This is an article about two programmes, Darktable and Rawtherapee, available in the repositories of any Linux distribution.  They’re also available for MacOS and Windows.

I will not compare these programmes to Lightroom as it would be unfair;  Adobe has been around for decades and Photoshop, Lightroom and Illustrator count among the oldest.

I will do briefly describe them both so you can choose, or at least feel curious enough to know more and try.


This programme has an interface that is almost identical to the one showed by Adobe Lightroom except for the menus bar.  For some reason, Darktable has no menus.  If you want to save or export an image finding the exact item is quite hard, unless you already learnt it or are extremely familiar with the interface.  Therefore, this is not a programme for casual users.  This is a full featured programme for experts and pro level photographers.

This is not criticism, it’s just pointing out the way it works.

It’s very flexible, with endless options to work in, and while you can create collections or import your photos this is not enforced; you can open a single picture with it, work and close it without being asked to add any folders or import anything.

Darktable is available in virtually all distributions’ repositories, and for download as a separated package.  it’s also available for MacOSX and Windows.

If you want to know more, please, check the links section below.


Rawtherapee has a more intuitive and easy to use  interface.  It’s also very focused on large numbers of pictures, in importing them from a folder or a camera and working with them together.

When you start the programme you import all your photos from a folder and they’re shown in a strip.  It’s hard to see the details even if you open the photo in its own screen because the focus of Rawtherapee is working in groups of photos rather individual ones.  However you can change general parameters like light and colours without much problem, and it’s easier to export or save here.

Also, there’s an option in the beginning to tick or untick pictures to be imported, so you can leave out the ones that don’t interest you at the moment.

Rawtherapee is also available in all distributions’ repositories, and for download as a separated package.  It’s also available for MacOSX and Windows.

Again, if you’re interested to know more, please, check the links section below.






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