, thanks toms for this article.

    Yeah give it a try.You can use the Try Ubuntu method or install it instead on a older secondary PC.It's definitely worthwhile and easy.I've been using it on a couple of systems since version 8.04.
  • Anonymous
    Since you're using Blender as an alternative to Maya, I think it's worth mentioning that Autodesk Maya 2011 64bit is officially supported in both RHEL 5.4 and Fedora 11, the latter being completely free.
  • ProDigit10
    Kolour Paint?
  • the_crippler
    Really enjoyed the article and am looking forward to the sound one. I love the Gimp, and use it regularly. Some other apps on this list I hadn't heard of or realized a need for their function. Now I have some new software to try out when I get home.
  • Peciura
    Time for virtual machine.
  • bounty
    Since you go into doc scanning software, any OCR apps?