darktable speed (in general, and when using two monitors)

Thank you.
Hm. So you mean that perhaps A2 + B2 in your case could
be good as well?

Yes, of course A2 and B2 would have been the correct ones. On startup there also is a warning message from the UEFI that you should check your setup.

So I tried performing the tests but it didn’t work.
I have 0 knowledge about these things.

Tried downloading the Phoronix Test Suite, I went to the file folder, I hit install and some windows cmd screen came up, with all kinds of lines and then closed down.

I have no idea or way how to open the program now. What did it do? What got installed on my computer? How do I open it? I wanted to run the benchmark with the samsung RAW files, but I can’t until I know how to open it.

Edit: I think it’s installing now. I ran the batch file and I had to install phoronix, cygwin etc… I hope this won’t mess up with my system :’)

Edit 2: Everything got installed I guess, but I still can’t access the program. Someone please enlighten me how all of this works or let me know how I can uninstall everything that I just did from my computer without having to do a system repair.

Edit 3: I really hate this lol. I’ve got Cygwin open right now, cause I found it. However, if I add the command lines, it won’t do anything and just say: “bash: darktable-cli: prompt not found”
So I can’t do the test… Can someone give me an explanation and as simple as possible on how to get this to work? This is really annoying for me because I have 0 developer skills/knowledge. I have 0 affinity with coding and the whole: “it’s done in 5 minutes” has already taken me 1,5 hours already. I don’t have that much time on my hands.

Dear Rico,

frankly I just “fly over” your words… but for that test you need to install absolutely nothing

Just download that photo and than start “darktable-cli” in a comand shell. Actually @Claes does also use Windows (besides the brilliant Linux :slight_smile: ) and could tell you, which command and how he triggered…

I run windows so it seems like I have to install those programs. The article talks about phoronix too. I’d like a step by step tutorial/walk through or an answer on how I can delete all those programs and batch files that have ran a minute ago from my laptop.

@Claes: could you confirm this? Thru our conversations I didn’t get the impression, it is that complicated on WIN!???

@TheStoryOfRico: on my machine, I just downloaded the image and the xmp and then I started just like darktable-cli bench.SRW test.jpg --core -d perf -d opencl
Sorry, if I thought it too simple, just hope we still find an easy approach.


No, @TheStoryOfRico!
You are making things far too complicated.

The total test will take no more than about 15 seconds (on a good machine), without the need to compile anything… Let me try to take this step-by-step.

a) Are you on Win 7 or Win 10? 64-bit? Home or Pro?

b) From where did you get your version of darktable?
From here: https://www.darktable.org/install/#windows ?

c) On your Desktop, create a new folder, named bench

d) The bench folder has to contain two files: bench.SRW and bench.SRW.xmp
You fetch these two files from here:

e) Start a Windows command prompt by typing cmd

f) In the command prompt window, type

cd \Users\YOUR_USERNAME\Desktop\bench

g) In the command type window, type

“C:\Program Files\darktable\bin\darktable-cli” bench.SRW test.jpg --core -d perf -d opencl

Note the execution time.

“c:\Program Files\darktable\bin\darktable-cli” bench.SRW test.jpg --core --disable-opencl -d perf -d opencl

Note the execution time.

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Zweden

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Windows 10

‘C:\Program’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.

C:\Users\MY NAME\Documents\Bench>\Program Files\darktable\bin\darktable-cli" bench.SRW test.jpg --core -d perf -d opencl
‘\Program’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.

:slight_smile: I told you… I have 0 knowledge about this and it’s not as easy as you make it look :). Now how do I remove Cygwin from my computer, and the batch files that have been installed yesterday?

PS: I can only install the XMP file as a text. Because it opens in chrome and shows a lot of code/text. So that’s another problem.

b) From where did you get your version of darktable?
From here: https://www.darktable.org/install/#windows ?


So I really need your help with removing the program.

Yesterday, I’ve downloaded phoronix test suite, and ran some batch files. A cmd window popped up, did some things and closed down. I’ve installed Cygwyn as well (some kind of Linux emulator?). I want to completely remove all of the components from my system, because I have 0 faith in this and I’m unfamiliar with all of those things. The only reason I downloaded and messed around with those programs was to “help” you guys get some test results. Apparently I’m too stupid to figure this out, and the guidance in this thread is not enough to make it work.
I’m kind of fed up with this whole process right now, so I’d like to know how I can remove EVERYTHING that got installed yesterday without having to do a system restore (because that will really piss me off).

please help.



I tried one final time:
System cannot find the path.

