current release 18.07 Español
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.
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. 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 draw, follow edges, fill 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 any
combination of metadata and file and folder names or partial names. Click on a marked map location to view 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 read the
user manual (at least the first few pages) before jumping
This 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.
Packages for other Linux flavors:
Overview (or jump to the examples below)
Fotoxx is a free Linux program for editing photos or other images and managing a large
Image directories (folders) can be viewed as a scrolling gallery of thumbnail images. Navigation of
folders and subfolders 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
has many editing tools that go beyond the basics. Images with severe problems (underexposed, false colors, blurred,
uneven lighting, fog/haze) can be brought back to life. Details lost in shadows or haze can be brought out.
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 2% to overall storage requirements. There is no
database to manage - the index manages itself.
import RAW images and perform all processing in deep color (24 bits per color is used internally). Edited images can be
saved as JPEG, TIFF (8/16 bits/color), or PNG (8/16 bits).
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 new files or as
versions of the input file (e.g. filename.v02.jpg).
Objects or areas within an image can be selected and edited separately from the background. Areas can be selected using
several mouse methods: drag to select and expand into matching tones, follow feature edges, or outline an area
freehand. There is a special tool to select complex features, such as hair or foliage.
Edit results are seen instantly in the image or selected areas. Selected areas can be copied and pasted into the same
or other images, resized, rotated, brightened, etc. Layers are not used.
functions are available to copy, move, rename, resize, upright, convert format, and add/revise metadata.
tools are available to change size and shape: trim (crop), resize, rotate, fix perspective, curve/warp the whole image
or selected areas within the image. There is a special tool to 'flatten' photos of curved book pages (where the text is
squeezed together at the center binding).
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
Fotoxx has a batch scripting 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 selected images.
Many special effects ('filters') are available to convert a photo into a line drawing, sketch, painting, embossing,
cartoon, dot image, mosaic, or abstract patterns. Background patterns and textures can be added.
Images can be rapidly searched using file and folder names or partial names, dates, assigned tags, ratings, locations,
and any other metadata stored in the image. Some data is automatic from the camera (date, location, exposure data), and
other data can be manually
tools are available to load metadata into many images at once. Search criteria can be used in combination; e.g. find
Chicago photos for years 2002-2005 containing tags "Barbara" or
(from a camera GPS 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 markers on these maps. Click a marker to get
a gallery of the corresponding images,
viewed full size or
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
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.
Detailed List of Fotoxx
- Thumbnail browser and navigator, variable thumbnail size or list view.
- Click on a thumbnail image to view or edit, or use a File Open dialog.
- View and edit most image formats and camera RAW formats.
- Menu-driven function selection, with custom popup menu for favorites.
- Edits have live feedback using the whole image or a chosen zoomed area.
- Edits are accumulated. Stepwise undo/redo and before/after compare.
- Edit the whole image or a selected object or area within the image.
- Use the mouse to select/enclose an object or area to edit.
- Select using freehand draw, follow edge, spread into matching tones, others.
- Special select function for "hairy" objects (complex edges, poor contrast).
- Selections can be cut out, saved, recalled, pasted, resized, rotated, edited.
- Zoom in/out with mouse clicks or mouse wheel. Edit zoomed image.
- Scroll/pan a zoomed image by dragging the mouse.
- Save edited image: replace, save as new file version or new file name.
- Saved image formats: JPEG, PNG (8/16 bits/color), TIFF (8/16).
- Comprehensive user guide is available in English.
- F1 key pops-up the current menu topic in the user guide.
