photo browser and organizer
Perl Roff
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BaPhO (bart9h's photo organizer)


Keeping your photos is a very long term business. You don't want to invest time to organize your photos just to have the software you relied on to stop working, (you moved to a different system where it is not available, it stopped being maintained or supported, etc).

I tried some photo managers, but I was always wary of committing to a specific software. Of course, if I choose an open source software, I could code a export/import tool if I decide to switch to another one. But I also didn't want to commit to a specific layout for the folders, or a database for the metadata. What I really want, and fell it's the Right Thing To Do, it's to just use the filesystem. None did that, so I decided to create my own.


  • You can rename or rearrange the folders or photos any way you like, because:

  • Everything is in the file system:

    • All metadata (rating, tags, etc) is kept in a simple text file alongside the image files.
    • Unixy extensibility: easy to do complex operations using your file manager or command line tools.
    • Don't rely on databases: the data will still be useful even without BaPhO.
  • Simple on-screen-display, keyboard driven interface.

    • [planned, currently only uses wheel to navigate] Mouse works too.
  • Handles multiple files of the same photo.

    • [planned] Pick which version to display (currently it uses the most recently modified).
  • Import tool automatically copy (or move) photos to a folder structure based on EXIF date/time.

  • Use external tools for editing (UFRaw, GIMP).

    • [planned] Built-in raw developing (using libRAW).
  • Handles video too (with MPlayer).

  • Use tags, names, places, stars (rating).

  • Easily apply multiple tags to multiple photos.

  • Multiple views (tab-like)

    • Built-in view editor.
    • Filter by rating and tags.
    • Persist views between sessions.
  • Use system memory to cache pictures on memory for super fast viewing.

    • [planned] Read-ahead in background.
  • Keys to advance to next/prev day/month/year.

  • Thumbnail view.

  • [planned] Folder view.

  • Display EXIF info.

  • Print files from selected photos to stdout, to facilitate integration with other tools.

(check the TODO file for known bugs and more planned features)

System requirements

Optional external tools

  • UFRaw, to develop raw files

  • Gimp, to edit other image files

  • ImageMagick, to auto-apply sharpening when saving .ppm files

  • gphoto2, to import files directly from the camera

  • any text editor (defined by the EDITOR environment variable) to enter new tags

  • MPlayer, to handle video