Let me start by noting that this has already been answered for Windows at A program to sort and rename photos (drag & drop). I might go for that in the end, but I'm still wondering if there's something that runs natively on Linux.

Back in the analog days, when you wanted to create a slide show from a given set of slides, you would put them on a light table so you could easily move them around and put them into the desired order before you put them in the magazine for the projector. I need something like this in the digital world.

Background is, that I have a pile of scanned slides that were digitized out of order (because the "good ones" were pulled out from where the whole rolls were archived to – oh the irony – be part of a slide show). Sorting the physical slides first and re-scanning them in the right order unfortunately is not an option.

I'm looking for a piece of software where I can freely arrange thumbnail views of a hundred or so image files by dragging them around with the mouse. I'd also like to be able to view single files in full size or compare two of them side by side. Then, when I'm satisfied with the order, I'd like to rename the files, adding a numerical prefix in order to make that new order permanent. (Edit to clarify: this is mostly for archiving purporses; renaming is not optional)

Applications like Darktable or Digikam do have something they call a "light table" view, but this is not what I need, as the order of the images shown is fixed. Krename is a great re-namer with many options for systematic re-ordering, but it doesn't let me move around thumbnails freely.

I've been searching for quite a while now and I'm starting to suspect that this just doesn't exist for Linux. Can anybody prove me wrong?

2 Answers 2


XNView MP cover most of your requirements: run natively on Linux, visual, you can reorder images by drag-and-drop, you can view image on full size, can create slideshow on desired order of images (so you do not need to rename images, just play slideshow).

  • 2
    Thanks for the answer, that is almost exactly what I had in mind. Renaming is not optional for me, though, because I need to be able to view the files in the correct order in a regular file broswser as well. Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 7:53

If you don't insist on using the mouse, but would also be ok with using just key-commands, and if "fit to window" would be ok (full width view maybe will be added later), and if you can abstain from "compare two of them side by side", you might become happy with this new viewer: https://codeberg.org/klartext/plio

It has a lot of sorting options but also let's you reorder the images in custom order. Renaming is automatically bulk renaming, for example prepending an integer number (reflecting the order of the images) to the basename of the images. But when using sort-by-modification-time, the modification-time as subseconds unix epoch is prepended to the basename.

  • Looks like a neat project, I'll have to give that a try on day. Commented May 9, 2023 at 12:24

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