8 Picasa Alternatives Made for Linux

Bertel King 01-04-2016

You may have heard the news. Google is getting rid of Picasa. I know, you’re not the only one who is sad about this. There may be an abundance of ways to store and edit your photos online, but they don’t quite offer the benefits that come from having a good native application you can run without an Internet connection Picasa Is Going Away: 5 Reasons You Should Be Disappointed Picasa will be discontinued on 15th March, and there are good reasons to be disappointed that its long run is ending. Here are five reasons why you should be upset. Read More .


For Linux users, this is a case of welcoming our Windows and Max OS X-using friends to the club. Google stopped supporting the Linux port of Picasa years ago, leaving people to install the last version released and crossing their fingers that it works.

The good news is Picasa is far from the only good option available. There are plenty of applications to choose from on Windows and Mac OS X The 10 Best Picasa Alternatives to Use Instead Google replaced Picasa with Google Photos, but there are several solid Picasa alternatives worth considering. Read More . Plus, this is an area where the Linux desktop also has a wide range of options. Whether you’re tired of clinging to an old version of Picasa or switching to the Linux for the first time, these are some of the best alternatives currently available.

1. Gwenview


It may feel like the GTK-based desktops get all the love, but when it comes to managing photos, KDE has you covered out of the box. Gwenview is the project’s default image viewer, and much of the core functionality you get from Picasa is already baked in.

You can move photos around into folders, perform minor edits such as cropping and resizing, and apply tags and ratings. The editing options aren’t nearly as comprehensive, but if you already do most of your tweaks in a dedicated photo editor like GIMP, that’s not too much of an issue.


2. gThumb [No Longer Available]

For that Gwenview-style experience on a GNOME desktop, you want to download gThumb. The app isn’t the default image viewer (that would be Eye of GNOME), but it adheres to GNOME 3’s modern design language 7 Reasons You Should Upgrade To GNOME 3.12 On Linux Labeled by some as "unintuitive" and "a usability nightmare," GNOME Shell used to be crap. Not anymore. Read More so closely that you could mistakenly believe it were.

gThumb comes with quite a few additional editing options, such as tweaking colors and applying a few filters.


The tagging functionality is a tad different. In this case, you can organize photos into catalogs and selections, in addition to traditional folders and good old-fashioned bookmarks.


3. GNOME Photos


Picasa offered a simple and pretty way to browse your pictures, and that’s something GNOME Photos does well. The app automatically imports images from your Pictures folder and displays them in a grid. You can click on any image to view it free of clutter.

GNOME Photos is very limited. You can mark pictures as favorites and organize them into albums, but the latter is entirely separate from your existing folder hierarchy. That means that you have to organize your collection from scratch, even if you’ve already created a system that works. The interface encourages searching instead, much like GNOME Shell in general GNOME 3 Beta - Welcome To Your New Linux Desktop Read More .

4. KPhotoAlbum

Gwenview is, at its core, an image viewer. If it’s missing a feature that’s important to you, KPhotoAlbum is the next step up. As the name suggests, this KDE application is intended to manage your photo collection, rather than merely show you images.



KPhotoAlbum comes with a timeline view that makes jumping through time a speedier task than digging through folders. You can organize images into categories, and you can make annotations to attach additional memories to a photograph.

With KIPI plugins installed, KPhotoAlbum can batch rename images, import from and export to a wide variety of sources, edit metadata, apply filters, and perform more advanced image edits.

5. Shotwell

Shotwell forms a nice balance between functionality and simplicity. You can browse through existing folders in a hierarchy or scroll through your entire collection in a giant grid. Whether you like to micromanage or don’t particularly care about folder structure as long as the photos are on your computer, Shotwell can adapt to your tastes.



You can tag photos, give them a rating of one to five stars, and leave comments. Instead of viewing a set of photos as a folder, Shotwell lets you organize them into events. Like an old-school GNOME/GTK application, there is quite a bit of functionality hidden behind the simple interface.

6. Darktable

This far down the list, you may have noticed that many of the options look a bit same-y. That’s the Linux way of doing things. For the most part, users like applications that integrate with their desktop environment of choice.

Darktable bucks this trend Darktable vs. Shotwell: Two Great Photo Editing Applications For Linux Until recently, Linux only had GIMP as an acceptable photo editing tool. That's changed, thanks to a couple new tools that provide impressive features: Darktable and Shotwell. Read More . It has its own dark interface that looks the same regardless of what desktop environment you call home.


As for who should use Darktable, this is a good option for people who want to make extensive edits. You can use the application to browse through photos, but this is a piece of software geared towards taking a picture you’re not quite happy with and turning it into something that pops.

