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Darktable vs. Shotwell: Two Great Photo Editing Apps

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Until recently, Linux only had GIMP as an acceptable photo editing tool. That’s changed, thanks to a couple new tools that provide impressive features: Darktable and Shotwell.

The great thing about these two tools is that they are specifically developed for editing photos, rather than general image manipulation. This ultimately provides a better-designed interface and a more efficient workflow. I compared the two applications based on the interface and features in order to see which is the best tool for the job.


Shotwell is a rather lightweight application found in most Gnome-based distributions. Most distributions had included F-Spot before they shipped Shotwell, but F-Spot wasn’t quite as feature-filled and it was dependent on Mono — the patent-encumbered Linux equivalent of Microsoft’s .NET Framework. With Shotwell, people had a more useful application that they could also feel good about using.

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