I've been on the lookout for an app filling these requirements for quite a while, so I figure I will just write my list all in one place.

Hard requirements:

  • Open source and actively developed
  • Allows saving tags directly into photo files (it's okay if this is configurable and not the default; usually the default in such apps is to save metadata into the tool's own special database)
  • Allows searching by tags
  • Has a GUI (i.e. ExifTool won't do)
  • Must run on Linux

Really really desirable but not absolute musts:

  • Allows tagging videos as well as photos (also with the tags saved directly to the files), and searching videos
  • Can navigate the filesystem without having to "import" photos first
  • Can have keyboard shortcuts set up for tags to be applied to photos/videos, making it easy to do this singly or in bulk
  • Runs on both Linux and Mac

"Nice to haves":

  • Can be used to set up "collections" of photos (or any files, really) without moving the files' positions on the filesystem
  • Can have "smart collections" set up with essentially saved searches

(Incidentally, ALL of these points except for "open source" and "runs on Linux" are fulfilled by the proprietary, gratis application Adobe Bridge. But I'm trying to move from Mac to Linux and cut proprietary applications out of my workflow.)

By the way, I don't actually care if the app can edit the files or not in terms of photo editing/color correction/etc. I just care about tagging and searching, and maybe rating (which I count in with tagging).


1 Answer 1


digikam is a full fledged photo management application that runs on linux and windows.

  • 1
    Per the question I linked to in comments, it stores tag info in a database, not to the image files. Has that changed? Can you expand your answer to indicate how it meets or doesn’t meet the other traits I listed?
    – Wildcard
    Jun 11, 2019 at 15:24
  • 2
    I am using Digikam for 3 years now and store in the image files always worked for me since i transfer photos between android and digikam and changes on one side arrive on the other side.
    – k3b
    Jun 11, 2019 at 15:28

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.