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Darktable on Linux

As an image workstation, Darktable is one of the most popular ones. It possesses tremendous power like the ability to manage digital photo negatives, a “zoomable” Lightroom, developing raw photos and much more. But the best part is, it’s free of charge. Darktable is an open-source tool for the power users.

This app offers a number of things just like the paid software. In the digital photography space, Darktable is very competitive for that. For Linux users, installing Darktable is pretty simple. Let’s get started.

Don’t forget to check out Inkscape – an awesome, open-source graphics tool for everyone.

Installing Darktable

There are a number of Linux distros available in the market. For installing Darktable, run the following commands according to your Linux distro.

  • Ubuntu

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Installing for Ubuntu is pretty simple. Run the following command –

sudo apt install darktable

For getting the latest version, add a repository and install Darktable from there. Run the following commands –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pmjdebruijn/darktable-release
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

sudo apt install darktable

  • Debian

Darktable is already inside the official repository of Debian. However, as you already know the way Debian works, the version in the repo is very old. That’s why you have to enable backports first.

Run the following commands to create a backup of the current repository file –


cp /etc/apt/sources.list /home/username/ 
cd /home/username/
mv sources.list sources.list.bak

Open the “sources.list” file using Nano –

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

At the last line, add the following text –

deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian stretch-backports main

Press “Ctrl + O” and “Ctrl + X” to save and exit the editor. Now, update your repository and other software –

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Install Darktable –

sudo apt-get -t stretch-backports install darktable
  • Fedora

Enable 3rd-party repository –

# Fedora Rawhide
sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/graphics:darktable/Fedora_Rawhide/graphics:darktable.repo

# Fedora 28
sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/graphics:darktable/Fedora_28/graphics:darktable.repo

# Fedora 27
sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/graphics:darktable/Fedora_27/graphics:darktable.repo

Run update –

sudo dnf update -y

Install Darktable –

sudo dnf install darktable
  • OpenSUSE

Add repository –

# openSUSE Leap 15
sudo zypper addrepo https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/graphics:darktable/openSUSE_Leap_15.0/graphics:darktable.repo

# openSUSE Leap 42.3
sudo zypper addrepo https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/graphics:darktable/openSUSE_Leap_42.3/graphics:darktable.repo

# For Tumbleweed, no need for any additional repository.

Update the local repo database –

sudo zypper update

Install Darktable –

sudo zypper install darktable
  • Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S darktable
  • Snap package

Darktable is also available in snap! Run the following command –

sudo snap install darktable

Of course, you have to have snap core pre-installed in your system. Install snap core.

  • Generic instruction

If your system wasn’t in the list above, you can either check out the Darktable install page or build and install Darktable from the source. Make sure that your system satisfies the following native dependencies –

  • libsqlite3
  • libjpeg
  • libpng
  • libpugixml
  • rawspeed
  • gtk+-3
  • cairo
  • lcms2
  • exiv2
  • tiff
  • curl
  • gphoto2
  • dbus-glib
  • fop
  • openexr
  • 4
  • wget

Now, run the following commands –

wget https://github.com/darktable-org/darktable/releases/download/release-2.4.4/darktable-2.4.4.tar.xz

tar -xvf darktable-2.4.4.tar.xz && cd darktable-2.4.4

Using Darktable

After the installation is complete, launch Darktable.

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