Windows has a huge user base but at the same time, Linux (specifically Ubuntu) has not lost its charm in this technical age. In fact, the number of people using an open source operating system such as Ubuntu, Fedora or Arch Linux has been growing rapidly. With this increase, the demand for open source software to carry out computer tasks such as photo editing is also on the rise. There are some very good options for editing photos on a Linux based system, I personally still use 3 of them for my DSLR photography needs.
Coming to the list, I have divided all 10 options into further categories based on what they offer. Software suites that are very similar to that of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are placed into their respective categories.
1) Darktable: Darktable software user interface is extremely close to that of Adobe Lightroom Classic CC and it offers very similar editing tools such as overlay, white balance, exposure adjustment, curves, crop, etc. Initially it was only available for Linux and Ubuntu but now Windows users can download/install it too. If you are looking to switch, here is my previous comparison post for Darkroom vs Lightroom.
|Darktable for Linux|
2) RAWTherapee: Another well-known Lightroom replacement for Ubuntu and Linux based systems. It is quite famous for its noise reduction capabilities in photos. Some users even claim that it is better than Lightroom when it comes to noise removal.
3) GIMP: This software has got almost every tool that Photoshop has on Windows. Example: Layers, brush, clone, heal, tone curves, Excellent for quick editing although the workflow streamlining is better in Photoshop.
4) Krita: Free. Good for drawings and sketching with a breeze. It can be called as photo painting software whereas GIMP is a photo manipulation software. Both GIMP and Krita have some similarities which allow you to manipulate images in Krita too.
Cataloging and Digital Asset Management:
5) DigiKam: Free. This software allows a user to input tags, assign flags, assign stars and make collections within minutes. It makes batch processing very faster. Metadata is stored in a local database file instead of the album itself. It handles externally stored hard drive or USB drive files really well. One of my personal favourite features is it never overwrites any original file, edits are always stored in a new file. This criterion applies to both RAW files and JPEG too.
Simpler photo editing:
6) Pixeluvo: Paid. Image and photo editor. Available for both Linux and Windows.
7) Pinta: For drawing and image editing.
8) LightZone: Free.
9) Filmulator: It has the bare minimum tools, still something worth considering because its free.
10) PhotoFlow: Free.
Hope this post will help you meet your photo editing needs on a Linux or Ubuntu system. Share the photography love by sharing this post.