Picty is a Simple and Easy to Use Photo Manager for Ubuntu

Smartphones have not only given us the ability to stay connected 24/7, they have also given us the privilege to quickly take more and more pictures. While it’s good to have every precious moment captured, it becomes really difficult to manage so many images over time. What exactly you require is a good photo manager that can help you manage your collections.

If you’re on Linux and are looking for a good photo manager, I’d recommend you give Picty a shot. It’s not only simple to use but can also support large photo collections (20,000 plus images). In this article we will discuss the basics of this tool, including its features as well as how to download and install it on Ubuntu.

Note: all examples and instructions presented in this article are tested on Ubuntu 14.04 LTE.


Picty, as per its official documentation, is a photo manager designed around managing metadata and a lossless approach to image handling. For those who aren’t in the know, metadata is the information about images (like date, time, and more) that is embedded inside them alongside the pixels.

The way Picty maintains lossless approach is by writing information about images, including image processing instructions, as metadata – the original image pixels are never altered, allowing you to preserve the images as they were taken on your camera.

Download and install

If you’re on Ubuntu, or any other Debian-based Linux distribution (like Mint), run the following set of commands to download and install the photo manager on your system:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:damien-moore/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install picty

You can also install the tool from source – read instructions here.

Basic usage

When you launch Picty for the first time, you’ll get the following window:


As you can see, the first step is to create a new collection, something which you can do either by directing the tool to a local directory or to your Flickr account (see image below). You can also create a collection from a device connected to your system.


In my case, I tried creating a new collection, dubbed “test,” by pointing the tool to my local “Downloads” directory:


and the collection was successfully created:


Now you can open individual images and find several options (see at the top of the opened image shown below) that you can apply to them.



Here are some of the important features that Picty offers:

  • Supports big photo collections (20,000 plus images).
  • Currently lets you create collections from folders of images in your local file system, images on cameras, phones and other media devices, and photo hosting services (Flickr currently supported).
  • Lets you open more than one collection at a time and transfer images between them.
  • Does not import images into its own database, rather it provides an interface for accessing them wherever they are. To let you browse even if you are offline, it maintains a cache of thumbnails and metadata.
  • Reads and writes metadata in industry standard formats Exif, IPTC and Xmp
  • Writes all changes, including image edits, as metadata. For example, an image crop is stored as any instruction, and the original pixels remain in the file. Also, changes are stored in Picty’s collection cache until you save your metadata changes to the images. You can easily revert unsaved changes that you don’t like.

Other features include basic image editing, image tagging, multi-monitor support, and more.


Picty offers a variety of features, all without compromising performance, the ease of use, or simplicity in its UI. For support as well as to know more about the photo manager, you can also head to its Google group page.

Himanshu Arora
Himanshu Arora

Himanshu Arora is a freelance technical writer by profession but a software programmer and Linux researcher at heart. He covers software tutorials, reviews, tips/tricks, and more. Some of his articles have been featured on IBM developerworks, ComputerWorld, and in Linux Journal.

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