Edit and Retouch
Internal edit calculations use the 'float' number type (24 bits
curves: drag curves using the mouse while
watching a live image (sub-second response on a strong
- Remove a
color caste, even if it varies across the
white balance or black level
temperature adjustment with a slider
old faded photos or photos with extreme color
Blur, Noise reduction (several methods
removal: usually 1 click each, with backup method for hard
and/or flatten brightness distribution to enhance
methods to enhance detail in dark or contrast-poor image
brightness uniformity problems (vignetting and
erase: remove power lines, ground litter, etc. from
- Anti-Alias: suppress
pixelation (jagged edges) in low resolution
dust spots on images from dusty scanned slides or old
calibrated color adjustments or match to specific
- Find and
fix hot/dark pixels (from camera sensor
chromatic aberration (color fringes) by rescaling RGB color
individual pixels or small areas using the
paint over unwanted objects with background taken from
functions can be amplified/attenuated by
most retouch functions locally and gradually using the
areas within an image or from one image to another, with
(crop): drag a mask or directly set desired size and aspect
use 1/2, 2/3 etc. or set desired size. Lock or change aspect
- Rotate in
90 degree steps or use any angle. Level by dragging the image
(mirror) horizontal or
- Make a
black/white or color negative, or positive from
the color profile of an image, e.g. Adobe RGB <-->
to black/white with sepia tint (aged photo
text on image: adjustable font, color, transparency, angle,
- Warp an
image to fix perspective, straighten curves, or for special
- Flatten a
photo of a curved page from a thick book, stretch squished
combine dark/bright images, adjust relative inputs by dragging
combine near- and far-focus images to get a greater focus
noise by combining and averaging multiple high-noise
transient people or cars: combine photos from different
combine 2-4 overlapped images horizontally or vertically
(hand-held photos work OK (some care is needed, but not a
(photo-montage): arrange images and text on a background, move around
with the mouse, adjust size, angle, transparency, font and font
an image (reduce color
photo to drawing (charcoal, blackboard, colored
embossing effect (surface depth, 3D
tiles: any size, with or without borders. Pixelize to obscure a
Lichtenstein effect: convert an image into a matrix of
a painting: aggregate adjacent matching tones into larger
- Paint or
unpaint using the mouse, with variable brush size and
- Convert a
photo into a cartoon-like
texture to an image background, random or repeating
an image into a mosaic using tiles made from your image
an image into a spherical
image transform kernels are supplied. Edit and add custom
foreground features and blur the
- Show all
metadata in a popup window, or a compact report with key
and report any metadata, show thumbnail gallery with
tags, geotags (location data), ratings, comments, captions ... any
images using these criteria plus folder/file names (also partial
output is a thumbnail gallery. Search speed is nearly
tags: create, delete, group into categories for easy
(earth coordinates and location names) may come from a camera GPS
or be entered manually. Batch processing of many images makes this
- Location Report: click on table to view a gallery of images by country, country and
location, or country, location and date-group (groups of images with nearby dates).
- Timeline Report: click on a calendar with image counts by month. Click on any
year or month to get an instant gallery of images for that time period.
locations of geotagged images as red markers on a map. Click a location to
get a corresponding gallery of images. Click gallery thumbnails to view or
stored maps (huge) for the world and all continents are
- Web maps
may also be used to view any location in the world at any scale
(works well if you have a good internet
your own custom maps (city, region, campus, national park ...) which
automatically inherit image location markers like the other
metadata is standards compliant and usable with other apps (no
metadata items can be indexed to enable instant
- Build a
custom graphic menu in a popup window. Add your most frequently
used functions and arrange their layout using the
- Slide-show: arty
transitions, pan and zoom, auto or keyboard
images from the thumbnail gallery browser, burn a DVD or
- Brightness distribution
graph, updated live with image
functions: rename, resize, copy/move, change format, revise
convert RAW files to JPEG, TIFF (8/16 bits), or PNG (8/16
thumbnail gallery of recently seen or newest images, click to view or
albums of selected images: add, delete, arrange (drag & drop),
color/contrast and gamma test images are
Lines (horizontal, vertical, vary count/spacing, shift
images using standard paper formats or custom
printer colors and print with improved color
video files as images and thumbnails (first frame), click to play
360°panorama images - rotate viewpoint by dragging the
- Move a
'magnifying glass' around an image to view any area
- Use Gimp,
ImageMagick, etc. as plug-in edit functions (minor setup
GUI between English and any of the supported
- Export utility suited for uploads to photo sharing web sites.
