Screenshot of darktable 1.0
|Original author(s)||Johannes Hanika|
|Initial release||April 2009|
|Stable release||1.2 / April 7, 2013|
|Size||2.3 MB (tar.xz source)
22.4 MB (OS X)
|Available in||19 languages|
|License||GNU General Public License 3 or later|
darktable is a free and open-source photography workflow application and raw developer. Rather than being a raster graphics editor such as Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, it operates with a set of adjustment tools specifically aimed at non-destructive raw photo post-production and is primarily focused on improving a photographer's workflow by faciliting the handling of large amounts of images. It is freely available in versions tailored for most major Linux distributions, OS X and Solaris and is released under the GNU General Public License 3 or later.
darktable involves the concept of non-destructive editing, similar to that of some other raw manipulation software. Rather than being immediately applied to raster data of the image, the program keeps the original image data until final rendering at the exporting stage (the adjustment parameters made by a user are however visible in real-time). The program features built-in ICC profiles, GPU acceleration, and supports most common image formats.
There is SSE instruction support, run-time GPU acceleration through OpenCL, and the core functions use 4x32-bit floating point pixel buffers. A combination of XMP sidecar files and a custom database is used for processing settings and saving metadata, which is managed by libexiv2.
Images can be imported from a hard drive or directly from a connected camera. Supported formats include JPEG, PNG (only exporting), raw files (from various cameras), and high dynamic range image formats (CR2, HDR, PFM, and others). Images can be exported to regular on-disk storage, Picasa Web Albums, Flickr, as email attachments, and to a simple HTML-based web gallery. Both low dynamic range (JPEG, PNG, TIFF), 16-bit (PPM, TIFF), and linear high dynamic range (PFM, EXR) image file types are supported.
User interface 
darktable has two main modes, each representing a step in the image development process. A third mode is tethering. Upon launching, "lighttable" opens by default, where image collections are listed. All panels in all three modes can be retracted to save screen real estate. The program's colors, panels' width, font size, and other interface settings are stored in
The left panel is for importing images, displaying Exif information, and filtering. Rating and categorizing buttons are at the top, while the right-side panel features various modules such as a metadata editor and a tag editor. A module used to export images is located at the bottom-right.
The second mode ("darkroom") can be accessed by double-clicking on an image. The layout displays the image at center, with four panels around it; most tools appear on the right side. The left panel displays a pannable preview of the current image, an undo history stack, a color picker, and Exif information. A filmstrip with other images is displayed at the bottom, and can be sorted and filtered using lists from the upper panel. The latter also gives access to the preferences configuration. darktable's configuration allows custom keyboard shortcuts and personalized defaults.
A third mode allows tethering through gPhoto to cameras which support it. As of August 2012, cameras from three manufacturers have been tested and are known to work: Canon (5D, EOS 30D, EOS 40D, EOS 400D, and EOS 550D), Nikon (D60, D70s, D90, D5000, and Nikon Coolpix P100), and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50.
- Basic group
Plugins for simple well-known photo adjustment operations include crop and rotate; base curve presets, which sets general basecurve presets to automatically improve contrast and colors; exposure controls; highlight reconstruction; demosaic; white balance; and color invert, which allows defining the color of the "film" with a color picker.
- Tone group
- Color group
Plugins related to hue and saturation include overexposed, to display pixels outside dynamic range; velvia, which mimics Velvia film colors by increasing saturation on lower saturated pixels more than on highly saturated pixels; channel mixer; color contrast; color correction, to modify the global saturation or to give a tint; color zones; color transfer; vibrance; and input/output/display color profile management.
- Correction group
Plugins for repairing visual imperfections include sharpen; equalizer; denoise (non-local means); denoise (bilateral filter); lens correction using the LensFun library; spot removal; chromatic aberrations; raw denoise; and hot pixels for the correction of defective pixels.
- Effect group
Artistic postprocessing plugins used for visual effects include watermark; framing; split toning; vignetting; soften; grain; highpass; lowpass; monochrome; lowlight vision; shadows and highlights; bloom; colorize; and graduated density.
Google Summer of Code 
In 2011, the darktable team participated in the Google Summer of Code (GSoC). The main goals were to remove libglade dependency from darktable and to make room for more modularity. The input system for handling shortcuts was also rewritten and incorporated into version 0.9.
darktable is released under the GNU General Public License (3.0 or later) as free software. The current version of darktable works on Linux and an experimental release of version 0.9.2 has been ported to OS X. Many Linux distributions include darktable in their default repositories, including Fedora, openSUSE, Arch Linux, and Gentoo Linux. Windows is not natively supported, but the community suggests booting a remastered Ubuntu Live CD with darktable pre-installed.
darktable also runs on Solaris 11, with packages in IPS format available from the maintainer. The maintainer's blog post for v0.9.3 provides details on the Solaris 11 prerequisites and how to install them.
Version history 
|0.1 (alpha)||April 12, 2009||The first publicly available version was uploaded to SourceForge.|
|1.0||March 15, 2012||The first stable release; it introduced new modules, added support for new cameras, a Chinese localization, Unity launcher support, and made performance improvements and various bugfixes.|
|1.0.5||June 24, 2012||Update to RawSpeed r438 and LibRaw 0.14.7, added white balance presets and Standard Color Matrices for new cameras, various bugfixes.|
|1.1||November 25, 2012||Added white balance presets and support, similarity matching search for images, geotagging, OS X package, facebook export, reworked UI, live view for tethered shooting, performance improvements and various bugfixes.|
|1.2||April 7, 2013||Added profiled denoising, lightroom import, multi instance support, improved usability for distorting modules, selective copy/paste of image processing, new more intuitive keystone correction tool, jpeg2000 support, GraphicsMagick import, much faster thumbnail loading, and countless small bug fixes, performance enhancements, and usability improvements.|
See also 
- "contact". darktable.org. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
- "darktable main repository". darktable.org. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- "LINGUAS". darktable.org. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- "about". darktable.org. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
- "Darktable For Open-Source Photography". Michael Larabel. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
- "features". darktable.org. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
- "A RAW Feast on the Linux Darktable (Photo Editor)". Carla Schroder. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- "resources". darktable.org. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- Who’s New in Google Summer of Code: Part 7 - Google Open Source Blog
- Glade Removal Complete, Moving on to Keyboard Accelerators
- "GNU General Public License". LICENSE. Free Software Foundation. June 2007. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- "install". darktable. Retrieved 15 March 2012. Text " darktable.org " ignored (help)
- "Darktable and Solaris: It Just Works(tm) .... and there are some nifty benefits too". Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- "pssst! wanna darktable package set for Solaris 11?". Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- Dev Meeting Agenda
- "Moving the git repo to github". darktable.org. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- "Virtual Lighttable and Darkroom". darktable.org. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
- "darktable 1.0 released". darktable.org. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
- "darktable 1.0.5 released". darktable.org. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- "released darktable 1.1". darktable.org. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
- "released 1.2". darktable.org. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
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