28 June 2016

A F24 user story

Honestly, nothing from the features in the announcement of the Fedora 24 release didn't manage to excite me intro upgrading my desktop from an old, out-of-support Fedora. It's main task is to edit digital photography and for some years a Linux solution is decent at it.

Still, the devil is in the details! I wanted to switch to the (relatively) recent 2.x release of darktable and maybe play a bit with development versions of GIMP. Obscure tasks from a release notes point of view, but a big use case for me. It was a 2 weeks window from the F24 release to the next big incoming project, plenty of time to fix any small annoyances, right?

Well, not so fast :) The first thing to notice, was GIMP (2.8.16, stable) being close to useless: it can't import RAW images, due to the import plugin (UFRaw) segfaulting in the process. You can still use the app, but only for JPEG snapshots, not for anything serious.

Of course, there are workarounds: use another app, like darktable (remember, my first reason for the upgrade), for the RAW-to-JPEG conversion and then polish it with GIMP (something which is part of my workflow for some scenarios). Not so fast, again! I wasn't able to discover the cause, but my darktable in Fedora 24 crashes a lot. A lot more than... say Windows 98 (first edition) in a bad day. Anecdote: for one particular photo, it crashed 4 times in a row (open the app -> select image thumbnail -> press the export button). It worked with a Windows 98 "solution": close everything else, try once more.

Another possible workaround: use GIMP devel, which is available via Flatpack (Flatpak is so much talked as a feature, but so much not ready for primetime in F24!). No luck either: that GIMP comes with no plugins and no obvious way to install them. And Damn! the new GIMP is so fugly...

Perhaps in a couple of months it will be smooth, but for now the upgrade don't look like a good investment.

fedora 24


  1. Have you posted bugreports?

    1. For GIMP, of course, about a week ago. For darktable not, since I don't have enough info for a proper report ('crashes' is not enough).

  2. Hi Nicu,
    Could you post your hardware specification?
    For Darktable you may need to update the setting or increase the RAM.
    For Gimp devel, you can trying either ryanlerch/gimp-unstable or nphilipp/gimp-unstable from COPR repository.
    Also try to do "dnf upgrade @design-suite" which include Gimp plugins like latest update of resynthesizer and recently save-for-web.

    1. The hardware is an i5 with 4GB of RAM, which used to run darktable like a champ.
      Those COPR repos are painfully out-of-date, 1-2 releases behind and not updated for 6-7 months.
      I don't use the @design-suite and can install packages on my own... resynthesizer or save-for-web are of little use, things like g'mic are more important. Anyway, my problem is with UFRaw.

  3. That's really strange Darktable keeps on crashing with that spec. Could you adjust the "Core options" to minimal and see if that helps then gradually increase until Darktable crashes.
    Alternatively, there is RawTherapee to the rescue. I don't know that application much. Hopefully it will be a workaround for you.
    As for Gimp devel in flatpak, that was the same question I asked for the plugins

    1. The specific features i use darktable for are not available in RawTherapee. Also, not much help when each app uses its own file format and you can't import your work from one to another.

    2. Ack! What about Darktable in flatpak package?

    3. isn't that expected to use even more memory? you know, for not using system libraries

    4. True. That is why I maxed out my laptop specification (AMD A10 7400P with 16GB RAM) for that purpose hence no crash. Perhaps you can do the same to take advantage of your spec.

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