GSoC/GCI Archive
Google Summer of Code 2011


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darktable is a free virtual lighttable and darkroom for photographers. It manages your digital negatives in a database and lets you view them through a zoomable lighttable. It also enables you to develop raw images and enhance them.

This project tries to fill the gap between the many excellent existing free raw converters and image management tools (such as UFRaw or F-Spot). All editing is fully non-destructive and only operates on cached image buffers for display. The full image is only converted during export.

The frontend is written in gtk+/cairo, the database uses sqlite3, raw image loading is done using rawspeed and libraw as fallback, high-dynamic range, and standard image formats such as jpeg are also supported.

The core operates completely on floating point values, so darktable can not only be used for photography but also for scientifically acquired images or output of renderers (high dynamic range). Darktable features parts of its pipeline in OpenCL for fast processing. The core is very small, and every possible task is outsourced to loadable modules, such as image format for export, light table plugins as the collection interface, and raw pixel processing plugins.

We are quickly approaching the 150k lines of code (see, with three main developers and about 19 active contributors (who submitted more than one patch since release-0.7.1).

Our main features include:

  • non-destructive, fully color managed processing in 32 bit per color channel floating point
  • SSE and OpenCL accelerated processing
  • tethered shooting via gphoto2
  • a lot of high quality raw processing modules, standard as well as unique ones
  • export to various formats as well as email/flickr/picasa upload
  • flexible database queries for custom image collections, tagging, color labels, star ratings


This year's summer of code result can be found at They have already been integrated into the main project



  • UI Improvements Improving several elements of the Darktable user interface.