Tom's Definitive Linux Software Roundup: Image Apps

Scanning And Printing

Scanning Software

We used an HP Photosmart C4280 all-in-one printer/scanner/copier to test the scanning capabilities of the scanning software.

XSane Image Scanner (v. 0.997)

XSane is a GUI front-end for SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy). XSane is the system default for many popular Linux distributions, and comes pre-installed on openSUSE. Our test scanner was easily detected by this application; both scanning and previewing worked.

There are a ton of options in XSane, including image enhancement, batch scanning, cropping, padding, and more. Unfortunately, XSane suffers from window management issues. This app uses up to six windows to show all of the options, and even more for multiple projects.

Simple Scan (v. 2.32.0)

This suitably-named application is the perfect no-nonsense scanning utility. Simple Scan is the default scanning application for Ubuntu and Fedora, recently replacing the much more complex XSane. The interface is minimalistic and clean. The main toolbar houses buttons for a New document, Scan, Save, Stop, Rotate left, Rotate right, and Crop--everything you need to scan documents or pictures, and nothing more.

Preferences hold separate resolution settings for image and text scans. Our test scanner had no problem under Simple Scan. This is a straightforward, lightweight, and easy-to-use application--the perfect default scanning app.

Skanlite (v. 4.5.1)

Skanlite is the default scanning utility in KDE, and many distributions that use it, such as openSUSE. Zoom and pre-scan cropping are essentially the only features beyond scanning available in this application. There are adjustable settings for the quality of the scan, as well as the compression level of the output image file.

Skanlite detected our test scanner without any problems. Overall, Skanlite is a decent default scanning utility.

gscan2pdf (v. 0.9.31)

This simple utility scans images and outputs directly to PDF files. Rotate, undo, and zoom are accessible via the main toolbar. The test scanner was detected and scanning completed without any errors.

This niche application works exactly as advertised, scanning to the PDF format.

Image Printing Software

PhotoPrint (v. 0.4.1 )

PhotoPrint is an application aimed at printing photographs. This app can crop, scale, tile, add borders, and apply basic effects to image files for printing. PhotoPrint is definitely intended for a niche audience, and most image editors can already do everything found in this application.

Creating a carousel image for compact discs is perhaps the most unique feature of PhotoPrint.

PosteRazor (v. 1.5.1)

PosteRazor creates printable posters from image files. This app employs an easy-to-use wizard that guides the user through five steps to create a printable image.

Step one: choose an image file. Step two: choose a paper format. Step three: choose which edges and how much space to overlap onto the next page. Step four: finalize poster size and image alignment. Step five: save as PDF. PosteRazor is perhaps the most foolproof method for creating a custom poster.

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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?