Linux respins for photographers



I have created a modified version of MX Linux for photographers. It includes more or less all the important open source photo apps: Rawtherapee, darktable, GIMP, Krita, Digikam, Displaycal, Argyll, Hugin, G’mic and 2 desktop environments (XFCE and Gnome). I have tried to choose versions of the apps that are as new as possible - this was not always easy since MX is based on Debian. As the official version 5.5 of Rawtherapee has one or two bugs, I have included one of the newest bugfixed development versions as Appimage - it is in the folder /home/demo/Downloads. Unfortunately, Digikam is not the newest version because the new version form the “testing” repo does not work. I know, I could have chosen the flatpak but I will do that in one of the next releases. So far I only had time for this.
With MX Linux, it is really easy to create respins, however, it is still a bit of work.
I modified the appearance of XFCE a bit and included some new wallpapers. Modifying the default appearance of Gnome is a bit more complicated, so that was also left for future releases.
I also plan to add more wallpapers, especially wallpapers in AdobeRGB and for 4/5-K-screens. For now they are only in sRGB.
I guess the next step would be removing XFCE and Evolution. Maybe there will also be versions with Cinnamon and Budgie.
I have created the ISO on a laptop with Intel i5 processor. I have not really tested it thoroughly - only launched the system in Vmware. It started both in UEFI and BIOS mode.

You can download it here. Unfortunately I had to split up the ISO since my internet connection is not so fast.

What do you think?

I would be grateful for tips concerning the hosting of large files because I do not have much space left on Google drive.

Regards from Vienna


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(Mica) #2

Bittorrent is awesome for this!

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Does Thunar show thumbnails for raw files?


good question


I know Dolphin does that is why I use KDE Plasma.

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just checked. Thunar does show my ORF’s thumbs.
For now, XFCE is included because it is the default desktop environment for MX.
I don’t think there will be KDE versons because KDE does not properly support color management with multiple screens. Otherwise I like KDE, too. Great if you have 1 screen.
But you can make a KDE respin!


I wish… but I don’t think I will ever find time for that.
I am watching this distro:

They support atomic upgrades and admire appimages . Maybe one day I will switch…

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(David Vincent-Jones) #8

Graphics software on Linux is very fluid and I feel it important to have access to git updates rather than relying on the distribution versions.
For that reason I have ruled-out MX Linux

(Tobias) #9

I don’t see the benefit from special purpose distributions. I think a better concept is to choose a good big distribution, that cares about security, package management, hardware support and all the other boring and hard stuff. If you now have problems with packages or missing packages then help to fix this problems. This improves the situation for more people with less work.


Well this is what I can do now. I do not know how to make packages for Debian e.g. (I wish there was a good new deb of Digikam). I cannot even even compile properly, not to speak of fixing source code. I am not a programmer or computer scientist.

(Tobias) #11

I do not know how to make packages for Debian e.g.

I think here is a good starting point:

I wish there was a good new deb of Digikam

Contact the maintainer/uploaders of the package, you can find them here:

I am not a programmer or computer scientist.

You don’t need to, for creating packages. More important are your communication skills to talk with the developers.


Ubuntu Studio brought me to the open source photo editing world. I don’t use it anymore but it was a good starting point. So I guess it does make sense having photo processing oriented distros. But for sure, maintaining packages, e.g. up to date digikam .deb or appimages (if possible) helps even more. One can also contribute via maintaining documentation or via writing code but that requires more skills and takes more time.

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(Gustavo Adolfo) #13


Is it a Live iso?



(Gustavo Adolfo) #15

and how do I extract two files?

EDIT: The point/issue is this:



you need to download all the files and open the nr1 - it is a splitted archive. all will be opened at once then


ok. I think you are trying to download today’s snapshot - all the part-archives are not uploaded yet. try the earlier one or wait for the rest (there are 8 part-archives)

(Gustavo Adolfo) #18

Yeah, that’s what happened :smiley:

I downloaded the prior versions and was able to extract the iso. Thanks!


well, I am curious - as I wrote - I was able to start it in vmware. no other tests yet.
I guess so far it is just something like a sketch?

(Gustavo Adolfo) #20

I’m writing this from your distro running on a usb stick, no issues so far. Congratulations!

Not sure if applies, but considering it is running from a USB stick I’d expect it to be slower than it is.
actually, it is running faster than the main OS, which is Ubuntu 18.04.

As for the installed apps, Darktable 2.6 (good), Gimp 2.10 + gmic (good), and others that I don’t know. Missing PhotoFlow and Rawtherapee.

Hummm… should I migrate from my Ubuntu 18.04? :thinking:… now I really got thinking…