7. digiKam

Many consider digiKam the best photo management application available for Linux. Some consider it the best option on any desktop operating system, period.

For Linux-using professional photographers, this is the place to start. DigiKam will import RAW files, manage metadata, apply tags, create labels, and turn your terabytes of photos into something manageable.

That’s not to say that digiKam is overly intimidating. There’s a lot of functionality here, but if you just want to browse through folders and make the occasional touch-up, none of the extra features should get in your way.


8. Rapid Photo Downloader

Maybe you used Picasa because it imported photos from your camera without much fuss. Many of the options above can do the same, but if you want complete control over the process, I highly recommend Rapid Photo Downloader. This little piece of awesomeness lets you determine exactly how to structure your folders and name each photo that comes off your camera. Once it’s done, you can proceed to load up the images in your photo manager of choice.


Did You Use Picasa on Linux?

Before I switched to Linux, Picasa was my favorite photo management tool. After I got acquainted with my new operating system, I found I didn’t miss Google’s software all that much — there were plenty of good alternatives to pick from. What I’ve listed above isn’t even a comprehensive list — a number of other options are out there Top Linux Photo Software for Managing & Editing Snaps Do you remember where you saved your holiday photos last year? How quickly can you find a particular snap from August 2007? If you don't know, then you could probably use a new photo manager! Read More .

Considering the Picasa “port” was really just the Windows version running under Wine How to Run Windows Apps & Games with Linux Wine Is there any way to get Windows software working on Linux? One answer is to use Wine, but while it can be very useful, it probably should only be your last resort. Here's why. Read More , you could say all of the alternatives provided a better experience, regardless of the available features. But there is something to be said for using the same application across different operating systems., especially if you sync your photos across multiple machines.

Did you use Picasa on Linux? Did you hunt around for .debs and .rpms after Google ended support in 2012? Does seeing Google officially end support across all platforms bring back old memories? You’re among people who understand, so feel free to share your thoughts!

Image Credits:penguin runs by Anton_Ivanov via Shutterstock

Related topics: Batch Image Editing, Google Picasa, Image Editor.

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  1. Mike Pav
    December 28, 2019 at 1:04 am

    My wife will use nothing but Picasa, so on her Linux machine, I installed Wine-staging, then Installed Picasa 3.9 using wine and she's happy as can be. The web download or web backup of course doesn't work, but who's complaining? Happy wife, happy life

  2. dragonbite
    January 28, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    I've had difficulty with these apps and downloading pictures from my phone to a place of my choosing. I haven't heard of Rapid Photo Downloader before today but if manages successfully importing my pictures without corruption and into the directory structure I want (/yyyy/yyyy-mm-dd/) then I may start using that to import and free me up to use whatever photo manager I choose.

  3. Nunya Fuggoinbiz
    October 9, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    XnviewMP for Linux. Fantastic! Not open source, but free as in free beer.

  4. cclw05
    June 27, 2018 at 7:53 am

    It's 2018, I've just upgraded to the latest Ubuntu, and I'm still hunting around for a copy of Picasa or an alternative that comes close.

  5. Graeme
    October 25, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    I still am using picasa on Linux (Jessie). I can never find a tool quite as good. The downloading from the camera stopped working several versions back ( sad face) so I use rapid photo downloader and it' probably better for that. The real killer feature for me in Picassa is the facial recognition. I can find photos of my children aged ... oh about that age .. The quick searching etc also helps.
    Thinking about this looking for an "application" to replace picasa is problem the wrong approach . My "desktop" is the application, I just need to plug in the features I need. So "Rapid Photo downloader" to do downloads , Gimp & Raw Therapy to edit photos. I guess what I really need is a good indexer/lookup/facial recognition app. Humm searching through seas of Data , there's a company that's really good at that .... damm thats why I use a google app.

  6. bev
    January 16, 2017 at 6:50 am

    What google did to picasa is a major reason I now regard them with disgust. T First, they gutted dejanews, then picasa. I really despise not being able to have different gmail addresses for different applications. Yeah, I know, how much did I pay? Same as everyone else, of course. I guess it's ok to be kind of evil now. Feh.

  7. Christopher Evans
    April 18, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    I'm really sorry that Google don't support Picasa for Linux any more :/ ... None of these 'alternatives' is remotely as good ... I'm so p*ssed off that I would consider going back to Apple Mac or even M$ Windoze ...

    • gummih
      November 18, 2016 at 12:52 am

      Exactly my experience

  8. David Darr
    April 6, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Im a DigiKam user myself.

  9. Anonymous
    April 1, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    There was no need for me to "hunt around for ,debs and .rpms". Whenever I installed KDE, DigiKam was installed by default.