Darktable 3 Released With GUI Rework and New Features

Here’s the Christmas gift for the photography enthusiasts. Darktable 3.0 has just released.

Darktable is one of the best applications for editing RAW images on Linux. You can consider it as a free and open source alternative to Adobe Lightroom.

Darktable 3 is a major new release with tons of feature improvements and a complete rework of the user interface. The GUI is now completely controlled by GTK+ CSS rules, which makes the whole GUI themable. There are eight themes available by default.

With the help of over 3000 commits and 553 pull requests, the new release has fixed 66 bugs and added many new features.

Let’s see what features this new release brings.

New features in Darktable 3.0

Darktable 3 Screenshot
Darktable 3.0 Screenshot

Here are the highlighted new features:

  • Reworked UI
  • A new module for handling 3D RGB Lut transformations
  • Many improvements to the ‘denoise (profiled)’ module
  • A new ‘culling’ mode and timeline view added
  • Many improvements to the ‘denoise (profiled)’ module
  • New tone equalizer’ basic and filmic RGB modules
  • Better 4K/5K display support
  • Undo/redo support for more operations
  • Many code optimizations for CPU and SSE paths
  • Support for exporting to Google Photos
  • More camera support, white balance presets, and noise profiles
  • Plenty of bug fixes and feature improvements

You can read about all the changes in the release notes on GitHub.

Installing Darktable 3.0 on Linux

Let’s see how to get the latest Darktable release.

Installing Darktable 3.0 on Ubuntu-based distributions

Darktable is available in Ubuntu but you won’t get the latest release immediately. For the LTS version, it may take months before you have this version update.

Worry not! Darktable provides its own PPA to install the latest release on Ubuntu-based distributions.

Unfortuntaley, That Darktable PPA has not been updated with the new release.

Worry not (again)! Thanks to our friend Ji M of Ubuntu Handbook, we have an unofficial PPA for easily installing Darktable 3.0 on Ubuntu and other Ubuntu based distributions.

Open a terminal and use these commands one by one:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/darktable
sudo apt update
sudo apt install darktable

Uninstall Darktable 3

To remove Darktable installed via this PPA, you can first uninstall the application:

sudo apt remove darktable

And then remove the PPA as well:

sudo add-apt-repository -r ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/darktable

Installing Darktable on other Linux distributions

You may wait for your distribution to provide this new release through the software manager.

You may also download the tarball or the entire source code from the GitHub release page (it’s at the bottom of the page).

With Darktable 3, you can edit your holiday pictures better :)

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  • Hi Abhishek. How about downloading and installing the binary from this OpenSuse Build Service website? https://software.opensuse.org/download.html?project=graphics:darktable&package=darktable

    Even the darktable website mentions about OBS in this link on their official website at https://www.darktable.org/install/#3rdparty

    Are there any concerns when it comes to downloading the binary and installing it versus installing from the the UbuntuHandbook PPA ?

    • Darktable is available in Ubuntu repositories as well. Installing from there would be a better option.

      You can check which version it is using this command: apt show darktable

      I have never used opensuse repositories for Ubuntu deb file.

      • I was specifically referring to latest version of darktable. Only the OBS and UbuntuHandbook PPA have the latest version of dark table: 3.6

        The ubuntu repository has a very old version: 3.0.1 (December 2019 release)

        The snap store has also older versions. The stable release of darktable on snapstore is 3.2.1 (August 2020). And the bleeding edge release is also 3.4.1 (December 2020).

        If one has to install the latest release, then either it is available as binary deb package to be downloaded from OBS or through unofficial PPA ( the method as you have mentioned in this blog). Apart from it being a matter of choice on how we install it, would using either of these last two installation methods make any difference to the normal functioning of the installed application, dependencies, etc?

        I am new to linux world. Barely been few months :).

        • PPA should be fine. It’s unofficial but Ubuntu Handbook is a reliable source.

          The difference between the two (installing deb and using PPA) is that in PPA, a repository is added so your installed app gets updated if a new version is made available in the PPA repository. For deb, the app won’t get updated automatically if a new version is available. You’ll have to download the deb file again for the new version.

          Read this to learn more on PPA: https://itsfoss.com/ppa-guide/