Photo Editing, RAW Photo Processing Options on Linux

When my AMD 13" Framework shows up it will be my “daily driver” and I plan to switch to Linux. To that end, I’m curious if anyone does any photo editing on Linux?

Right now I use Photoshop and DxO PhotoLab for RAW processing.

I don’t know if I’ll miss much moving away from Photoshop, since I’m not exactly a power user. I’m hoping something like Gimp will be good enough for what I do. Though, if someone has an alternative suggestion, I’m happy to hear it (or, read it, lol). As for RAW processing, I haven’t had DxO very long, but it has worked okay for me so far, but of course, no Linux version. As an alternative, I suppose RawTherapee is what I’d try first.

I’m happy to pay for software that does what I need it to do, but, funny enough, that doesn’t really seem to be an option on Linux. Neither of the paid programs I use and none I’ve looked at support Linux.

Does anyone have any experience photo editing on Linux and have a software you’d recommend? Or is RawTherapee and Gimp all I’ll realistically need? Again, I’m open to paid software. I’m not looking for “free” alternatives, just something that works on Linux. If nothing else, I’ll just run Windows, but I’d rather not.

Not exactly a power user here either. Gimp had been plenty powerful for cropping, color correcting, compositing, etc. I have not used “the real” Photoshop in more than 15 years, but when I made the switch there wasn’t anything I did in PS that I couldn’t also find in gimp.


I use RawTherapee for developing my photos. It allows a lot of tweaking while providing reasonable results with the defaults and can be used very nicely in scripting. Profile files containing the edits are by default stored along the image file, so no importing into a library or something like that. Just plain old text files and your images ordered in directories as you like. Using it with native wayland currently seems to be a bit unstable, so starting it with GDK_BACKEND=x11 set as environment variable to force it to use XWayland is currently my preferred way to use it.

If you want something more along the lines of Lightroom, maybe Darktable is worth a try.

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I have been using darktable for many years now for raw editing and I’ve never missed anything. It’s loaded with many features that I personally never need in my light touchup development pipeline, but the UI is really flexible as in you can adapt it to only show modules you need in your workflow.

If you haven’t used Photoshop a lot, Gimp might be a working substitute - but in the end I find myself rarely using it for photography since even dodge/burn things are better done on raw and within darktable.

The performance of dt is really nice, with GPU offloading and super fast caching. I think it really shows that it was founded by people who have advanced degrees in computer vision. :slight_smile:



Another vote for Darktable. It’s an extremely powerful non destructive editor with RAW developing capability. It’s also a rudimentary photo organizer, though there some more friendly alternatives like Shotwell.

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