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Shotwell Photo Manager Updated, Here’s How To Install It on 16.04

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When non-profit software development company Yorba shut down last year a cloud of uncertainty was left hanging over many of its applications, including desktop e-mail app Geary and digital photo manager Shotwell.

Thankfully it didn’t take long for the great clouds to pass. Community developers have stepped in to breath new life into both applications.

shotwell fedora icon

Yorba assigned its copyrights for Shotwell and Geary to the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) earlier this month.

Following the recent new release of Geary is a brand new version of Shotwell.

Development on the app resumed earlier this year — and no, we’re not talking about the confusing palaver with Pantheon Photos announced last year.

Shotwell Lives!

Shotwell is now maintained by Jens Georg under the GNOME umbrella.

“My mission is to ensure that Shotwell stays the great photo manager for the Linux desktop that it is,“ Jens Georg says of his stewardship.

I will do that by aiming to improve on its user experience in terms of stability, speed and looks while carefully selecting interesting new features such as an improved geolocation and tagging experience.”

Jens has overseen two releases of Shotwell this far. The first was issued in late April, and the latest version published on May 23, 2016.

Shotwell 0.23.1 features a selection of bug bandaids, including a welcome fix for Facebook integration failure.

Various obsolete snippets of code have been removed, as have references to Yorba. The About dialog also now links to the new Shotwell website.

Other notable changes in the Shotwell 0.23.1 change-log:

  • Update Facebook application ID so that Facebook integration works again
  • Fix for a file monitor issue when renaming an image
  • New and updated icons, including hi-res and symbolic
  • “Yorba website” renamed to “Shotwell website” in ‘About’ dialog
  • Adjust how Shotwell checks whether it runs uninstalled to allow running with symlinks
  • Allow the viewer to be closed when there is an issue loading an image
  • Fix error when no metadata is present in an image
  • Toolbar now uses GtkOverlay instead of custom pop-up
  • Critical errors caused by mouse hiding algorithm have been removed

These join the changes introduced in April, which included a new minimum width for the sidebar, a fix for an issue with the Crop tool not always appearing, and improved the security.

Get Shotwell 0.23.x

So it’s out, and maybe you want it. But how do you go about getting it?

This release won’t be available through Ubuntu’s default archives on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, 15.10 or 16.04 LTS.

To upgrade to this (and all future releases) of the app on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS only you can manually add the maintainer’s personal PPA to Software Sources.

The Terminal is the easiest way to do this:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yg-jensge/shotwell

sudo apt update && sudo apt install shotwell

To downgrade to the version included in the Ubuntu archives you can remove the PPA with the PPA Purge command-line tool.