The 4 Best Photo Album Managers For Linux

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photo album managerPlug your camera into your computer and it should automatically organize those pictures in such a way that you can easily find them later. This is the idea behind photo album managers, but not everyone agrees about which ones are best for the job.

This is just as true on the Linux platform as any other. Photo management was a weak point of the Linux desktop very recently, but a number of projects have sprung up to address this. As such, if you’re looking for the best photo album manager out there for Linux, you’ve got a few options.

Let’s take a look at the four major programs on the platform and see what you think!

Shotwell

photo album manager

Soon to become the default in Ubuntu (and perhaps in Gnome itself) Shotwell is quickly becoming the go-to photo manager on Linux. At least, what’s what I concluded in my recent piece when I called Shotwell the future of Linux photo management.

Here’s why I think this program is good: it connects really well with social services, including Facebook and Flickr. Beyond that killer feature however, Shotwell excels in that it’s really simple. The interface is clean and photos are sorted in a logical manner.

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You’ll find Shotwell in the repositories of most newer Linux systems, but if you can’t find it, check out the official Shotwell page for installation instructions.

Picasa For Linux

photo manager linux

Picasa is not just a killer web service from Google; it’s also a pretty fantastic desktop photo editor. Thanks to technology borrowed from the Wine project it works on Linux, although it’s not as frequently updated as the Windows or Mac version of the software.

There are upsides and downsides to this Linux version. It’s more integrated than simply running Picasa in Wine, but it’s fairly obvious to the end user that it’s not a native application. Expect some quirks for sure, but also expect to have access to Google’s amazing photo manager on Linux.

Picasa includes everything from basic editing to creating albums to changing your desktop wallpaper to, of course, uploading to the Picasa web service. Find out more about Picasa in our series of tutorials, Google Picasa 101 by Jim.

Go ahead and download Picasa for Linux; you just might like it.

F-Spot

photo manager linux

The default photo manager in Ubuntu for quite a while, F-Spot is a pretty good photo album manager to have around. Some people love it, some people don’t, but everyone can agree on one thing: it’s there by default. F-Spot arranges your photos, uploads to social networks, allows for basic editing and even allows for extensions.

You’ll find F-Spot in the repositories of your Linux distro, assuming it’s not already installed.

Digikam

photo album manager

I have to admit, I don’t really use KDE, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t include Digikam in this list. The default photo manager in KDE is powerful, attractive and complex. You’ll find all the features you’d expect from a photo manager along with a number of extensions for adding more functionality. It can even grab photos from your iPod, which could be useful.

Digikam works on any Linux system; even Gnome ones. Check your repositories for a download or take a look at Digikam’s homepage.

Conclusion: Good Old Folders

I don’t use any of these systems, because I’ve found a superior method: folders. It may seem like work, but organizing your photos into folders named by event is easy to use and works on any platform. There’s no substitute for organization as far as I’m concerned. Still, it’s nice to have the option of using a photo management tool, so we’re lucky that Linux has four great ones to choose from.

What do you use to manage your photos? Did I miss any good ones? Sharing in the comments below is an awesome thing to do, and I’ll think less of you if you don’t.

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Comments (15)
  • Gary Ferguson

    Folders are a windows construction – on linux they are directories…

    • Justin Pot

      The icon for directories on almost every distro looks like a folder, so people are going to use the terms interchangeably.

  • Felix

    I agree with using folders instead of these photo managers, one knows exactly what’s going on with location of each photo it gives us absolute control.

  • micsu

    Dont forget to mention the very best photo viewer / manager: XnView MP

    • Justin Pot

      I’ve never heard of this one! I think it’s a little newer than this five year old article, though.

  • Matera the Mad

    drat I didn’t see my typo before I hit the button

  • Matera the Mad

    Folders! Folders forever! I am forever trying to explain to people that “organizers” make real organization harder, that they cause more harm than good, and that the “albums” that they create are not portable and therefore not useful when creating backups of moving to another system.

    It could be useful to have a database in which you can look up pics organized by special categories. Unfortunately, all of the organizers I’ve met so far assume total control and usually want to create too much bloat and duplication. I abandon each one within a day.

    • Justin Pot

      Yeah, it’s really hard to replace folders if you’ve developed a good system. Most of these programs assume you don’t already have one, is the problem. I’ve yet to see one that respects folders.

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For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.