F-Spot was once became a favorite open source photo management tool by Linux users, especially those using GNOME. But now, the project has been discontinued. Today, Shotwell is becoming a popular photo management tool for Linux. In addition, there are also a bunch of popular photo management tools out there, other than Shotwell.
Photo management tool is crucial enough if you are a photographer who always taking photos every single day. It is the first tool you need on your workflow.
If you are a photographer and use open source products on your daily basis, following are the best open source photo management tools you can use. All are free.
The first open source photo management tool you can use to manage your photo collections is Shotwell. As I mentioned above, it is becoming a popular photo management tool widely-used by Linux users today since most popular Linux ditros, including Ubuntu, use it as the default photo management. Shotwell is pretty simple but powerful. In Shotwell, your photos are grouped by time. You will see the folder structure of year/month/date. For instance, if you made a photoshoot in February 11 2018 and imported your photos with Shotwell, you will have your photos in the “2018/02/11” folder.
Shotwell will also automatically detect the “Pictures” folder on your computer. Apart from managing photos, you can also use Shotwell to perform basic editing like cropping, adjusting saturation, adjusting exposure and so on. It is also capable of handling RAW files. Shotwell itself is developed by Yorba Foundation and licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License. The source code of the software is available on GitHub.
gThumb also comes with a simple interface much like Shotwell, which is extremely easy to use. At the first glance, you may assume that it is a mere image viewer instead of photo management tool, but no. gThumb has a good functionality as a photo management tool as well. You can use it to import photos from camera and your photos will also be gathered by the same folder structure as Shotwell.
Shotwell was originally written by Paolo Bacchilega, but its development is now handled by the GNOME team. The software is licensed under the GNU General Public License with the source code is also available on GitHub.
Gwenview is basically a default image viewer for KDE Plasma. However, you can also use to manage the photo collections you have on your laptop. Honestly, Gwenview is probably not the best option of photo management tool on this list, but there is no bad if you want to give it a try. The tool supports plugins to enhance its functionalities. You can also get the source code of this software on GitHub, which is licensed under the GNU General Public License.
Three open source photo management tools above are only available for Linux. If you use Windows or Mac and is looking for an open source photo management tool for your computer, digiKam is the best tool you can try. It is available for Linux, Windows and macOS. digiKam is develoed by KDE.
Compared to three tools above, digiKam is much more complex. This tool requires a database to work (it will create one on the first launch). digiKam is a nice tool if you always shoot in RAW. It can manage RAW files very well. The source code of this tool is also available on GitHub under the GNU General Public License.
KPhotoAlbum uses the same concept as digiKam in managing your photos. It also requires a database to work, which will be created when you launch it for the first time. Its features are also similar to digiKam, which is complex enough. As you can guess from its name, KPhotoAlbum was originally intended for KDE Plasma, but you can also install it on other desktop environments as well. The developer of KPhotoAlbum also provides the source code on GitHub, while the binary files can be downloaded on its official site.
Picty is a simple but useful tool to manage your photo collections. It comes with a tabbed interface which makes it great to work with hundreds of photos in different folders on your computer. Picty features a handy search box to allow you filtering photos by date taken, tags and modification date. Picty comes with a capability to add additional information to the photo metadata like the title of the photo, photographer, description etc. Same as five tools above, the source code of Picty is also available on GitHub under the GNU General Public License.