News about Rawtherapee development

The release cycle may be long, but the development is not slow. RawTherapee is constantly being improved, including almost-completed efforts that will free up valuable development time. I really want people to know that the project is active because statements implying the opposite are detrimental, turning users away and demotivating developers and contributors.


Hello @Lawrence37
It’s very reassuring to hear that. Yes, I can well imagine what a damaging vicious circle is created when users and developers believe that RT is coming to an end. Then the supposedly sinking ship is abandoned in advance, which pushes the project further and further offside.

Hence my question: What can the presumably 1,000,000 users do to counteract this?

I think there should be signs of life on the RawTherapee homepage, indicating that the program is still being actively developed.
And a new, official update to the current status would probably also be very helpful.

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Some activity on the website would definitely help. I think it’s mostly about the visibility of development. GIMP had the same problem. The release cycle was long. People were disappointed at the rate of development and wondered if the project was in a healthy state. Since the team started having frequent, smaller releases, people believed development picked up and there was also an increase in new contributors. Development speed didn’t really change much, but the perception of it did.

So what can users do? I can think of a few things. It doesn’t have to be something big to help.
For FOSS raw image editors and FOSS in general,

  • Take part in discussions about features in development. One of the great things about FOSS is how close people can be to the development process. Sometimes discussions take place in user-oriented places like here. Most times, they happen in an issue tracker. RawTherapee is on GitHub and the issue tracker there is quite friendly for non-developers. Your involvement improves the result, speeds up development, and lets you see the activity.
  • Try a development version. You’ll get a preview of what the next release will have. Reporting bugs or confirming that everything looks good is also helpful for speeding up releases.
  • Share news and your experiences with the software on other websites. That will bring awareness to people.
  • Don’t hesitate to bring up issues with new (or even old) cameras and lenses. Lack of full support for new cameras creates a impression of outdated software. Developers don’t have access to every piece of equipment, so sample images are valuable for supporting new cameras and file formats. See
  • If you have the time and ability, contribute directly to the project. It doesn’t have to be code. Translations, documentation, camera profiles, and themes/designs are just some examples. You may be surprised by how welcoming current contributors are.

Specifically for RawTherapee,

  • There are pre-dev builds available for trying new features and bug fixes before they make it into the development version. Give them a spin if they interest you. I made a topic in this forum with all the information about pre-dev builds.
  • Submit white frame (mostly for Canon and Nikon) and/or color target shots from your camera if someone hasn’t done so already. We use them to improve camera support. Detailed instructions are on the RawPedia pages about new raw formats, and how to create DCP color profiles.

As for me, I should get familiar with the release process so I can help with publishing releases more frequently.


What more can I say than @Lawrence37 . Otherwise I completely agree.

The main thing (seemingly) is the problem of publications - what is visible from the outside. This is not trivial, because the media, particularly those dedicated to Photography (written press, Web, foreign forums, etc.) are free advertising. In addition, publishing frequently brings the system to life and maintains cooperation.

Just look at the number of commits and the number of PRs to see the activity.

All contributions are positive: documentation, testing of development versions (it is not always necessary to compile) and of course code (GUI,…), etc.

As a reminder of the executable versions (Windows, Appimage) currently in progress.



I think at least you can paste the above link on the top page of RawTherapee.

And/or Release Automated Builds · Beep6581/RawTherapee · GitHub. (These should really be nightly btw, as the tag suggests, so something is not quite right there. Edit: I guess no commit to dev for a month, so ok.) I guess you’d want more people to be aware/use/test the actual dev branch rather than specific in-progress PRs…

What also would help, is to keep the instructions for compiling RT actual.
Last October I was successful in compiling RT on Windows (with enough help, see git clone Rawtherapee receives time out). A short while ago I tried again, but I finally stopped because new errors occurred.
The description of compiling the release version on Linux is OK, at least to me it’s not quite clear how to compile a dev version. (I like to compile RT, because it makes a difference in speed!)
Not each one of us is a developer and used to work with github :slight_smile:

Hello everyone!

Thanks a lot for this update! :slight_smile:

Just a question: is it possible do download and test a version where ALL the github branches are included?
In short, what will become the 5.10 stable release.