- Batch utility to set photo date/time or shift by any amount (e.g. fix the time
- Create a 'script' from multiple edits, use as an edit function or batch
- Find duplicate images within current gallery view or entire image collection.
The GUI is available in English, Catalan, French, German, Italian,
A comprehensive user guide is
provided in English.
Fotoxx works best on a strong computer (4 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
have accurate color (most do not).
Performance and Limitations
Most image edit functions respond within 1 second for images up to 20 megapixels on a strong computer. 100 megapixel
images can be edited on a computer with 8 GB RAM, 200 megapixels with 16 GB. Some composite functions (panorama, HDR)
may need a minute or more when combining many large images. Image search speed is generally below 1 second for
collections up to 200 K images.
Click on the small images to see a full-size image.
These examples are not useful on a smart phone (small)
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 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
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 internal editing is done with 24 bits per color.
Add tags (keywords), geotags, titles, captions, dates, and ratings to images. Search images using these criteria as
well as image file and folder 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 nearly instantaneous.
Tags, etc. are stored inside the images using EXIF and IPTC standards. They can be shared with other
standards-compliant photo programs.
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 almost instantaneous for 'main' (indexed) metadata. The
speed is slower (a few thousand files per minute) 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.).
You can optionally add metadata items to the index for fast searching.
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
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 report shows image counts by year and month. Click on any month to get an instant gallery of images for
Edit Selected Object or Area
Little Mermaid was back-lighted. The fix was to select her and flatten (spread out) her brightness distribution.
Areas are selected using the mouse: freehand draw, follow edges, or spread into 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 example is about a 10 minute project for
an experienced user. 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.
This tool can be used to restore the full color range for a badly faded photo or one with an extreme color caste. It
can also be used to add flair to any image. The original and modified images can be blended in any ratio.
View 360°Panorama Image
This tool is used to view a 360°panorama image. Use the mouse to rotate the viewpoint through the full
360°. The view window is 90°(right image) and can be zoomed-in for a larger/narrower view.
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 small details are lost.
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.
Noise can be measured and noise suppression
can be quantitatively evaluated.
Revise Brightness by Editing a Curve
Edit a brightness curve while watching the live output image.
Remove fog and haze with flatten and gradients.
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.
The power lines and poles were erased. 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 or narrow areas, or even larger areas
when surrounded with fairly uniform background, like sky or grass. Selecting long thin objects like power lines is done
by clicking positions along the length.
Remove the dust spots from images made from dusty
scanned slides or old photo prints.
Remove Chromatic Aberration (color fringes)
Click to enlarge and view carefully. The left image is a photo taken from inside a church (a small cutout 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
Increase contrast where it is weak without changing
overall contrast. Details in Niagara 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 for each brightness level.
Gradients tool was added after the images were combined.
The camera was hand-held. The automatic alignment works well unless the camera is shifted significantly between
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.
HDR was used here to photograph a strongly backlighted scene.
The resulting image was also edited for color and gradients.
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 computer 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.
Four photos made in quick succession.
Stack - Paint can be used to make transient objects disappear or make them appear multiple times.
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 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.
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 images photographed from an angle, e.g. gallery paintings, buildings, etc. Select the 4 corners and transform into
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.
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.
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
Click on image to view full size.
Make a Montage
Images can be mixed sizes. They are rearranged and
resized as needed to make all the columns even.
You can click on any image to get a larger popup image which can be zoomed to any size, and disappears with another
Add Texture to an Image
Combine texture with gradients 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 on images. Select font, colors, transparencies, shadow, angle. Watermarks are made by writing faint text and
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 gradients. 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 gradients.
Select hazy areas, flatten brightness distribution, add color saturation, add gradients
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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