gThumb 3.12

AVIF and HEIF images can now be opened and edited in gThumb, the open source photo manager for Linux desktops.

The new gThumb 3.12 release includes the ability to load .avif, .heif (including Apple’s .heic) and .jxl images, as well as the ability to save images in the .avif format.

gThumb icon

What is AVIF and HEIF? They’re both new image file formats that offer a smaller file size than traditional JPEG images but with negligible loss in quality.

The AVIF image format is particularly interesting as it’s an open-source and royalty free optimised image format that’s said to provide “significant file size reduction compared with JPEG, PNG and WebP”. Firefox will gain support for it in its next release.

Other changes in gThumb 3.12 include faster navigation when browsing a directory containing thousands of images; you can now configure shortcuts for Save and Save As… options; and a new template editor.

Additionally, the image viewer component in gThumb 3.12 uses a proportional zoom increment and keeps the same pixel under the pointer whilst/after zooming. The media viewer (used to preview video files) gains actions to skip forward/back, and offers more precise seeking when clicking in the progress bar directly.

If some of this sounds familiar it’s because gThumb 3.12 contains all of the 3.11.x series changes, and is a direct update to gThumb 3.10.

Other changes:

  • Set shortcuts to activate filters
  • Mount unmounted volumes
  • Color picker: added other formats: rgb in % and hsl
  • Option to show/hide the statusbar
  • Progress dialog in status bar
  • Read color profiles from .png files

In all, a nice uplift over the gThumb 3.10 release from earlier this year.

Getting gThumb 3.12

You can install an older version of gThumb from the Ubuntu repos using the Ubuntu Software app, or by running this command in a new terminal window?

sudo apt install gthumb

An official gThumb Flatpak is now available from Flathub:

gThumb on Flathub

You can also download gThumb 3.12 source code and compile it by hand. This isn’t as hard as it sounds if you follow the contents of the README file.

Alternatively, the UbuntuHandbook PPA provides pre-built versions of gThumb 3.12, albeit unofficially. These builds include the relevant dependencies to enable HEIF/HEIC/AVIF support.

To add the PPA and install gThumb on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and above, run:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/apps

Followed by:

sudo apt install gthumb

Once installed, you’re ready to go — but note that Nautilus may need to be restarted before .heic and .heif image thumbnails appear, and for file association with gThumb to take effect,

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