Looking for a photo organizer

In a jungle of photo organizers, which one do you recommend?

Functionality I’m looking for:

  • Organized tagging. Say I tag a picture with “Eiffel tower”, it should also automatically be tagged with “Paris” and “France”, so that when I search for photos from France, I should get the Eiffel tower as one of the hits.

  • Ability to do some simple photo editing. Like crop, adjust contrast, brightens, …

  • Keep the original file. If a file is edited, don’t overwrite the original.

  • Store the photos as individual files. I’d like to get my photos even if the organizing software becomes inaccessible.

(- nice if it also is able to tag/organize other types of media as well, like video and sound recording, pdf, ppt, … Basically so that the powerpoint that was used with a speech, the speech notes, the sound recording of the speech and the photos can all be part of the search result.)

Any suggestions for software to use?


I have good experiences with shotwell and it works also with a huge database quite good. It supports all major image and video formats: Supported photo and video formats, but nothing more, since it is a personal photos organizer.

Recordings (not music), PDFs, PPT etc. are in my understanding documents, which shouldn’t be in a photo organizer. There are other ways to organize them. I would rather use a notebook app with attachments for them or pure file system and folders or use a search app like tracker (which i prefer over Zeitgeist), but there also other full-text-index search tools: List of applications - ArchWiki


Have a look at DigiKam. Good on the organisation front, especially with keywords.


Digikam https://www.digikam.org/about/features/


Thanks. Digikams list of features is overwhelming… I’ll try it out.

Question about digikam: When you make changes to a photo (i.e. crop), does it overwrite the original file or store it as a new file marked as a version of the original?

Overwrites the original. Below is a quote from the manual

The editing functions of the Image Editor will make changes to your photograph. None of the editing functions will change the original photograph unless you select File → Save or click the Save button in the tool bar. Note that once you have saved the changed version you will not be able to recover the original photograph.

You might prefer to take a copy of your photograph before you make any changes. You can use File → Save As… to save a working copy.


For a long time always one of the first things for me to install on every OS.
Its available in AUR.


digiKam has powerful Non-destructive Editing and Versioning features that can be enabled/disabled in the Image Editor Settings look for the Image Versioning Settings in previous link to the official documentation.

I have been using digiKam religiously. First found out about it while on macOS. At first I didn’t like the interface and didn’t know what it’s capable of. The bright UI turned me off and I removed the program. But I needed a good DAM (Digital Asset Management) for photo, and after a lengthy search, I decided to just give digiKam a chance, so I put in the time to explore, and now I can’t live without it. It is truly an amazing app and it’s free! Once you know how to use it, you will wonder why you didn’t find out about it sooner.

For mass conversion of photo, you can’t beat XnConvert (free). Also check out PureRef. Now that is one heck of a combo: digiKam, PureRef, XnConvert.