Fotoxx - current release 17.01.1   Deutsch   EspaƱol

Fotoxx is a free open source Linux program for image editing and collection management.
The goal is to meet the needs of serious photographers while remaining fast and easy to use.

Click the image above to see a full-size image.

Short Overview
Navigate a large image collection using a thumbnail browser, click on an image to view or edit. A rich set of edit and retouch functions is available (examples below). Import RAW files and edit with deep color. Save revised images as JPEG, PNG (8/16 bits), or TIFF (8/16). Select an object or area within an image (freehand outline, follow edges, select matching tones...), apply edit functions, copy and paste, resize, blend, warp, etc. without using layers. Edit functions have fast feedback using the full image. Edit image metadata (tags, geotags, dates, ratings, captions...). Search images using metadata and folder/file names or partial names. Click on a marked map location to see all photos from that location. Batch functions are available to rename, add/revise metadata, copy/move, resize, convert format. Fotoxx uses your image files wherever they are and maintains a separate index for fast searching. Fotoxx is standards compliant and can be used with other photo programs (no lock-in). Fotoxx is easy to use but unconventional, so please read the user manual (at least the first few pages) before jumping in.

Fotoxx Demo
video provides a basic understanding of how Fotoxx works.
Fotoxx can be downloaded from many places. Watch out for very old releases.
The latest release is here: downloads.
for some other Linux flavors: 
Instructions for Fedora:
Packages for OpenSUSE: 
Long Overview  (or skip the verbiage and scroll down to the examples below)
Fotoxx is a free Linux program for editing photos or other images and managing a large collection.
Image directories (folders) can be viewed as a scrolling gallery of thumbnail images. Navigating directories and subdirectories is simple and fast. Click on a thumbnail for a full window view of the image. The image can be zoomed, panned and scrolled using the mouse. Gallery thumbnails can vary from small to huge. Popup windows can be used to view multiple images at any scale. Galleries are also used to display image search results and albums. Albums are ordered collections of selected images. Fotoxx has many editing tools that go beyond the basics. Images with severe problems (underexposed, false colors, blurred, uneven lighting, hazy/foggy background) can be brought back to life. Details lost in shadows or haze can be brought out.

Fotoxx is standards compliant. Nothing done by Fotoxx makes your images less usable with other applications. Fotoxx uses your image files wherever they are: they are not moved or duplicated. Fotoxx does create an index for fast image searching, and thumbnail images for fast gallery displays. These add typically 1-2% to overall storage requirements.

Fotoxx can import RAW images and perform all processing in deep color (24 bits per color used internally). Edited images can be saved as JPEG, TIFF (8/16 bits/color), or PNG (8/16 bits).

Image edit functions are interactive, giving rapid response to adjustments using the full image or a chosen area. Undo and Redo can be applied serially to all the edits of an image. Intermediate and final results can be saved as file versions.

Objects or areas within an image can be selected and edited separately (select by matching tones, following edges, or freehand draw). There are no layers - results are seen instantly in the edited areas. Selected areas can be copied and pasted into other images, resized, turned, brightened, etc.

Batch functions are available to copy, move, rename, resize, upright, convert format, and add/revise metadata.

Several tools are available to change size and shape: crop, resize, rotate, fix perspective, flatten curved book pages, curve/warp the whole image or selected areas within the image.

Dust spots from old slides or photos can be removed, roadside trash or power lines can be erased. Panoramas can be made by stitching photos together seamlessly, matching brightness and color. Photos with a range of exposure values can be combined into an HDR image with adjustable contributions. Photos with varying depth of focus can be combined into an image that is sharp over the combined range. Photos of one scene taken at different moments can be combined to remove passing autos or tourists. Multiple photos made under low light conditions can be combined to reduce noise. Images and text can be combined into a montage, using the mouse to position and resize the elements and adjust overlaps and transparencies.

Fotoxx has a batch edit tool to speed the processing of multiple images requiring the same edits: record the edits made to a base image and then apply these edits automatically to any number of images.

Artistic effects are available to convert a photo into a line drawing, sketch, painting, embossing, cartoon, dot image, or mosaic. Background patterns can be added; e.g. the texture of artist's linen.

