Exploring Linux - Part 24
by Alan German
years, I have struggled with the variety of digital image
tools provided with default installations of Ubuntu. I
never liked image viewers that wouldn't show me
thumbnails of all the pictures in a given folder, or
those that did not give me quick access to a simple
editor in order to crop an image or make a slight change
to its brightness. And, I simply hated photo managers
that insisted on arranging my pictures chronologically,
rather than having one folder hold all the pictures from
a specific trip.
In fact, the only reason that I didn't undertake a
systematic search for an appropriate alternative was that
horrors Zoner Photo Studio Free (http://opcug.ca/public/Reviews/zoner.htm), in the (dual-boot) Windows'
world, provided everything I needed. However, I recently
came across gThumb, a Gnome-based image viewer, and found
that this was my new Linux tool of choice.
Interestingly, this all came about after I read a glowing
review of Mint 14 with the Cinnamon user interface. I
downloaded Mint and installed it on a bootable USB memory
stick. In trying out this distro, I discovered that
Mint's default image viewer is gThumb. I liked my
preview of this package so much I decided to
install it on my production Ubuntu system.
The basic image viewer shows thumbnails of all the images
in a selected folder, together with a tree directory of
available folders in the left sidebar. The size of the
thumbnails, and the information displayed alongside each
(e.g. file name), are configurable. Similarly,
double-clicking on a specific image can be set to display
the image so as to fill program's window. Icons are
available to show an extensive list of the image's
properties, or to open an image editor in order to modify
the actual image. While the available editing tools are
not exhaustive, many useful items are provided, including
brightness, contrast and colour adjustment; image
cropping, resizing and rotation; and red-eye removal.
Images can be downloaded from a digital camera although,
in my view, this process isn't perfect. While a folder
can be specified to hold all of the downloaded images,
the program still creates a sub-folder, named with the
current date and time, and places all of the images
inside this sub-folder. However, it's now a simple matter
to transfer all of the downloaded files into a specific
folder of the user's choice. This is certainly much
easier than having to combine files from multiple
days into a single, user-defined folder.
The program has a multitude of other features including
the ability to create slideshows; to export photographs
to social-media sites or web-based photo-albums; burn
them to optical disks; or to print contact sheets. Many
of these options are provided as plug-in extensions and
additional features are available through this mechanism.
is highly configurable simply by editing a
preferences menu. For example, one really
useful feature, where screen real-estate is at a premium,
is to change the location for the group of thumbnails
that is displayed in the image viewer. By default, these
thumbnails are shown across the bottom of the window;
however, this severely restricts the height and
hence the overall size at which the image selected
is displayed. Switching the location to be on the
side easily resolves this issue.
So, for my way of working with digital images, gThumb is
certainly a keeper!
Originally published: March, 2013
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The opinions expressed in these reviews
do not necessarily represent the views of the
Ottawa PC Users' Group or its members.