From Ubuntu to openSUSE: Notes on Photographic Workflow Migration

There is no such thing as the best Linux distribution for photographers. With some tweaking, any mainstream distro can be turned into a solid platform for managing and processing photos. After all, digiKam, Darktable, gThumb, and other popular photographic tools can be easily deployed on practically any Linux distribution with a minimum of effort.

The devil is in the detail, though, and small things might require some adjustments. My recent migration from Ubuntu to openSUSE Tumbleweed is a case in point. Most of the tools I use in my photographic workflow are available in openSUSE’s official software repositories, so deploying them was a rather straightforward affair. But there were a few things that needed some tweaking.

I use SDHC exFAT-formatted cards with my cameras, and openSUSE can’t handle this format out of the box. This issue is easy to fix by installing two packages: fuse-exfat and exfat-utils. These packages are not available in openSUSE’s official software repositories, but they can be installed via software.opensuse.org.

Although my entire workflow is based on open source software, I prefer to use Pixeluvo instead of the GIMP to quickly fix and retouch occasional photos or RAW files. Pixeluvo is a closed-source commercial application, but it does run on Linux. Even though Pixeluvo’s RPM packages are built for Fedora, they can be easily installed on openSUSE using the sudo zypper install pixeluvo-x.x.x.rpm command. The /usr/bin/pixeluvo launch script uses the ldconfig tool to check whether the required libraries are installed. The problem is that this tool requires root privileges on openSUSE, so it won’t work straight away. To solve the issue, I simply replace the contents of the /usr/bin/pixeluvo script with the /opt/pixeluvo/bin/Pixeluvo64 & command. If you happen to run the 32-bit version of openSUSE, use the /opt/pixeluvo/bin/Pixeluvo32 & command instead. This is not the most elegant workaround, but it does the trick.

While Ubuntu mounts external USB storage devices in the /media/user directory, openSUSE uses /run/media/user for the same purpose. So if you like me use custom Bash shell scripts to transfer and manage photos and RAW files, you should keep this in mind and modify the scripts, if necessary.

About Me

I write about Linux and Open Source for a living. I’m an amateur photographer, and I use Linux as my photography platform. I’m the author of the Linux Photography book on setting up an automated and streamlined photographic workflow on Linux.