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Home » » Fotoxx is a free open source Linux program for photo editing and collection management

Fotoxx is a free open source Linux program for photo editing and collection management

Picture Fotoxx lets you navigate an image collection using a thumbnail browser and choose images to view or edit.

Navigate a large image collection with a thumbnail browser, click on images to view or edit. Import RAW files and edit with deep color. Save revised images as JPEG, BMP, PNG (8/16 bits), or TIFF (8/16). 

Select an object or area within an image (outline, follow edges, spread into matching tones), apply retouch functions, copy and paste, resize, blend, warp, etc. without using layers. 

Edit functions have fast feedback using the full image. 

A comprehensive set of retouch and transform functions is available. 

See the example images below to get an overview. Add metadata (tags, geotags, dates, ratings, captions ...) to images and search images using metadata plus folder/file names (or partial names). 

Fotoxx uses your image files wherever they are and maintains an index for fast searching. Metadata can be shared with other photo apps if they are standards compliant (no lock-in). Fotoxx is easy to use but unconventional, so please read the user manual (at least a few pages) before jumping in. 

See also the fotoxx demo videos and the example images below. 

Overall Operation
  • 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.
  • Internal edit calculations use float-32 (24 bits per color).
  • Menu-driven function selection, with toolbar for frequent functions.
  • Edits have live feedback using the whole image or zoomed section.
  • 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. No layers.
  • Select using freehand draw, follow edge, spread into matching tones, others.
  • Selections can be cut out, saved, 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, also diagonally.
  • Save edited image: replace, save as new version, save as new file name.
  • Saved image formats: JPEG, BMP, PNG (8/16), TIFF (8/16 bits/color).
  • Comprehensive user guide is available in English, Spanish and Italian.
  • F1 key pops-up the current menu topic in the user guide.
fotoxx gamma-contrast-tonemap

Retouch Functions
  • Brightness/color/gamma curves: drag curves using the mouse while
    watching a live image (sub-second response on a strong PC).
  • Remove color castes, even if they vary across the image.
  • One-click white balance.
  • Sharpen, Blur, Noise reduction.
  • Red-eye removal: usually 1 click each, with backup method for hard cases.
  • Expand and/or flatten brightness distribution (a frequent quick fix).
  • Tone Mapping (enhance details without changing overall contrast).
  • Fix brightness uniformity problems (vignetting and others).
  • Smart erase: remove power lines, ground litter, etc. from photos.
  • Remove dark spots on images from dusty scanned slides.
  • Make calibrated color adjustments or match specific colors.
  • Find and fix hot/dark pixels (from camera sensor defects).
  • Remove chromatic aberration (color fringes).
  • Edit individual pixels or small areas using the mouse.
  • Paint over an unwanted object with background taken from elsewhere.
  • Retouch functions can be amplified/attenuated by underlying brightness/color.
  • "Paint" retouch functions locally and gradually using the mouse.

fotoxx hdr_passau_dom
Transform Functions.
  • Trim (crop): drag a mask or directly set desired size and aspect ratio.
  • Resize: use 1/2, 2/3 etc. or set desired size. Lock or change aspect ratio.
  • Rotate in 90 degree steps or use any angle. Level by dragging the edge.
  • Flip (mirror) horizontal or vertical.
  • Make a black/white or color negative, or positive from negative.
  • Convert to black/white with sepia tint (aged photo effect).
  • Write text on image: adjustable font, color, transparency, angle, watermarks.
  • Warp an image to fix perspective, straighten curves, or special effects.

Combine Image Functions
  • HDR: combine dark/bright images, adjust relative inputs by dragging curves.
  • HDF: combine close/far focus images to get a greater focus depth.
  • Suppress noise by combining and averaging multiple high-noise photos.
  • Remove transient people or cars: combine photos from different moments.
  • Panorama: combine 2-4 overlapped images horizontally or vertically. 
  • Hand-held photos work OK (some care is needed but not a tripod).

