Darktable is a free and open-source photography application program and raw developer. Rather than being a raster graphics editor like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, it comprises a subset of image editing operations specifically aimed at non-destructive raw image post-production. In addition to basic RAW conversion, Darktable is equipped with various tools for basic and advanced image editing.
These include exposure correction, color management, white balance, image sharpening, noise reduction, perspective correction, and local retouching. As a result, Darktable is an incredibly powerful tool for photographers of all experience levels. Best of all, it is entirely free to download and use.
In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Darktable on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish desktop using the command line terminal.
Table of Contents
First, update your system to ensure all existing packages are up to date to avoid conflicts.
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
Install Darktable – APT Ubuntu Method
The first installation option is to use the APT manager, the easiest and quickest method for installing Darktable installation.
Run the following command to install the software.
sudo apt install darktable -y
Install Darktable – APT PPA Method
The second and probably the best method to utilize the APT package manager is to install the PPA by Rob Savoury, who has maintained a vast amount of PPAs for quite a long time amongst many Ubuntu LTS distributions.
First, import the Darktable/Graphics PPA.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:savoury1/graphics -y
Secondly, it is recommended to import the FFMPEG PPA by Rob Savoury for multimedia compatibility, as these contain updated dependencies that reflect Darktable and many other applications on your desktop.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:savoury1/ffmpeg4 -y sudo add-apt-repository ppa:savoury1/ffmpeg5 -y
Note that importing these PPAs will give you the latest in many multimedia packages. This will be desirable for most users, but note that with any PPA, instabilities can occur. The Rob Savory PPAs are known to be well and truly stable so that issues will be at a minimum, and he is swift in updating packages.
Next, run an APT update to reflect the new additions.
sudo apt-get update
Before you continue, run an APT upgrade as many dependencies will need to be upgraded, it is best to do this before the installation.
sudo apt upgrade
Now install Darktable.
sudo apt install darktable -y
Install Darktable – Flatpak Method
The third option is to use the Flatpak package manager. Flatpak is not installed natively on Ubuntu 22.04, given Canonical is behind both Ubuntu and Snaps, but it is available to install if you so wish.
First, install the Flatpak manager if it was removed previously.
sudo apt install flatpak -y
For users installing Flatpak for the first time, it is often recommended to reboot your system. Failure to do this can occur with odd issues, such as paths not being generated for icons.
SKIP THE REBOOT IF FLATPAK IS INSTALLED.
Next, you need to enable Flatpack using the following command in your terminal.
sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
Now install Darktable using the following flatpak command.
flatpak install flathub org.darktable.Darktable -y
How to Launch Darktable
Launching can be done in a few ways now that you have the software installed.
First, in your terminal, type the following command to launch immediately.
Alternatively, Flatpak users will need to launch using the command below from a terminal instance.
flatpak run org.darktable.Darktable
However, this is not practical, and you would use the following path on your desktop.
Show Applications > Show Applications> Darktable.
Once open, you can begin to use image-editing software. For complete documentation on getting started with Darktable, I suggest first-time users visit the official Darktable resources page.
How to Update/Upgrade Darktable
Depending on the method of installation used, the following commands can be used to update.
APT Update Method
sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt upgrade
Flatpak Update Method
How to Remove (Uninstall) Darktable
Use one of the following commands to suit the original installation method for users who no longer require the application.
APT Remove Method
sudo apt autoremove darktable -y
Flatpak Remove Method
flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.darktable.Darktable
Next, run the following command for any leftover clean-up.
flatpak remove --unused
Comments and Conclusion
If you are a photographer looking for an open-source alternative to Adobe Photoshop, Darktable is worth checking out. It has all the features you need to edit your photos in a non-destructive way and is free.