At present, it looks like you are supposed to download every single branch.
Do not get me wrong, I am aware it is better to test a single branch from a developer point of view (so that these experimental features are not too mixed up together).

For instance, suppose I want to test the github branch (by Lawrence37) where the Libraw support is improved. At present, It looks like it is not available (but I may be wrong…)

My macOS test build includes the PRs listed in the above comment.

macOS testing shared folder:

I don’t know if people here read it in the discussion about wayland color management but according to my tests RawTherapee is actually Wayland native and doesn’t need X11, on the contrary to darktable. So that’s kind of future proof.


@yasuo I’m not sure if the front page of the website is the best place to link to development builds. However, I do think the downloads page could have a direct link. Right now, it links to RawPedia which has the link to the development builds, and I’ve just updated the development builds description to have a link to the pre-dev builds.

@Kurt I’d like to update the instructions too as I have the relevant knowledge. Unfortunately, I don’t have permission to do so (yet) :slightly_frowning_face:. No new requirements have been added since you successfully compiled. You could try re-running the configuration step before compiling. Sometimes that is required after an update.

@Silvio_Grosso There’s no such build available. It’s not very feasible to provide one because branches often modify the same components and can require manual intervention to combine them. The closest thing we have (aside from the one provided by @HIRAM) is the development build. All releases come from the dev branch. Automated builds for Windows and Linux are available on GitHub (linked by @kmilos above), and Richard has macOS packages.

@betazoid That’s good to hear. I haven’t seen any X11-specific code in RawTherapee (and I would be surprised if darktable had any). Color management is either handled by GTK (or whatever GTK uses), or in the case of the editor preview, is determined by a configurable color profile. In theory, that color profile just needs to be what Wayland expects.



I am not at all, but then not at all, a specialist in compilation directives. But I had this problem from October as soon as the Exif possibilities were increased.
While waiting for changes to the documentation, maybe - try this

In windows, open Msys2 MSYS
$ pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-exiv2

This will add exiv2 to the librairies…then same process as before. Maybe this should work

Hello, that’s easy. The basic way is as follows.

Step 1. Create the target folder RT-dev in your home directory (or wherever you like):

mkdir ~/RT-dev

Step 2: clone the dev repo:

git clone ~/RT-dev

Step 3:

cd RT-dev

Step 4, check what branch we have:

git branch

Output will be * dev

Step 5:

cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release

Step 6:

sudo make -j5 install

Use that -j5 if your cpu has four cores.

To run your dev-version of RT, double-click on the rawtherapee icon in /usr/local/bin, or make a keyboard shortcut for that.


I agree about updating the Windows instructions. Last I checked there were some issues with the needed packages missing some things. It would also be good to add instructions for compiling in WSL on Windows 11 (its just install WSL2 and then follow the linux instructions where you just run one script. MUCH easier than following the Windows instructions IMHO)

With the agreement of @Lawrence37 , I added “mingw-w64-x86_64-exiv2” to Rawpedia required libraries (Windows).



I’ve always wanted to do this, but have found it difficult to get any follow up to my offer of help; I’ve tried reaching out (both in general and directly), but have never received a reply. This isn’t in any way a grumble, of course (I know that all the developers are really busy, or maybe I just wasn’t reaching out in the correct way). I’d certainly like to offer my free time, though — I was interested to see if I could help with the documentation (non-translation).

Maybe, I could even help with something like this by just running a blog or creating ‘press releases/news letters’ on the developments happening with RT, for example,0 – i.e. help promote the software and increase exposure?



Sorry if you feel like you haven’t been heard.

No, the developers are not “very busy”, there is always a moment of availability.

The difficulty with free software is precisely that it is free, and that there is no project manager, or clearly defined project.
At certain times, “we believe” that the other, or others, have not understood. Ingo said that for the group to function it was desirable to meet physically, I think he is right, but this comes up against material and availability difficulties.

Your idea for a blog or newsletter is worth exploring :+1:


No appology necessary — indeed, far from it; I have nothing but complete praise for the RT project and everyone involved. :heart: If there’s anything I can do to give a little back, I’m always up for helping out. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Just be sure to not clip the highlights, though! :stuck_out_tongue: