I'm looking for free (ideally open-source) image viewer and organiser which has the following features:

  • Full screen preview of images with basic zoom in/out abilities.
  • Image thumbnail grid view of the folders (like ACDSee, Adobe Bridge, etc.).
  • Face recognition to organise family albums (like Picasa, iPhoto, etc.).

3 Answers 3


There are few alternatives:

  • digiKam (GPLv3) [Mac, Windows, Linux, BSD]

An open source image viewer that allows you to directly zoom into large collections of tens of thousand of images from tiny thumbnails down to the images' original size fluently with short load times and no loss of interactivity.

Face detection and recognition support.

  • FotoBounce (with free & paid licenses) [Mac, Windows]
    Fotobounce was officially retired on October 1, 2018. They recommend having a look at TagThatPhoto instead. Their free plan (which is not open source) includes tagging of 10 persons.

Fotobounce makes organizing your digital pics fast and easy with its face recognition technology. This is a great tool when you have hundreds, if not thousands of photos. (Can you say “new baby?”) Fotobounce detects the faces, suggests names which you approve and voila! The photos are tagged and easily searched – especially helpful for putting together family photo montages for anniversaries, birthday parties and more.

addition 2023-08-25: Powered by Applied Recognition's patented face recognition engine, Tag That Photo finds and recognizes faces better than any other desktop product. -- they claim on their website. Untested.[^insidiousplan]

  • imgSeek - Intelligent image database [Windows, Linux, OS X], see: sourceforge

    Although it's a full-featured image viewer and manager, this app focuses on enabling content-based search. Quickly sketch an image or click on an existing photo to find other photos containing similar images.

  • Galapix [Linux, POSIX], C++ implementation, see: GitHub

    An image viewer that allows you to directly zoom into large collection of tens of thousand of images from tiny thumbnails down to the images original size fluently with very short load times and no loss of interactivity.

  • Sequential (BSD licensed) [Mac only], see: GitHub

    An image viewer for Mac OS X originally designed for opening a folder of images and displaying them in order. Sequential can display folders and archives (ZIP, RAR, CBZ and CBR) of images (including JPEG, PNG, and GIF) and PDF files. It is able to load images on the internet from a page or image URL.

  • Tonfotos (Freeware, still in Beta phase) [Windows, Linux, OS X]

    Tonfotos simplifies browsing of large photo collection by grouping shots by events, dates, people, locations and so on. Quickly find what you need regardless where files are stored - on your computer, external drives or NAS. While in beta stage, Tonfotos is available for free to the beta program participants.

    [^insidiousplan]: Since this is softwarerecs, I'll rec something related to this software: Personally, I plan to try the free plan, and, provided this is as useful as they claim, go for one of the plans with the unlimited amount of face tags, let it plough through the relevant photos in my library (which includes more than 100 people) once, and then almost certainly go back to digikam and do the work by hand from now into the future. At least I don't have to spend hours and days to tag the faces of the past. Don't tell the devs about this. (I hope SE supports footnotes in due time, at which point this will look nicer than it looks ugly now.

  • 6
    Why would you ask a question with specific requirements and then list some without knowing if they are met. I know digiKam doesnt have face recognition. No idea about rest but their respective sites would say so if they have.
    – ouzture
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 14:48
  • @ouzture Just to have some starting point for testing. I've tried to install digiKam on OSX, but I had installing issues, so I had to patch Homebrew cask rules to use the recent version. Since you know digiKam doesn't have, i'll add a note then.
    – kenorb
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 15:34
  • 1
    As far as I have seen none of the mentioned products supports face recognition. Further, e.g. Nomacs seems to be a pure viewer (not an organizer). FotoBounce is missing (proprietary but face recognition support.) Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 7:07

You should have a look at digiKam, as of all the alternatives that I have checked it comes closest to fulfilling your requirements:

  • Full screen preview with basic zoom in/out abilites
  • Image thumbnail grid view of the folders
  • Face recognition

One thing, however, is that the fullscreen preview does not seem to support zooming in the version that I've tried (3.5.0) - although the normal view does.

For a more thorough overview about currently available image management software check the corresponding Wikipedia entry.

  • 2
    Of note is that digiKam's face recognition is quite ropey IMO. I've been using it for several years but Picasa - which I used before I moved to digiKam - had far better face recognition. It's improved but Picasa outranks it easily in this respect. Indeed the reason I'm here is looking for something that does face recognition better on linux.
    – pbhj
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 17:04
  • Shotwell used to have face recognition, but it was removed as being too buggy. It has recently been reintroduced into the development version (0.29.3), so hopefully we'll have a satisfactory (non-ropey) recommendation soon.
    – hackerb9
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 5:07

FotoBounce seems to be replace by TagThatPhoto. FotoBounce was retired on October 1st 2018 according to it's website.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.