gThumb: View and manage your photos in Fedora

Fedora uses Eye of GNOME to display images, but it’s a very basic program. Out of the box, Fedora doesn’t have a great tool for managing photos. If you’re familiar with the Fedora Workstation’s desktop environment, GNOME, then you may be familiar with GNOME Photos. This is a young app available in GNOME Software that seeks to make managing photos a painless task. You may not know that there’s a more robust tool out there that packs more features and looks just as at home on Fedora. It’s called gThumb.

What is gThumb?

gThumb is hardly a new piece of software. The program has been around since 2001, though it looks very different now than it did back then. As GNOME has changed, so has gThumb. Today it’s the most feature-rich way of managing images using a GNOME 3 style interface.

While gThumb is an image viewer that you can use to replace Eye of GNOME, that’s only the beginning of what it can do. Thanks to the inclusion of features you would normally find in photo managers like digiKam or the now discontinued Picasa, I use it to view the pictures I capture with my DSLR camera.

How gThumb handles photos

At its core, gThumb is an image viewer. While it can organize your collection, its primary function is to display pictures in the folders they’re already in. It doesn’t move them around. I consider this a plus.

I download images from my camera using Rapid Photo Downloader, which organized and renames files precisely as I want them. All I want from a photo manager is the ability to easily view these images without much fuss.

That’s not to say that gThumb doesn’t offer any of the extra organizational tools you may expect from a photo manager. It comes with a few.

Labeling, grouping, and organizing

Determining your photo’s physical location on your hard drive is only one of many ways to keep up with your images. Once your collection grows, you may want to use tags. These are keywords that can help you mark and recall pictures of a certain type, such as birthdays, visits to the park, and sporting events. To remember details about a specific picture, you can leave a comment.

gThumb lets you save photos to one of three collections, indicated by three flags in the bottom right corner. These groups are color coordinated, with the options being green, red, and blue. It’s up to you to remember which collections correspond with what color.

Alternatively, you can let gThumb organize your images into catalogs. Catalogs can be based on the date images were taken, the date they were edited, or by tags.

It’s also an image editor

gThumb provides enough editing functions to meet most of my needs. It can crop photos, rotate them, and adjust aspects such as contrast, lightness, and saturation. It can also remove red-eye. I still fire up the GIMP whenever I need to do any serious editing, but gThumb is a much faster way of handing the basics.

gThumb is maintained by the GNOME Project, just like Eye of GNOME and GNOME Photos. Each offers a different degree of functionality. Before you walk away thinking that GNOME’s integrated photo viewers are all too basic, give gThumb a try. It has become my favorite photo manager for Linux.

Fedora Project community


  1. Cornel Panceac

    Anybody can explain why it is not default? I remember the time when Shotwell became the default, even if it was way more resource hungry and have less features (sounds familiar?). At the time gThumb was more a tool to import photos from camera and indeed, later on, it crashed in spectacular ways at this task.

  2. Cornel Panceac

    Why is there even an option to NOT recevie follow-ups by email? Why isn’t the default to NOT receive? Isn’t this the whole point in requesting the email address? I mean, you don’t have to check the “Notify me of follow-up comments by email.” box for the email field to become mandatory, right?

    • Cornel Panceac

      s/*/Why IS the default to NOT receive?

  3. Mehdi

    I just installed gThumb and it looks a very fabulous piece of software, very handy and fast on the first sight. It also looks to be able to show videos (preview and playback) in folders.

  4. Period22

    A very useful program, I’ve been using it for years. It also got a lot prettier over tim e:-)

    Important for me has been the ability to print a number of pictures (4, 8, 32 per page etc.) in neat rows and columns, with automatic size adjustment, with our without file names and metadata, etc.

  5. Dan

    It’s nice, when it works. But it used to crash a lot for me, don’t know if it’s any better now.

  6. Greycoat

    Nice to see that gThumb IS THE DEFAULT on my newly installed Fedora 26 Cinnamon spin desktop. 🙂

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