Released darktable 1.6

We are happy to announce that almost after one year darktable 1.6 has just been released.

The release notes and relevant downloads can be found attached to this git tag:
Please only use our provided packages (green buttons tar.xz and dmg) not the auto-created tarballs from github (grey buttons, zip and tar.gz). The latter are just git snapshots and will not work! Here's the direct link to tar.xz:

If you are using any distribution's packages, please be patient for the packager to catch up and provide the relevant updates.

Thanks to our great community and all the contributors for making this possible!
See the development visualised:

Enjoy the release!

New features:


  • high DPI monitor support
  • signed OSX packages
  • map view now allows to only show images from the current collection on the map
  • slideshow
  • darktable-cli now works without a running X server for use on headless systems
  • support for audio notes playback
  • sticky preview
  • added the option to overwrite files when exporting to disk
  • crawler that syncs all xmp files on start
  • support huge images (> 32 bit pixel index). darktable can open 26770x13385 TIFFs and should in theory be able to process arbitrary sized images. don't try this on a 32 bit system though!
  • lens iop presets are copy/pastable between different images


  • tiff read/write rewritten, works on 32-bit float now, supports compression
  • allow setting PPI for exported JPEGs, defaulting to 300
  • pwstorage libsecret
  • use HTTPS when exporting to flickr


  • new defringe image operation
  • automatic mode for levels module
  • allow to disable white balance
  • new colour reconstruction mode for highlight recovery that tries to add both colour and structure to clipped areas. thanks to a1ex from magic lantern!
  • better basecurve tool to create basecurves from raw/jpg pairs
  • soft boundaries in sliders (right click and type 8 in exposure compensation for example)
  • input colour gamut mapping to avoid problems with saturated blues causing purple artefacts


  • color conversion speedup (openmp for lcms2 case)
  • add linear Rec2020 as a build-in profile
  • embedded icc profile support for png/tiff (read/write)

lua scripting:

  • copy, move, reset and delete images via lua
  • handle progress bars via lua
  • limited manipulation of libs an views UI via lua
  • import and export styles via lua
  • trigger lua when the grouping mode changes
  • trigger lua when the overlay mode changes
  • trigger lua when the active view changes
  • manipulate snapshots via lua
  • handle more types of preferences, including enums, directories and file names
  • lua API is now versioned: use darktable.configuration.check_version to check
  • lua API incompatibilities: darktable.modules has been removed, use darktable.new_format and darktable.new_storage to access the constructors

performance improvements:

  • many speed improvements by adding sse code for image operations
  • make white balance work faster
  • make invert work faster
  • much faster exr export with optional compression (multicore support)
  • speedup of pfm writing
  • speedup of amaze. it is still slow but not as bad as it used to be

internal improvements:

  • module parameter introspection
  • clang/address-sanitizer/etc compiler warnings fixed
  • flip iop used for raw auto-orientation (simplifies code)
  • complete rawspeed migration for raw loading

bug fixes:

  • hdr bracketing fixes
  • masks cleanup and bugfixes
  • correct lens detection for compact cameras
  • avoid clipping in vignette, lowpass, shadows & highlights, a/b channels of colorcontrast and tonecurve

new cameras supported!

  • initial support for x-trans sensors
  • new demosaicing algorithms: markesteijn for x-trans and vng for x-trans and regular bayer raws
  • There is support for several dozens of new cameras, and loads of new noise profiles for denoising have been added. Check out the full list in the release notes on github.

and of course also:

  • updated usermanual
  • lots of small performance improvements and code cleanup

87 thoughts on “Released darktable 1.6

    • darktable offers basic JPEG support. “basic” here means “as far as you can go with the limited information leftover in a JPEG compressed file”.

