For ages, I’ve been using Google Picasa to manage and tweak photos I took with my point-and-shoot cameras. Its editing tools are pretty limited, and the Linux version is just a not-so-pretty port that runs in Wine. When I moved to a DSLR camera these and other limitations became even more apparent. So when Google released Picasa 3.5 for Windows, leaving Linux users behind with the older 3.0 release, I decided that it was time to move on. After testing different photo editing and management applications for Linux, I settled for digiKam.
For many serious photographers using Linux, this is probably an obvious choice, since digiKam offers pretty much all the features you’d expect from a competent photo management application. Of course, as a writer who covers Linux and open source software, I knew about digiKam and even wrote a few articles about it. But at that point, it was overkill for my needs. Now, however, digiKam is exactly what I need. It can handle raw files and it offers excellent organizing tools (tagging, geocorrelation, star rating, powerful filtering options, etc). digiKam also provides an impressive collection of photoediting and batch processing tools as well as a sharing feature which lets you upload your photos to popular photo sharing services like Flickr, Picasa Web, and SmugMug. All in all, digiKam is a real gem, and I’ll be donating a few euros to the project.