Images can be rapidly searched using file and folder names, dates, assigned tags, ratings and other data stored in the image metadata, from the camera or manually edited.
All search criteria can be used in combination; e.g. find Chicago photos for years 2002-2005 containing tags "Barbara" or "Barbie". Locations (from a camera GPS receiver or entered manually) can also be searched. You can view a map of any region in the world, at any scale, using an internet map service. Images having location data show as red dots on these maps. You can click the dots to get a gallery display of the corresponding images, which can be viewed full size or edited. Local map files of the world, each continent, and some countries are also available, and you can add your own maps at any scale. Local maps have no dependency on the internet. You can jump from a given photo to its position on a world map, where you can find other photos from the same or nearby positions.

Slide shows can be prepared. Choose animated transitions between images, pan and zoom effects, and places to auto-pause for narration.

Fotoxx includes a comprehensive user manual that also serves as interactive help on a function by function basis. You should take the time to read the overview pages. The function details can be viewed as needed for reference.
Detailed List of Fotoxx Capabilities

Overall Operation

Retouch Functions
Transform Functions
Combine Image Functions  
Arty Transforms  
Metadata Functions
Other Functions
The GUI is available in English, Catalan, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish. A comprehensive user guide is provided in English. If you can help with translations, see the topic Translations in the User Guide. This is technically easy but would require several days of work: there are over 1200 text strings to translate.

Fotoxx works best on a strong PC (2+ processor cores, 8+ GB). Weaker computers may be quite slow or may fail to edit very large images. 64-bit Linux is required. Monitors used for photo editing should be at least HD in size and have good color accuracy (most do not).

Performance and Limitations
Most image edit functions respond within a second on a strong PC and for images up to 20 megapixels. 100 megapixel images can be processed on a PC with 8+ GB RAM. Some composite functions (panorama, HDR) may need a minute or more when combining many large images. Search speed is generally below 2 seconds for collections up to 200,000 images.

Usage Examples
Click on the small images to see a full-size image.
These examples are not very useful on a smartphone (small) screen.

View a large collection of image files using a thumbnail gallery. Click on a thumbnail to view or edit a full-size image. Move around within gallery pages and navigate to other pages. A gallery may be a directory (folder) of image files, the output of an image search, or an album (ordered set of images). The thumbnails can be large or small and can be zoomed out to any scale with the mouse wheel.

Images can have geotags (via camera GPS or manually added). A scalable world map shows image location markers. Click on a marker to get a gallery of images, instantly.

Custom Favorites Menu

The Fotoxx menus are large and finding the function you want may take time. You can put the functions you use most frequently into a small popup window, and arrange the layout as desired. The popup is activated with a toolbar icon. You can use text or icons or both. Drag the menu items with the mouse to arrange as wanted. The popup window can be positioned anywhere and left open for convenient access to many functions.

RAW file import

The first image is the JPEG produced by the camera. The 2nd image is the RAW file from the camera, converted to TIFF-16. The 3rd image is the edited TIFF file saved as a JPEG file. The dark areas were lightened and color was slightly increased.

RAW files can be directly opened and edited, or you can use a batch function to select and convert many RAW files at once. The speed is 1-2 seconds per file on a strong PC. The converted files can be JPEG, TIFF (8 or 16 bits per RGB color), or PNG (8 or 16 bits). All editing is done with 24 bits per color.

Search Images

Add tags (keywords), geotags, titles, captions, dates, and ratings to images. Search images using these criteria as well as image file and directory names. Partial matching also works. Matching images are shown in a thumbnail gallery. Click a thumbnail to view or edit, or step through sequentially. Search speed is thousands of images per second. Tags, etc. are stored inside the images using EXIF and IPTC standards. They can be shared with other standards-compliant photo programs.

Search Metadata

Find images with any desired metadata, show thumbnail images with metadata text. Click a thumbnail to view full-size. There are also functions to view the key metadata for an image, view all available metadata, or edit any metadata. The search speed is slower (around 100 images per second) for metadata that is not indexed and must be read from the image files. The search speed can still be very fast if some indexed data is included in the search criteria (e.g. date range, folder/file names, tags, etc.).

Newer cameras with GPS receivers can add geotags (location and earth coordinates) to images automatically. Fotoxx also has a function to find the earth coordinates for a given location (city, park, monument ...) and add geotags to a bunch of images at once. If many photos made in one location are located together in your collection, you can quickly process all of them. If this work has been done, you can use the following geotag functions to find and display images from a given location as a gallery of clickable thumbnails.