Arty Transforms
  • Posterize an image (reduce color depth).
  • Convert photo to drawing (charcoal, blackboard, colored lines).
  • Add embossing effect (surface depth, 3D texture).
  • Make tiles: any size with or without borders. Pixelate to obscure a face.
  • Make a Roy Lichtenstein effect: convert image into a matrix of dots.
  • Simulate a painting: aggregate adjacent matching tones into larger patches.
  • Paint or unpaint using the mouse, with variable brush size and transparency.
foto xx hdf_computer

Metadata Functions

  • Show all metadata in a popup window, or a compact report with key items.
  • Add tags, geotags, ratings, comments, captions to images (using EXIF/IPTC).
  • Search images using these criteria plus folder/file names (partial match too).
  • Search images with imbedded geotags by location, add geotags to images.
  • Search output is a thumbnail gallery. Search speed is nearly instantaneous.
  • View locations of geotagged images on a world map. Click a location to get a
    gallery of images from that location. Click gallery thumbnail to view or edit.
  • Manage tags: create, delete, group into categories.
  • View and edit any metadata (EXIF, IPTC, etc.).
  • Search and report any metadata, show thumbnail gallery with metadata. 
    (search speed for non-indexed metadata: few thousand images per minute).
  • Methods are standards compliant and data can be shared with other apps (no lock-in).

Other Functions
  • Build a custom graphic menu in a popup window. Add your most frequently
    used functions and arrange their layout using the mouse.
  • Slide-show mode: arty transitions, optional keyboard navigation.
  • Select images from the gallery browser, burn a CD/DVD.
  • Brightness distribution graph, updated live with image edits.
  • Batch functions: rename, resize/export, revise tags, import RAW files.
  • View thumbnail gallery of most recent images, click thumbnail to open.
  • Build named image collections, view, add, delete, reorder, export, slide-show.
  • Monitor color/contrast and gamma test patterns are provided.
  • Grid Lines (horizontal, vertical, vary count/spacing, shift positions).
  • Print images using standard paper formats or custom dimensions.
  • Use Gimp or other editor as a plug-in edit function (minor setup required).
  • Switch GUI between English and any of the supported languages.
  • Update translations while using the app, see changes immediately.
  • Generate thumbnails and search index from existing image files
    (one-time initialization - maintained automatically thereafter).
fotxx pano-garden

The GUI is available in English, German, Spanish, Catalan, French, Russian and Dutch. Other languages are available but have not been recently updated: Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Galician, Chinese. Improvements in the translations are gratefully accepted. A comprehensive user guide is provided in English, Spanish and Italian. 

Fotoxx works best on a strong computer (uses up to 4 processor cores). Netbooks (Atom) are too slow for editing but are adequate for viewing. 

Most functions respond in less than a second on a strong PC. Some composite image functions (panorama, HDR, others) may need a minute or more to combine several large images. 

Fotoxx can be downloaded from many places. Watch out for very old releases.
Get the latest version here:

  • Tarball with source code, make file, user guide: tarballs
  • DEB and RPM  packages
Source tarball via Heise
(verified virus free) 

Screenshots for a few of the user dialogs
Usage Examples.
The examples below show the main functions available in fotoxx.
Click on the small images to see a full-size image. 

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 normally corresponds to a directory (folder) containing image files. It may also contain the results of an image search or a named collection (images from diverse directories).

Custom Popup 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 button - the star symbol. 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. 

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.

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 (also partial match). 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 photo programs if they are standards compliant. 

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.

Search Images Using Geotags.
List the geotag groups for all images: group by countries, country/cities, or country/city/dates. 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.
Edit a 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 to draw a border around them. Use freehand draw, follow edges, or select matching tones (color and brightness). Edge effects can be blended out. 

Copy and paste objects from one image into another.
Flatten Brightness Distribution.
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.

Brightness Ramp.
Fix vignetting and other problems with brightness uniformity. This image was also enhanced afterwards (color, noise, tone-mapping).

Sharpen Image.
Comparison of different sharpening methods on a badly blurred image.

Suppress Noise.
Reduce noise in photos made under low-light conditions.Picture
This is a printed image from a book, scanned at 600 dpi (part of a 41 megapixel image). The patterns left by machine printing were removed using the noise reduction "median brightness" method.

Select object and increase the color intensity.
The right bird was selected and the color intensified (saturation) without changing the rest of the image.

Lighten dark areas / darken bright areas.
Edit a brightness curve while watching the live output image.Picture
Defog Shanghai.

Expand brightness distribution.

Custom Search
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