Darktable has a bit of a learning curve, but in its latest update to 3.6, it’s easier to use that it ever was.
If you’re sick of paying for photo editing software and are looking for an alternative to Adobe, then the new Darktable 3.6 may be for you. Darktable is a free, open-source RAW photo file editor software for photo editing and file management.
Darktable should support RAW files from just about every camera, from 1999’s Nikon D1 on up. You can think of Darktable as Lightroom, but on steroids. It offers a full library organization section which allows you to view and tag multiple images, arrange them by various forms of ranking and much more.
In the editing portion of Darktable you can of course start the process of non-destructive editing. It has some very powerful and unique features for masking, which once used, you’ll wonder how you managed without them.
What’s New in Darktable 3.6
The biggest change in Darktable 3.6 is full rework of the import module. The new module allows you to see thumbnails of your images before import and makes it easier to handle multiple import tasks. The same dialog is now used for importing from disk, card or camera.
When importing “in-place”, images that are already present in Darktable are flagged and can be automatically excluded from the import.
A vector-scope is added to complement the current histogram, waveform and parade views. In addition, you can now create an opacity mask based on the sharpness of the image. This uses a similar algorithm to that used in dual demosaic.
A new section has been added to the color calibration module to allow you to calibrate colors using a color checker chart.
On the UI side, in Darktable 3.6 the various lighttable modes can now be accessed via clear and descriptive icons at the bottom of the screen. These should be easier to use than the existing drop-down selection.
The mix control in the contrast equalizer module is now retained as module parameter. This means that no data is lost when using this slider and you can always change the mix later with full precision.
For more information about all changes in the new version, you can refer to the full changelog or you can visit the project’s website.
Install Darktable 3.6 on Linux
Ubuntu, Debian, and Linux Mint comes with Darktable packages. You can install them with:
sudo apt install darktable
Fedora ships with Darktable. A simple command should be enough:
dnf install darktable
openSUSE also ships with Darktable:
zypper install darktable
In order to install Darktable on Arch Linux with a simle pacman command, just type:
pacman -S darktable