Search Images Using Geotags

List image locations: group by country, country/location, or country/location/date. Click on a list entry to see all the images in that group as a gallery of thumbnails. The example here shows 28 photos made in Jan. 2012 at Achensee, Austria. If listing by dates, you can consolidate dates that are separated by less than a given number of days.

Search Images by Clicking on a Map

Click on a map location to instantly see all the photos made in or around that location. Location names pop up as you move the mouse over the map. In this case, "Leipzig" was clicked to retrieve 25 photos of Leipzig.
Search Images Using a Calendar

The calendar has image counts by year and month. Click on any month to get an instant gallery of images for that month.

Edit Selected Object or Area

Little Mermaid was backlighted. The fix was to select her and flatten (spread out) her brightness distribution. Areas are selected using the mouse: freehand draw, follow edges, or select matching tones (color and brightness) from the mouse position outwards. Edge effects can be blended out.

Copy and Paste Selected Areas

There is a special tool for copying hair and other irregular shapes. Drag over the area with the mouse, clicking as needed on colors to be selected or suppressed. This can be tedious if the background contrast is weak. This example was difficult because of varying background colors and areas of low contrast. This was about a 10 minute project for an experienced user, but novices will need more time to get the feel of this tool.

Flatten Brightness Distribution

This tool is an easy way to improve detail in areas that lack contrast. Uses a single sliding control with live feedback. Sometimes works miracles and sometimes not very effective. Good for fog/haze removal.

Sharpen Image

Comparison of different sharpening methods on a blurred image.

The 'gradient' method increases sharpness about as well as the classic 'unsharp mask' method, but with less "halo" effect around high-contrast edges. 'Kuwahara' produces excellent sharpness but more details are lost.

Suppress Noise

Reduce noise in photos made under low-light conditions.

The original image was scanned from a magazine at 600 dpi.
The results from four noise suppression methods are shown.

Revise Brightness by Editing a Curve

Edit a brightness curve while watching the live output image.

Defog London

Remove fog and haze with flatten and tone mapping.


Compensate for radial brightness loss (vignetting), or highlight some part of the image. Response curve can be customized, saved and reused. Use the mouse to set the center for the response curve. Image can be brightened or darkened, or a color-caste can be added or removed.

Smart Erase

The power lines and roadside trash were replaced with neighboring pixels. Select an object to erase using the mouse like a paintbrush. Click to erase. Neighboring pixels replace the erased area. This usually works well for small areas, or even larger areas when surrounded with fairly uniform background, like sky or grass.

Remove Dust

Remove the dark spots from images made from dusty scanned slides or old images. This example has dust with at least 3 different characteristics - gray on bright (boat), dark on bright (pier), and dark on dark background (lake). Three iterations were used to select each of these dust types. Removal rate is not 100% but close enough.

Remove Unwanted Objects

Erase printing, erase branch in foreground.
Improve color and contrast.

Remove Chromatic Aberration (color fringes)

Click to enlarge and view carefully. The left image is a photo taken from inside a church (a small part of a large image). It has color fringes on the dark to bright transitions, and these were mostly eliminated in the edited version on the right. Slider controls change the scale of individual RGB color planes, and you simply adjust them to minimize the color bands. It works for the usual sort of chromatic aberration which increases radially from the center.

Tone Mapping
Increase contrast where it is weak without changing overall contrast. Details in Niagra Falls have been brought out from behind the mist, and the cliff has been brought out from the shadows. Watch the image change as you move a curve or slider. Response is sub-second on a strong PC for image sizes up to 20 megapixels.

This one was taken to extremes, giving the impression of an illustration.

Tools for Brightness and Contrast

5 methods to change brightness and contrast

HDR - High Dynamic Range Image

The lower image is a composite of the upper ones. Brighter areas were taken mostly from the darker image, and darker areas from the brighter image. Image alignment is automatic and hand-held photos work fine. Optionally use editable curves to adjust the contribution of each image in each brightness region.

Tone mapping was added after the images were combined.

The people moved between the photos, so ghosting can be seen.

HDR made from photos having significant camera movement and rotation. Minor changes in image scale are compensated.

