How to Install RawTherapee on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

For those looking to install RawTherapee on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish or its older stable release Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa, the journey to superior photo post-processing begins here. RawTherapee, an advanced open-source raw image processor, promises to transform how photography enthusiasts and professionals approach their craft. Designed with precision and efficiency, this software ensures every image is showcased at its best. Let’s delve into the unique attributes that make RawTherapee a top choice for photo editing:

Key Features of RawTherapee:

  • Precision and Power: Equipped with tools for meticulous adjustments, RawTherapee offers unparalleled control over aspects like exposure, color, and sharpness.
  • Open-Source Advantage: Beyond being free, its open-source nature means RawTherapee benefits from a community that continually refines and enhances the platform.
  • Safe Editing: Embrace creativity without reservations, thanks to the non-destructive editing feature that keeps original images untouched.
  • Broad File Compatibility: With support for numerous raw formats, RawTherapee caters to a variety of cameras and also accommodates JPEGs, PNGs, and TIFFs.
  • Customizable Workflow: Personalize your editing environment. RawTherapee allows adjustments from layout to shortcut keys, aligning with individual preferences.

In essence, RawTherapee stands as a beacon of advanced functionality and precision in photo editing. As we move forward, this guide will provide detailed steps on seamlessly integrating RawTherapee into your Ubuntu system, ensuring you’re equipped with the best photo processing.

Install RawTherapee on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 via APT

Step 1: Update Your Ubuntu System Before RawTherapee Installation

To create a stable and conflict-free environment for your new software, it’s crucial to ensure your Ubuntu operating system is up-to-date. This is achieved by running the apt update command, which ensures your local package index is synchronized with the latest changes in the repositories.

sudo apt update

In addition to this, the apt upgrade command is also recommended. This command effectively installs the newest versions of your system’s software, ensuring it is fully updated. It is recommended to run both of these commands together, as shown below:

sudo apt upgrade

By running this, you’re priming your Ubuntu system to accept the new installation without any hitches, paving the way for a smooth installation of RawTherapee.

Step 2: Install RawTherapee on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 APT Command

RawTherapee can be installed on Ubuntu using different methods, including the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) via the terminal. This command-line tool allows us to interact with Ubuntu’s package management system. It simplifies the process of managing software on Unix-like computer systems.

Let’s go ahead and install RawTherapee using the apt install command as shown:

sudo apt install rawtherapee

Once you run this command, the terminal will interact with the repositories, fetch the RawTherapee software package, and install it onto your Ubuntu system.

Install RawTherapee on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 via Flatpak and Flathub

Flatpak is an open-source technology that provides a sandbox environment where users can run applications in isolation from the rest of the system. This installation method is becoming increasingly popular due to its security, compatibility, and ease of distribution benefits. It allows applications to run on any Linux distribution that supports Flatpak without any modifications to the application code.

Step 1: Enabling Flathub for RawThereapee on Ubuntu

Before we can install RawTherapee through Flatpak, we must first enable Flathub. Flathub is a third-party application store, essentially a repository of Flatpak applications. The wide variety of applications available on Flathub makes it an invaluable resource for users seeking to leverage the benefits of Flatpak installations.

To enable Flathub, we need to add it to our Flatpak configuration. This is achieved by executing the following command in the terminal:

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

This command checks if Flathub is already configured in your Flatpak setup (hence the --if-not-exists part). If not, it adds Flathub as a remote source of Flatpak applications.

Step 2: Install RawTherapee on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 via Flatpak Command

Once Flathub is enabled and your system is ready to fetch applications from it, you can install RawTherapee on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04. This is achieved by using the flatpak install command. This command fetches the RawTherapee application from the Flathub repository and installs it on your system. Run the following command in your terminal:

flatpak install flathub com.rawtherapee.RawTherapee -y

With this command, you’re not just installing the RawTherapee application but also obtaining the latest version of the application that’s available on Flathub. Flatpak takes care of all the application’s dependencies, giving you a smooth installation experience.

If your system doesn’t have Flatpak installed, you can refer to our comprehensive guide on How to Install Flatpak on Ubuntu for detailed instructions on how to install the most recent supported version of Flatpak.

Launching RawTherapee on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Now that we’ve successfully installed RawTherapee on your Ubuntu system, let’s launch the application. This can be achieved via two different methods, based on whether you installed the application using APT or Flatpak. Both methods are straightforward and will get RawTherapee up and running quickly.

Launching RawTherapee from the Terminal on Ubuntu

If you installed RawTherapee using the APT method, you can launch the application by typing the following command in your terminal:


For those who installed RawTherapee using Flatpak, the command differs slightly. The flatpak run command is used to launch applications that have been installed via Flatpak. The following command should be used to open RawTherapee:

flatpak run com.rawtherapee.RawTherapee

Launching RawTherapee from the Ubuntu Desktop

RawTherapee can be launched directly from your Ubuntu desktop environment for those who prefer a more visual approach. This doesn’t require any command line instructions. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click on “Activities” at the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Choose “Show Applications” at the bottom of the sidebar that appears.
  3. Scroll through your installed applications or use the search function to find “RawTherapee“.
  4. Click on the RawTherapee icon to launch the application.
RawTherapee application icon displayed in the 'Show Activities' section of Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04.Pin
Spotting the RawTherapee application icon within the ‘Show Activities’ on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04.