  1. How do I report a defect?

    Looks like “shadows and highlights” is totally broken in 1.6 – instead of applying blur to the mask, it is applied to the image itself, both gaussian and bilateral filters behave this way. Reproduced on jpeg and dng images, tested with MacOS 10.10.1

  2. Hi guys. You made a great job! Thanks for all… 1.6 works fine and I enjoy it! No software is free of bug… and you still work on it.
    Merry christmas and happy new year

  3. Great, not played too much yet with 1.6 but first impression is great.
    Thank you very much for your great work.

  4. What has happ that the fonts in darktable are so small as to be almost unusable for me? I am using a MacBook Pro with OSX 10.9.

    • DT on OS X now correctly determines DPI and scales the GUI according to it. You can see detected value if you run darktable like that:
      /Applications/ -d control
      If it’s incorrect, you can override it with screen_dpi_overwrite setting in ~/.config/darktable/darktablerc

    • I have looked every place I know for ~/.config/darktable/darktablerc and can’t find it. Please help me with a little more information.


    • I finally found the file and looked at the contents. I found the screen_dpi_overwrite line. It shows =-1.0. What numbers should I use to make the fonts larger. When I open DarkTable from the command line with -d control, the screen resolution sets to 59.000001. Please help me with this since there doesn’t seem to be instructions on this.

  5. Hi!

    Couldn’t you make it a little bit easier, to install darktable 1.6 on Debian Wheezy? For example a precompiled debian package?

    Thanks in advance, Peter!

  6. I Love it! Great Job everyone! Now looking forward to discover the new features. I was missing a better Synchronization of the Meta Information… so looks like you guys are spying on me ;-)
    Again thanks for this awesome software!

  7. Thanks! Got this on CentOS 7 and using Fujifilm Xtrans camera. Nice to have a good tool that can work with these files. For those wondering, it is in the nux desktop repo for EL7 and was updated today by the owner of that repo.

    Any idea when the PDF user manual will be updated? Only one I can find is for v1.4, should still get me going but it would be great to have the newer information.

    Thanks again.

  8. Thanks a lot for your great work, I really appreciate it. I use darktable since years nearly exclusively for processing my fotos.

    Have a very good next year

  9. I recently downloaded v. 1.6. I was hoping to use Darktable as an alternative to Adobe Lightroom. However, on my computer (MacBook Pro) the fonts are so small I can hardly read them. I understand from a reply from parafin to my previous inquiry that the program automatically scales the GUI based on the screen dpi and that this can be overridden in ~/.config/darktable/darktablerc. However, I cannot find any explanation of how adjust the size of the font. Starting Darktable from the command line with -d control shows it is setting the screen resolution to 59.000001 dpi. In darktablerc the screen_dpi_overwrite setting = -1.0. Can anyone explain to what I should change the overwrite setting to create larger fonts in the GUI so that I can read it? TIA

    • To increase font size set screen_dpi_overwrite setting (by editing ~/.config/darktable/darktablerc file when DT is not running) to value larger than your current detected DPI of 59. For example setting it to 118.0 should double the font size. I think one could easily guess how this setting works by looking at the name or by trying different values and seeing what happens.

  10. The new version works great on my macbook pro (non retina) but I’m having show stopping issues with the view size on my new imac with 5k screen where I was hoping to use it. I simply can’t get it to show the full photo in the darkroom view. For landscape photos it always crops pixels on the side. For portrait photos, does that as soon as I zoom in.

    Out of the box it defaults to a tiny area that shows only part of the photo. During zooming it shows twice the area Still leaves a bit of grey on all sides) and it reverts back to half that as soon as I stop zooming.