HDF - High Depth of Field
Combine multiple photos of the same subject, each having a different focus distance. The combined image has a depth of field spanning all the input images. This function is very sensitive to changes in camera position or aiming point - these cause parallax errors and changes in image scale that cannot be fixed with simple translation and rotation. The software compensates for small errors in scale. If you are careful not to move the camera too much, you can get good results. All photos here were hand-held.

This HDF required several minutes of manual work to choose which input image to use for each area in the output image. This is done by choosing an image and "painting" with the mouse. This can take time if there are lots of edges separating near and far details.

This one was easier because there are no overlaps of near and far details.

Stack - Noise Suppression

9 photos were made at ISO 1600 in a darkened room with a hand-held camera. My strong PC needed almost 1 minute to align and combine them into a low-noise image. This is part of the 10-megapixel image shown at full size.

Stack - Paint

The two images were taken a few seconds apart, during which time the cyclist (left image) moved out and the red car (right image, left side) moved in. The images were combined, and the car and cyclist were removed by choosing one image or the other and "painting" with the mouse.

Combine up to four images to make wide-angle images. Rough alignment is done with the mouse and fine alignment is automatic. All photos here were hand-held.

Indoor scene with house pet pasted in.
Brightness and color matching was automatic.

3 images with poor camera handling. The final image was straightened and retouched for brightness and color.

Acropolis closeup. A case where turning the camera with minimal lateral movement was important for good image alignment. The guy in the striped shirt moved up the steps between the two photos, so he is seen twice in the panorama. The joint can be seen behind his upper image, since no blending was done.

A vertical panorama. Brightness and color matching was automatic.


Photo montage. Add images and text to a background layout of arbitrary size. Images and text can be moved around using the mouse, resized, rotated, and made party or wholly transparent. Transparency can also be painted, gradually or fully. Text can have any font, size, and angle. Background, outline and shadow can be added to text, with adjustable color and transparency for all of these.

Magnify Image

Move around over an image with a simulated magnifying glass.
Diameter and magnification are adjustable.


Sometimes panorama images must be straightened.
Adjust while watching a live output image.

Fix Perspective

Fix images photographed from an angle, e.g. gallery paintings, buildings, etc. Select the 4 corners and transform into a rectangle.

Flatten Photo of a Book Page

Flatten the page edges and stretch the squished text where the page curves down at the center binding. Mark the page top and bottom edges at several points using the mouse. The rest is automatic.

Pixel Edit

Use for retouching. Pick a color from the image or from a palette. Variable brush size and transparency allow gradual change without edge effects.

Warp Image, 4 variations

Pull the image with the mouse.
The image behaves like sheet rubber.

Unwarp Close-up Photo (selfie)
Close-up portraits exhibit a "balloon face" distortion.
There is a special function just for this problem.

Improve Botticelli

Straighten her eyes and smooth her skin.

Make Mosaic Image

Make any image into a mosaic with tiles created from your images. Click on a tile to get a larger popup image which you can resize and drag. This requires that you have thousands of images in your collection, with an adequate range of available colors.

Click on image to view full size.

Add Texture to an Image

Combine texture with tone mapping and embossing to get interesting effects.

Add Background Pattern
A background pattern can be added to an entire image or selected areas. The pattern is a small image file that is repeated to cover a larger target image. If the pattern repeats, dimensions are found automatically so that the resulting background pattern is seamless (left example). The pattern file can be a photo of a texture, as in the right sample. Pattern size and opacity are adjustable.

Write Text

Write text on images. Select font, colors, transparencies, shadow, angle. Watermarks are made by writing faint text and embossing.

Fix a Lousy Photo

The upper photo had multiple retouches to produce the one below. The functions used were trim/rotate, flatten brightness distribution, increase contrast, increase color saturation, and tone mapping. These were applied in different areas of the image.

The photo was back-lighted and the Fall colors came out faded. The following steps were made in sequence: select the sky, invert the selection (everything but the sky), increase overall brightness with an upward slope for more contrast, select the foreground vegetation areas, add more contrast, add color saturation, add slight tone-mapping.

Suppress Haze

Select hazy areas, flatten brightness distribution, add color saturation, add tone mapping.

Art Effects
Convert a photo into a simulated drawing, painting, embossing, cartoon. These take a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on how long you want to play with the controls to optimize the result.






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