It seems you didn’t put the quotes that @Claes used.


Unfortunately I tried both and both didn’t work.

When I enter the \users\my name\desktop\bench path, and then type in the command program files darktable bin etc., it just doesn’t show.

Same goes with me just using cd and then starting with C: etc. Both options don’t work. I can access the paths seperately, so up to the bin but then nothing works anymore.

I can run the darktable-cli inside the darktable bin folder itself in windows, but I can’t run it in the cmd. There is no way for me to try out that bench thing either.

Guess I need actual screenshots and/or a tutorial video from someone showing me the exact same steps. Otherwise I’ll stop trying.

Darktable is extremely slow while running OBS and editing a RAW file.
It’s pretty alright if I edit a jpg
It’s more than fine if I close OBS and edit a RAW file but then I don’t have anything to capture my screen with.

By quotes I mean actual quotation marks. Because the file path has a space in it, windows thinks that ‘C:\Program’ is the application and ‘Files\darktable\bin\darktable-cli’ is the first argument to the app. To get around this you need to wrap the file path in quotes if it has spaces.
“C:\Program Files\darktable\bin\darktable-cli” bench.SRW test.jpg --core -d perf -d opencl


I considered @aadm’s speedup suggestion and wondered if it was at least partially related to nuking the darktable’s configs.

As it would take several days for me to reimport all of my photos, I really didn’t want to wipe out my database and start over.

I’m very happy to report, at least in my case, I found a few major speedups that helped me immensely (most likely in order of speed wins):

  • Back up your current library, then defrag and compact the database with vacuum (mine went from 201 MiB to 177 MiB):

    cp library.db library-`date -I`.db
    sqlite3 library.db 'VACUUM;'
  • Move darktable configs out of the way (while darktable isn’t running) and let darktable create new ones by running it again afterward (this moves it to a file with the current date, in ISO format):

    mv darktablerc darktablerc-`date -I`

    Having darktable recreate your configuration file means that you’ll lose a few settings. One of the most important ones are which modules are turned on and favorited. You can grep through your old configuration file and copy/paste the lines into your new darktablerc. (First make sure darktable is not running, of course.)

    Here’s a one-liner that will do this for you:

    grep -i -P "plugin.*(favorite|visible)=true" darktablerc-`date -I` >> darktablerc

    (If you want to also preserve the disabled modules too, just remove the true part of the command above.)

    Pretty much everything else is a preference. You can compare the files and copy over the parts you want or just toggle it in the UI after starting darktable again.

  • Be selective of Lua plugins you choose to enable.

    • In my case, I had image_path_in_ui turned on, and it seems to be extremely slow — probably even checking the database and file on every hover in lighttable mode. This was what made darktable almost unbearably slow when going through photos.
    • Instead, I found that there’s a relatively newly updated OpenInExplorer plugin which not just works on Windows, but also on Linux (with Nautilus). As I wanted the path for the image to open it up in Nautilus anyway, this new one was a huge performance boost (as it only runs when I want it to) and even made my life a little better too. :wink:

Happy photo editing, everyone!


Good detective work @garrettn

I recently thought my darktable was running a bit slow. My editing machine is not connected to the network, and hasn’t been for over a year. I had plugged it in and updated a few weeks ago. Turns out my slowness was coming from the latest speculative execution patches to the kernel. :frowning:

Figured I would add some results to this just because it is easy to do :smiley:

These results are from a clean install of everything. Testing out Ubuntu 19.04.
Running the darktable 2.6.2 ppa. No files imported yet so running what I would assume is a clean db minus a few setting tweaks.

My results seem quite comparable to what others have found.

Ryzen 7 2700 3.20ghz (stock clock speed)
Nvidia 980TI using the latest 418 driver in ubuntu
16GB Ram running in dual channel clocked at 3000

OpenCL:      3.307 secs
CPU Only:   13.110 secs

I know I’m late to the party on this thread, but this really caught my eye with DT. As background I have been a long time user of Rawtherapee and have been using DT a lot of late due to the masking tools etc that RT lacks.

While using DT generally isn’t too bad, one thing I really noticed was the lack of fluidity or general smoothness when using the curve tools in DT over RT. Having used DT quite a bit I found that for many images I didn’t really need the mask tools, so moved back to RT to find adjusting the tone curve in RT a sheer delight.

For what it’s worth I’ve been using DT with both opencl and without it and found the same general “roughness” to the experience of adjusting with the curve modules.


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Never too late. I am also on for performance…

What is that “;” after VACUUM used for?