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Lua scripts


darktable can be customized and extended using the Lua programming language. This repository contains the collected efforts of the darktable developers, maintainers, contributors and community. The following sections list the scripts contained in the repository, whether they can be run by themselves (Standalone - Yes) or depend on other scripts (Standalone - No), what operating systems they are known to work on (L - Linux, M - MacOS, W - Windows), and their purpose.

For the latest changes, see the ChangeLog

Official Scripts

These scripts are written primarily by the darktable developers and maintained by the authors and/or repository maintainers. They are located in the official/ directory.

Name Standalone OS Purpose
check_for_updates Yes LMW Check for updates to darktable
copy_paste_metadata Yes LMW Copy and paste metadata, tags, ratings, and color labels between images
delete_long_tags Yes LMW Delete all tags longer than a specified length
delete_unused_tags Yes LMW Delete tags that have no associated images
enfuse No L Exposure blend several images (HDR)
generate_image_txt No L Generate txt sidecar files to be overlaid on zoomed images
image_path_in_ui Yes LMW Plugin to display selected image path
import_filter_manager Yes LMW Manager for import filters
import_filters No LMW Two import filters for use with import_filter_manager
save_selection Yes LMW Provide save and restore from multiple selection buffers
selection_to_pdf No L Generate a PDF file from the selected images

Contributed Scripts

These scripts are contributed by users. They are meant to have an "owner", i.e. the author, who maintains them. Over time the community has helped maintain these scripts, as well as the authors. They are located in the contrib/ directory.

Name Standalone OS Purpose
AutoGrouper Yes LMW Group images together by time
autostyle Yes LMW Automatically apply styles on import
change_group_leader Yes LMW Change which image leads group
clear_GPS Yes LMW Reset GPS information for selected images
CollectHelper Yes LMW Add buttons to selected images module to manipulate the collection
copy_attach_detach_tags Yes LMW Copy and paste tags from/to images
cr2hdr Yes L Process image created with Magic Lantern Dual ISO
enfuseAdvanced No LMW Merge multiple images into Dynamic Range Increase (DRI) or Depth From Focus (DFF) images
exportLUT Yes LMW Create a LUT from a style and export it
ext_editor No LW Export pictures to collection and edit them with up to nine user-defined external editors
face_recognition No LM Identify and tag images using facial recognition
fujifilm_dynamic_range No LMW Correct fujifilm exposure based on exposure bias camera setting
fujifilm_ratings No LM Support importing Fujifilm ratings
geoJSON_export No L Create a geo JSON script with thumbnails for use in ...
geoToolbox No LMW A toolbox of geo functions
gimp No LMW Open an image in GIMP for editing and return the result
gpx_export No LMW Export a GPX track file from selected images GPS data
HDRMerge No LMW Combine the selected images into an HDR DNG and return the result
hugin No LMW Combine selected images into a panorama and return the result
image_stack No LMW Combine a stack of images to remove noise or transient objects
image_time Yes LMW Adjust the EXIF image time
kml_export No L Export photos with a KML file for usage in Google Earth
LabelsToTags Yes LMW Apply tags based on color labels and ratings
OpenInExplorer No LMW Open the selected images in the system file manager
passport_guide Yes LMW Add passport cropping guide to darkroom crop tool
pdf_slideshow No LM Export images to a PDF slideshow
photils No LM Automatic tag suggestions for your images
quicktag Yes LMW Create shortcuts for quickly applying tags
rate_group Yes LMW Apply or remove a star rating from grouped images
rename_images Yes LMW Rename single or multiple images
rename-tags Yes LMW Change a tag name
RL_out_sharp No LW Output sharpening using GMic (Richardson-Lucy algorithm)
select_untagged Yes LMW Enable selection of untagged images
slideshowMusic No L Play music during a slideshow
transfer_hierarchy Yes LMW Image move/copy preserving directory hierarchy
video_ffmpeg No LMW Export video from darktable

Example Scripts

These scripts provide examples of how to use specific portions of the API. They run, but are meant for demonstration purposes only. They are located in the examples/ directory.

Name Standalone OS Purpose
api_version Yes LMW Print the current API version
darkroom_demo Yes LMW Demonstrate changing images in darkoom
gettextExample Yes LM How to use translation
hello_world Yes LMW Prints hello world when darktable starts
lighttable_demo Yes LMW Demonstrate controlling lighttable mode, zoom, sorting and filtering
moduleExample Yes LMW How to create a lighttable module
multi_os No LMW How to create a cross platform script that calls an external executable
panels_demo Yes LMW Demonstrate hiding and showing darktable panels
preferenceExamples Yes LMW How to use preferences in a script
printExamples Yes LMW How to use various print functions from a script
running_os Yes LMW Print out the running operating system


Tool scripts perform functions relating to the repository, such as generating documentation. They are located in the tools/ directory.

