Ubuntu – How Do I Print Photos


Other than for Windows in Ubuntu there are no fancy utilities provided from printer manufacturers to print photos. I am aware of Gnome Photo Printer and of Photoprint, the first being easy to handle, the latter having more options. However I wonder if there are any other or maybe even better alternatives (including plugins) to perform the following tasks:

  • Print photos in the best photo-resolution the driver offers
  • Adjust paper size for standard values of photo papers
  • Choose paper tray if the printer has more than one
  • Print out multiple photos on one page including mixed sizes (grids)
  • Multiple prints with same settings
  • Borderless printing if the printer is capable of this

Any additional options like pre-processing for color correction or noise reduction would be nice to have but are not so essential.

According to this spec it seems not to so easy to accomplish the simple task of printing photos.

Indeed all applications I have gone through have major drawbacks that make printing photos almost impossible. Below I will list what put me off using them for photo printing:

  • For obscure reasons CUPS only offers printing at 600 dpi the most.
  • Gnome Photo Printer: no thumbnails, no grids, not available for 14.04
  • Photoprint: does not keep settings, GUI broken, no standard photo size, no thumbs, not available for 14.04
  • Eye Of Gnome: no multiple pages, no grids
  • Gimp + Images Grid Layout: far too many steps to finally find that prints are always different to their previews.
  • F-Spot: no grids
  • Picasa 3 via Wine: no grids, very few fixed paper sizes, 300 dpi only
  • flPhoto: strange GUI, no thumbs, no printer settings, did not print at all
  • TurboPrint: proprietary paid software with a shameless high price and obscure paid-only update policy – but it does the job quite well (even includes reporting Inklevels from a network printer) for many Canon, Epson, Brother and HP printers. Alas, I am not willing to pay $40 for a basic feature I expect to just work.
  • Windows: Ooops – everything works fine! But I want Ubuntu to do this!

After half a pack of ink cartridges and half a pack of photo paper cards I am getting tired of testing. At least Gimp and Picasa looked promising but both don't keep their promise when it comes to printing. I'd already be happy to quickly print a few photos with EOG if bug #80220 was fixed – but it's still on "wishlist".

Best Answer

F-Spot can make some of the things you are asking for (though not all)

On the other hand, and though this is not an answer to your question, but eventually, and hopefully, it will be. There's a project called DarkTable, which is being developed as a substitute of Lightroom. The print interface, however, is still in the list of future features, but it's promising. More info: http://darktable.sourceforge.net/features.shtml


What about gthumb?:

  1. Up to 600 dpi
  2. No standard sizes, but customizable ones
  3. Paper tray selection in the print dialog (cups, I think)
  4. Can do grids, but you can't mix grid sizes (you can mix photo sizes, but within the cell grid -meaning they will be adjusted to the cell size, but you can't select each image's size-)...
  5. Guess you can print several times with same settings (you can't save settings, tho)
  6. Can't test the borderless, as my printer is not capable of doing such a print :(. GThumb's dialog does allow you to set margins to 0, but I can't test it...

Try Geeqie, too...

  1. Unlimited dpi
  2. Same as before, you can customize paper size
  3. You can't select paper tray (a workaround is print in Postcript, open the .ps file and print with the printer settings dialog customized to your likings)
  4. You can print images in a grid, too (all cells same size, as before)
  5. You can keep the settings for several prints
  6. Again, can't test the borderless printing, but it allows you to set margin to 0... so maybe?

Have you tried Digikam?