Tips on Getting Started with RawTherapee on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Navigating a new software application can be a bit daunting, especially one as feature-packed as RawTherapee. Here are a few pointers to help you get acquainted with the application, optimize your workflow, and make the most out of its powerful features.

Familiarizing Yourself with the User Interface on RawTherapee with Ubuntu

As a beginner, understanding the layout of Rawtherapee’s interface is a great starting point:

  • File Browser Panel: Located on the left-hand side, this panel helps you navigate through your system’s directories, enabling you to locate and select images for processing.
  • Image Editor Panel: Found on the right-hand side, this panel houses various modules (like exposure, color, detail, transform, and raw) that let you adjust numerous parameters of the selected image.
  • Queue: This is where your edited images wait for batch processing. It’s accessible via the tab on the right-hand side.
  • History: It records all the changes made to an image. It is handy for comparing edits and even undoing them if necessary.

Optimizing RawTherapee Settings with Ubuntu

Customizing RawTherapee’s settings to match your workflow can significantly enhance your editing experience. Here are a few options:

  • Dark Theme: If you prefer a darker user interface, navigate to “Preferences > General > Theme” and select the dark theme. This is easier on the eyes, especially for long editing sessions.
  • Auto-Save Edits: To ensure you never lose your work, enable auto-save by navigating to “Preferences > Image Processing > Auto-Save“. With this feature, RawTherapee will save the progress on your current image every few minutes.
  • Custom Keyboard Shortcuts: Customize keyboard shortcuts to suit your workflow by going to “Preferences > Keyboard/Mouse“. This can make your editing process much faster.

Useful Tips for Image Editing on RawTherapee with Ubuntu

Here are some general tips to get you started with your image editing journey in RawTherapee:

  • Using Profiles: RawTherapee comes with several built-in editing profiles. These are presets that apply a set of pre-configured adjustments to your image. You can find them under the “Processing Profiles” section of the Image Editor panel.
  • Non-destructive Editing: RawTherapee performs non-destructive editing, which means all changes you make to an image are saved separately, and the original image file remains untouched. This allows you to experiment without the risk of permanently altering your original image.
  • Batch Processing: If you need to apply the same adjustments to a set of images, RawTherapee’s batch processing feature is a time-saver. Adjust one image to your liking, then copy its processing profile and paste it to other images in the queue.
Default user interface of RawTherapee when opened on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04.Pin
A first look at the default user interface of RawTherapee on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04.

Managing RawTherapee on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

It’s not just about installing software like RawTherapee; you also need to know how to maintain it, such as performing updates and, when necessary, uninstalling it from your Ubuntu Linux system. Let’s explore these actions and the respective commands that facilitate them.

Update RawTherapee on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Once you have RawTherapee installed, keeping it up-to-date ensures access to the latest features and bug fixes. How you update RawTherapee depends on your installation method.

APT Update Command Method for RawTherapee on Ubuntu

If you installed RawTherapee using the APT package manager, you can update it along with your other system packages using the following terminal command:

sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt upgrade

This command will first update your system’s repository index to ensure it references the latest versions of all packages. The second part of the command upgrades your installed packages, including RawTherapee, to their newest versions.

Flatpak Update Command Method for RawTherapee on Ubuntu

If RawTherapee was installed using Flatpak, you can update it by running the following command in your terminal:

flatpak update

This command checks your Flatpak repositories for updates and applies them. It covers all your Flatpak applications, including RawTherapee.

Remove RawTherapee from Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

There may come a time when you no longer need RawTherapee on your system. In such a case, you can uninstall it. Again, the exact method depends on how you installed the software initially.

APT Remove Command Method for RawTherapee on Ubuntu

If you’ve installed RawTherapee using the APT package manager, you can remove it with the following command:

sudo apt remove rawtherapee

This command uninstalls RawTherapee and removes any unused dependencies installed with it.

Flatpak Remove Command Method for RawTherapee on Ubuntu

For those who have installed RawTherapee through Flatpak, the uninstallation command is as follows:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data com.rawtherapee.RawTherapee -y

This command uninstalls RawTherapee and also deletes all data associated with the application.

In both cases, the -y flag is used to automatically answer yes to all prompts, thus allowing the operations to run without manual intervention.


Throughout this guide, we’ve navigated through installing, launching, and managing RawTherapee on Ubuntu Linux. We’ve delved into two different methods of installation – the traditional APT and the more versatile Flatpak – and highlighted the benefits and use cases of both. We also touched on launching the software using terminal commands or Ubuntu’s desktop interface. To round things off, we provided insights into how to keep the software updated and uninstall it when necessary. We hope this journey has empowered you to comfortably install and manage RawTherapee on your Ubuntu system and make the most of this fantastic photo-processing tool.

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