Name Standalone OS Purpose
executable_manager Yes LMW Manage the external executables used by the lua scripts
gen_i18n_mo No LMW Generate compiled translation files (.mo) from source files (.po)
get_lib_manpages No LM Retrieve the library documentation and output it in man page and PDF format
get_libdoc No LMW Retrieve the library documentation and output it as text
script_manager No LMW Manage (install, update, enable, disable) the lua scripts

Related third-party projects

The following third-party projects are listed for information only. Think of this collection as an awesome-darktable-lua-scripts list. Use at your own risk!

Download and Install

The recommended method of installation is using git to clone the repository. This ensures that all dependencies on other scripts are met as well as providing an easy update path. Single scripts listed as standalone may be downloaded and installed by themselves.

snap packages

The snap version of darktable comes with lua included starting with version 2.4.3snap2.

Ensure git is installed on your system. If it isn't, use the package manager to install it. Then open a terminal and:

cd ~/snap/darktable/current
git clone lua

flatpak packages

Flatpak packages now use the internal lua interpreter.

Ensure git is installed on your system. If it isn't, use the package manager to install it. Then open a terminal and:

cd ~/.var/app/org.darktable.Darktable/config/darktable
git clone lua

appimage packages

These packages run in their own environment and don't have access to a lua interpreter, therefore the scripts can't run. The packagers could enable the internal interpreter, or allow the package to link the interpreter from the operating system, or bundle a copy of lua with the package. If you use one of these packages and wish to use the lua scripts, please contact the package maintainer and suggest the above fixes.

Linux and MacOS

Ensure git is installed on your system. If it isn't, use the package manager to install it. Then open a terminal and:

cd ~/.config/darktable/
git clone lua


Ensure git is installed on your system. Git can be obtained from, as well as other places. If you use the distribution, install the Git Bash Shell also as it will aid in debugging the scripts if necessary. Then open a command prompt and run:

cd %LOCALAPPDATA%\darktable
git clone lua

If you don't have %LOCALAPPDATA%\darktable you have to start dartable at least once, because the directory is created at the first start of darktable.


When darktable starts it looks for a file name ~/.config/darktable/luarc (%LOCALAPPDATA%\darktable\luarc for windows) and reads it to see which scripts to include. The file is a plain text file with entries of the form require "<directory>/<name>" where directory is the directory containing the scripts, from the above list, and name is the name from the above list. To include GIMP the line would be require "contrib/gimp".

The recommended way to enable and disable specific scripts is using the script manager module. To use script manager do the following:

Linux or MacOS

echo 'require "tools/script_manager"' > ~/.config/darktable/luarc


echo "require 'tools/script_manager'" > %LOCALAPPDATA%\darktable\luarc


echo 'require "tools/script_manager"' > ~/snap/darktable/current/luarc


echo require "tools/script_manager"' > ~/.var/app/org.darktable.Darktable/config/darktable/luarc

You can also create or add lines to the luarc file from the command line:

echo 'require "contrib/gimp"' > ~/.config/darktable/luarc to create the file with a gimp entry
or echo 'require "contrib/hugin"' >> ~/.config/darktable/luarc to add an entry for hugin.

On windows from a command prompt:

echo require "contrib/gimp" > %LOCALAPPDATA%\darktable\luarc to create the file with a gimp entry
or echo require "contrib/hugin" >> %LOCALAPPDATA%\darktable\luarc to add an entry for hugin.


To disable a script open the luarc file in your text editor and insert -- at the start of the line containing the script you wish to disable, then save the file.


To update the script repository, open a terminal or command prompt and do the following:


cd ~/snap/darktable/current/lua
git pull


cd ~/.var/app/org.darktable.Darktable/config/darktable/lua
git pull

Linux and MacOS

cd ~/.config/darktable/lua/
git pull


cd %LOCALAPPDATA%\darktable\lua
git pull


The Lua Scripts Manual provides documentation for the scripts transcribed from the header comments. Each script also contains comments and usage instructions in the header comments.

The Lua Scripts Library API Manual provides documentation of the libraries and functions. Lua-script libraries documentation may also be generated using the tools in the tools/ directory.

More information about the scripting with Lua can be found in the darktable user manual: Scripting with Lua

The Lua API Manual provides docuemntation of the darktable Lua API.


Running darktable with Lua debugging enabled provides more information about what is occurring within the scripts.


Open a terminal and start darktable with the command snap run darktable -d lua. This provides debugging information to give you insight into what is happening.


Open a terminal and start darktable with the command darktable -d lua. This provides debugging information to give you insight into what is happening.


Open a terminal and start darktable with the command /Applications/ -d lua. This provides debugging information to give you insight into what is happening.


Open a command prompt. Start darktable with the command "C:\Program Files\darktable\bin\darktable" -d lua > log.txt. This provides debugging information to give you insight into what is happening.


In order to have your own scripts added here they have to be under a free license (GPL2+ will definitely work, others can be discussed).


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