Brief: In this article, we’ll see the best photo software for Linux for various purposes.
When I last wrote about reasons to switch to Linux, a reader suggested me to write about Linux alternatives of popular Windows applications. After all, it is one of the most common concerns among Windows users thinking to switch to Linux.
In an effort to address the same concern, in this article, I have listed photo related applications that could be used for various purposes.
Best photo editors for Linux
It’s not really alternatives to Windows programs but rather a collection of image related applications in Linux that could be used for various purposes.
Image editing applications in Linux
When I say image editing, I mean hardcore professional style photo editing. In other words, I am talking about Photoshop. And when it comes to Linux alternative to Adobe Photoshop, there is only one name that comes to mind: GIMP.
GIMP is a cross-platform, full-featured, professional-grade image editing application that comes with almost all the features of Photoshop. Unlike Photoshop, GIMP is free on all platforms such as Linux, Windows, OS X etc.
You can install GIMP in Ubuntu from Ubuntu Software Center.
Vector graphics tools in Linux
If you are looking to create vector graphic designs from scratch, the best vector graphic design app in Linux is Inkscape.
Inkscape is a free and open source tool available for Linux, macOS and Windows. It allows you to create or edit vector graphics such as logos, icons, clipart, illustrations, diagrams, line arts, charts and complex paintings.
It is widely popular and is used by professionals and hobbyists worldwide. This also means that you can get plenty of guides and tutorials online about using Inkscape.
Photo management applications in Linux
I am talking about applications that handle image library. You can view your images, import them from camera and phones, edit them a little, share them etc. In Windows, we have Windows Photo Viewer.
In Linux, Shotwell is the most popular photo management these days. It is the default applications in various Linux distributions, Ubuntu being one of them. Unlike GIMP, Shotwell is lightweight but offers very basic editing features.
One good alternative to Shotwell is gThumb.
Bodhi Linux is a lightweight Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. The latest release brings the much needed visual refreshment. Read the review to know more about it.
Applications to handle raw camera images in Linux
As the price of DSLRs decreases, the number of (amateur) photographer increases in same proportion. As many DSLRs use RAW format to save the images, default image viewers like Shotwell won’t be able to handle these images.
This is where applications like digiKam come into the picture. An Open Source software, digiKam lets you handle your high-end camera images in a professional manner. You can view, manage, edit, enhance, organize, tag, and share photographs with digiKam.
Paint applications in Linux
If you are looking for Linux alternatives to Microsoft Paint, my first choice is Pinta. You can do a little editing such as annotate with text, draw circles etc. You can draw images with pencil, brush and spray. In Ubuntu, Pinta can be installed from Ubuntu Software Center.
Another alternative to Pinta is Krita which is more powerful and provides more features. Better than a paint app but not as good as GIMP.
Instagram effects applications in Linux [not open source]
In the end, let’s talk about beautifying your images. We have numerous retro image effects apps on mobile devices but that’s not the case with the desktop.
That compiles the list of various type of image applications available in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. It’s not that this is the complete list of such apps. In fact, there are much more. I have just listed the best in each category.
What do you think? Do you use some other application for a particular purpose? Do share your views with us.