Rawtherapee versions

General question:

How does the release works? Right now there’s:


I understand that “release” is the current RT. Each of the appimage has a different release numbers. Does this mean that they are incompatible with each other? Are the pp3 compatible with each other.?

If I’d like to use the new shadows/highlights and the locallabs. Will these things be merge in the next version v5.5?



I’d assume the PP3s for things like local lab and new shadows & highlights are not compatible with one another. They’re development versions and the underlying PP3 structures may change.

For purposes of having a production-style workflow, I would not rely on them. However, if you’re OK using multiple versions and keeping track of them, then go for whatever development branch works for you.

Is there any intention/plan of merging them into the mainline?



new shadows/highlights is already merged in dev-5.4-524-g3bfd903d and thus will be present in 5.5.

Newlocallab is a huge and complex feature still under development and test. I think it will not be ready for 5.5. So feel free to use and test it.

Once sufficiently tested, the feature branches (waveletnew, newlocallab…) are merged in the dev branch.
When the developpers decide it, a snapshot of the dev branch is made to create a stable release, here releases-5.4.

Regarding PP3, read paperdigits answer. As you use different features, the result will certainly be different.

Intention: yes, but some features are discarded or simply forsaken
plan: Its FOSS and as such depending on availability and will of developpers. So no plan as for commercial SW but there exist a roadmap for next stable release.

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A release is made once every few months and appears on our official Downloads page as a stable build. Everything else is unstable, made by the community for testing. The keyword after “RawTherapee-” is the name of the feature branch, e.g. dev, newlocallab, etc.

New features in the dev branch will be present in the next release. New features in other feature branches may or may not be present in the next release.

We try to maintain backwards compatibility between stable releases when possible. There is absolutely no intention of maintaining PP3 compatibility between development builds.


Whatever new things there are in the latest development builds from of dev branch will most likely be present in the next release; this includes the new Shadows/Highlights tool. PP3 files from the latest dev might not be compatible with 5.5, i.e. they might lead to different results.

To find out which features might make it into the next release, refer to Issues · Beep6581/RawTherapee · GitHub

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@foto @gaaned92 @Morgan_Hardwood

To avoid confusion, I have removed the now obsolete new-shadows-highlights AppImage.