some digikam questions

Hello everyone,
While reading through the posts here I learned a lot bout the new to me open source tools availabel for photographers.
Since my windows machine gave up I jumped into the deep waters of linux and open source software. After years of using Lightroom for DAM I now slowly start to come to grips with digiKam. However there are two things I still have to wrap my head around so that I can use it effectively and I hope some of you could give me hints to set my bearings straight

I am on opensuse tumbelweed with digikam 6.2.0

  1. exporting images to local hard drive
    In my previous workflow I did all the necessary work with the images (sorting, tagging, development etc.) and then exported them as necessary. Either by using a plugin or by going through the export tab in lightroom where I could assign different parameters (size, quality, file type, “save to” location and so on).
    The two possibility’s i found in digikam don’t really seem to work for me.
    a. Export to local under the export tab does not allow to edit any settings
    b. Using the batch processing tool allows me to save the images as a different file type and quality, but I can not save the images to a different location, other than the current database.

Any suggestions how to go about exporting images to the local hard drive in one smooth action?

  1. virtual collections
    I really enjoyed this feature in lightroom and used it extensively. I suppose that the best way to do this in digiKam is by saved searches and tagging the images with a collection name?
    But maybe I did not find the best approach to creating collections yet?

I appreciate any advise


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First of all kudos for that! You wont regret it :wink:

digiKam does not operate inside a database or some hidden file structure. It has a database to store information about your images, but the actual image files are already on disk in a structure that you choose, not digiKam.
Lets say you have a directory tree with top-level directories like this (just an example)


you add pictures to digiKam, and then when you want to “export” something from raw to web you use the batch processing tool to do so. I believe that’s ideal, as then you can also manage exported pics from within digiKam.

If however for some reason that’s absolutely not an option for you, then you indeed need to do this in two steps, first doing the edits with batch processing to some directory that is managed by digiKam, then using whatever tool (drag&drop works too) to move them out to the desired location.

I never used Lightroom, so I might be missing an essential point of virtual collections, but from what I understand tags (nested) serve as a similar concept. If I do selections for specific presentations, topics, …, I tag images with an appropriate keyword. In the tag view you can then view those images/collections.

Thanks Simon,
for 1: after some reading of the documentation I got aware of the basic workings of the file structure. However until now I had two different hard drives. One for my image library and one separate drive for the projects I am working on which then also include the resized images.
I really want to keep these on two separate locations to prevent me messing up my image library.

So I will have to get used to the two step process.

for 2: there are some nice features with the lightroom collections, but the tag system will also work well.

Thanks again for your reply.

@Fred welcome to the community.
It might be worth adding any missing features in digikam bugzilla as a wish. Who knows maybe the next GSofC student will implement it…

You can add two different locations/drives to digiKam, that’s not a problem.

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I tried that and it seems to solve my issue. I now will test this workflow further ans see what are the pros and cons.

thanks again!

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