I want to switch from Windows to Linux. I know I could run Windows programs on Linux by using Wine. But I'm looking for an alternative software which I can use there to do photo development. I'm looking for a software for developing photos. The software should have the following requirements:

  • RAW support, I take the photos from my Nikon in RAW format
  • Import from a specific folder, where I put my photos would be great
  • Possible support for Dropbox, but not necessary
  • Development support for photos
  • Correcting pictures (lighter, darker, white balance, grey levels, curve layer,...)
  • Change the color of some elements
  • Lens correction
  • Tagging and describing pictures
  • Change the lighting
  • Different available profiles for changing the pictures
  • Export to the Web, File, Print
  • Nice to have: Possible upload to Flickr and 500px

For an easy switch it would be best to have a similar layout. What software can you recommend?

  • 2
    Darktable. Didn't use it but see about it here: alpha1beta.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/…
    – juergen d
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 10:12
  • Which features you are using? Only editing, or also categorizing, tags, web view, map etc.?
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 13:44
  • Not only editing, I'm uploading the pictures to flickr and 500px. Therefore tagging and categorizing is useful. Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 18:20
  • Not being proficient in this area, I don't know all the "shadows" of Lightroom. From the screenshots of already mentioned alternatives it might be RawTherapee is a candidate as well? The screenshot selection could give you a brief overview on it.
    – Izzy
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 19:11
  • 1
    @IrgendwPointer Would you clarify what this question is about? Cause I feel unhappy marking my Q as dup of this as it does not contain the specification you want (and thus its unclear). See also this meta on asking about alternatives: meta.softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/1/… Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 18:45

2 Answers 2


Darktable is a quite good alternative for Lightroom. It's constantly developed, open source and free, does not require sign up, and it have number of modules for development of photos, beside a very good cataloguing, mapping and tagging options.

Darktable UI

Beside other features it support:

  • Tagging
  • Non-destructive development
  • Color manipulation
  • Tone mapping
  • Exposure control
  • Watermarking and other postprocessing
  • Built-in ICC profile support: sRGB, Adobe RGB, XYZ and linear RGB
  • Import of raw and high dynamic range image formats (e.g. jpg, cr2, hdr, nef, pfm, etc)
  • Tethered shooting
  • Export low dynamic range (JPEG, PNG, TIFF), 16-bit (PPM, TIFF), or linear high dynamic range (PFM, EXR) images
  • Export to Picasa web albums, Flickr, email attachments etc
  • Generating an HTML-based web gallery

Full list of features is available here

  • I second darktable, with the caveat that it has a steep learning curve and occasionally crashes. It is powerful though, and once your learn some of the controls it becomes more intuitive than lightroom (e.g., 2D controls instead of sliders). If you are a lightroom poweruser you WILL be frustrated with this and any alternative, at least for a while. Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 10:49
  • I use darktable now for more than one and a half year. I really like it and I can create very impressive pictures. Therefore darktable is a good replacement for Lightroom. However it is still only available for Linux and Mac OS, but that does not matter. Anyway if you want to see some results, you are welcome to checkout my blog www.fobo.at or go through my 500px profile to see what I did w/ darktable until now. Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 11:16

You'll never find a real clone of LightRoom, but LightZone is an excellent free alternative.

LightZone UI

Among many other features, it also supports...

  • Nondestructive RAW Editing
  • Batch Editing
  • Channel Mixers
  • Filters
  • Etc...
  • 1
    I wouldn't call it excellent replacement. Editing is very similar, but all the rest is missing: catalogues, flags, tags, good filtering.
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 13:38
  • 1
    @Olli indeed. But as far as I've used, it's still the best alternative. It's like Gimp vs Photoshop - Gimp is debatably the best alternative, but still barely holds a candle to PS. All in all, LightZone does compare better with Lightroom than Gimp does with PS.
    – dotVezz
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 13:41
  • yes, I agree it's the best alternative. However, I disagree on that LightZone<->Lightroom vs. GIMP<->PS. But that's not subject for these comments, chat might be better place to discuss that.
    – Olli
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 13:43
  • Actually I can't agree Lightzone is best alternative for Lightroom, as it really depends on what user needs. For me after trying old Bibble, Rawtherapee, Lightzone, Photoivo and Darktable for extended time, Darktable meet most if not all of my requirements but this would still be highly personal based opinion to say Darktable is the best. It really depends on which options user need in his photo workflow.
    – danijelc
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 15:18

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