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Aurélien PIERRE edited this page Jan 14, 2019 · 4 revisions

Welcome to the darktable wiki! It's currently in construction.

Building darktable

For now, see : (to be migrated here and updated).

Before testing the developpement version, remember to keep frequent backups of the following files in your ~./config/darktable directory:

  • daktablerc
  • data.db
  • library.db

Errors during building are usually related to missing dependencies. If the compilation fails, take a look at the error message, and if it reports a missing dependency, search which package provides it in your distribution and install it. Then, build again and repeat until you have all your dependencies installed.

Reporting bugs

When you report a bug, please remember developpers are not magicians and are not in front of your desktop. The same error can have multiple causes, and dropping backtraces is usually not enough. To help us understand your problem remotely, please provide as many details as possible, like:

  1. the backtrace generated, if possible,
  2. the OS used, its version, the non-standard tweaks you might have done,
  3. the hardware used: GPU, CPU, RAM
  4. does your issue arise with or without OpenCL enabled, or both ?
  5. what were you doing when the issue arised ?
  6. if you backup and delete the ~./config/darktable directory (meaning you reset it to default post-install state), does the issue reproduce ?



Try building pull requests (in sandboxes, or backup your config files first — see above), and give feedback on them or report bugs. Build the master and report bugs or performance dropdowns.


There are lots of rough corners in darktable regarding UI glitches (GTK, Cairo) and many bugs affect them. Also, usability and ergonomics could be improved. The darktable project can count on several scientists for the image processing parts, but lacks graphists and UI designers to help building clear interfaces.


There is duplicated code in the software that could be factorized and put into libraries. Also, bugs are piling up faster than we can fix them, so any help is always welcome.


See the developper's guide to begin hacking in darktable.

Proposing features

While proposing new features, keep in mind that darktable:

  • tries to stay compatible with its earlier versions,
  • does not have a full-time team of software engineers,
  • tries to stay fairly usable on limited hardware.

Consequently, new features that require the latest GPU monster to give usable performance are not likely to make it inside the core. That applies to most ground-breaking machine-learning features.

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