    I ran daktable from the commandline as suggested above:

    iMac:~/.config $ /Applications/ -d control
    2014-12-31 17:44:30.178 defaults[2121:384889]
    The domain/default pair of (.GlobalPreferences, AppleCollationOrder) does not exist
    /Applications/ line 83: test: argument expected
    [defaults] found a 64-bit system with 33554432 kb ram and 8 cores (0 atom based)
    [defaults] setting high quality defaults
    [mipmap_cache] database is new, dropping old cache `/Users/jilles/.cache/darktable/mipmaps-eac2992e47fda5b78ceffc8474350923f5b31689′
    [HiDPI] setting ppd to 2.000000
    [screen resolution] setting the screen resolution to 108.257099 dpi
    [color profile] we got a new screen profile `Display’ from the osx color profile api (size: 3272)

    I tried increasing the max width and height. E.g. setting it to 5000×3000 or even 30kx30k. This fixes things vertically but not horzontally. Photos now fill the full height of the available area but it always crops it horizontally and I simply can’t see the pixels on the side at all.

    I’d love to have a workaround for this issue.

    • In 1.6 there is hardwired upper limit of 3000×3000 pixels for that setting. I believe it’s no longer an issue in git master, so next major release will solve your problem, but it’s not happenning anytime soon. For the time being the only thing you can do is to turn off HiDPI mode in DT by setting screen_ppd_overwrite=1.0 in ~/.config/darktable/darktablerc, but this will mean that picture and some controls won’t look as crisp as they do now.
      BTW darktable 1.6.1 is out, you should upgrade, there are some minor fixes:

    • Putting screen_ppd_overwrite=1.0 in ~/.config/darktable/darktablerc saved me. I’m on Macbook pro Retina 15. Without this it’s unusable since you can’t see half of the picture. Thanks for the workaround, and I hope this gets fixed soon. btw I’m on 1.6.1.

    • What should get fixed? What do you mean you can’t see half of the picture (maybe screenshot will help)? Did you check maximum dimensions of image drawing area settings in preferences?

    • Thank you for the prompt reply parafin! When I said ‘half an image’ i really referred to the same issue Jilles had. Sorry for the confusion. I did’t check those settings – my bad. Now i pumped that up to 3000×3000 (you suggested is a maximum) and it’s not cutting the image anymore on my display which is 2880×1800. I have reverted screen_ppd_overwrite to -1.0 I believe many people will experience the same issue (I did’t even know this setting is there – and I’m still thinking it works in a wrong way. So default is 1300×1000 (which is pretty small by todays display standards) so on those defaults if I choose ‘fit to screen’ it cuts pixels from the width and height rather than fitting the image into this predefined image drawing area. I also see that image is shown as I scroll, but after i stop scrolling it just cuts pixels and you see only a part of the image. To me that is a bug because it’s supposed to ‘fit’ the image into those 1300×1000 not crop the image.

      Everything else looks really good. Thank you for all the hard work!

    • Thanks for the suggestions. I will give this and 1.6.1 a try. Is there any chance of a backport of the fix to 1.6? I’d be happy to test any builds. Ping me @jillesvangurp on twitter/github/google/…

  11. Hi, I tried to use HDR with one Pentax K-30 DNG image, but the results looks almost the same. Does darktable 1.6 not support anymore HDR from one image?

    • What do you gain by converting a single image into an HDR? The last sentence should probably contain some ” since it wouldn’t even be a real HDR.

  12. Hi guys… Just want to say FANTASTIC JOB!! I’m very new to photograhy and only been useing Linux for a few years but after getting my Canon EOS Kiss x7 for christmas 2014 and finding Darktable, my Linux learning and courage to play around with and learn photgraphy has grown to a new level… Darktable is a little dawnting at first but I’m slowly getting through it…

    Thanks for all your hard work (I saw the youtube vid of Darktable development history- Amazing), looking forward to the furture of Darktable.

  13. how on earth do you install this! come on guys, its the year 2015, this sort of tar or what ever you call it to compile is ridiculous. where’s the install instructions! is there a SIMPLE deb file to double click and install instead of stuffing around with by gone days of complex installs.

    please provide link to a simple deb for ubuntu please.

    you need to encourage more people to linux not scare them with these hard installs. im sure in windows they dont have the app in machine code to compile it into a auto install exe before anything else