Is there a way to configure Darktable to my liking?


First of all, I’m impressed by the job done on Darktable.

I have questions regarding some aspects of sidecar files and metadata.
I’d like this behavior:

  1. XMP creation only if I develop a photo, and not if I edit metadata.
    I enabled “create XMP files after edit”, and it’s ok.
    => Are there potential issues that I’m may not be aware of, with this configuration?

  2. Save metadata to original file (and exported files).
    => Is it possible to do that?

Thank you for your help.

No. Darktable is fully non-destructive, so it never touches the original file.


Thank you for quick answer.
Could a lua script enable me to do write only the metadata to the original file?

I think Exiftool could do this (copy data from xmp to raw), but why if you have the sidecar?

There are programs that can modify metadata in raw files. There are also examples of such programs making files unreadable for other programs (Iirc, one case involved Nikon’s raw processor modifying Nikon raw files…).
So I consider that a no-go.

Darktable does allow you to save the metadata with exported files.

Sidecar files are not strictly necessary for your personal use (all information is in the database), but they can be useful as a kind of backup for the database.

Unfortunately, it seems that Darktable won’t fit for my metadata management.

I’m not a pro, just a hobbyist.
My need is to sort personal photos.
I shoot mainly in jpg (sorry :wink: !), sometimes in raw.

It’s a shame since Darktable looks really good for photo editing.

For tagging and captioning, I use digikam, just because I prefer the interface. Digikam does allow you to modify existing jpegs (not raws, for the reasons explained above).
But I don’t like the editor integrated in digikam…
Note that darktable can read digikam’s sidecars, but not the database (same in the other direction).

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@rvietor :
It seems to be a good compromise.
I would prefer to use only one software, but I’ll give it a try :).