Irfanview Alternatives - Linux Mac OSX

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Update 2008 | Update 2013

As of 2013, Wine has matured to the point where Irfanview can run on a Linux or Mac OS X computer, and share common data directories. If you want a program running under native Linux, use FLPhoto and GQview. Some features of Irfanview, such as batch handling and print/copy operations, will have to be done with shell scripts under Linux.

This web content was originally posted in a nascent form as one of my blog entries.  In July 2002, Jonas Weismuller asks about Linux alternatives to Irfanview. His desire to bring Irfanview onto Linux platforms is good because Irfanview is a rarely balanced jewel in the world of image handling.  It is released only for Windows operating systems, and does not have a direct Linux replacement. It exists satisfyingly between an image editing program like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, and a consumer grade photo organizer.  It has intelligent image file handling capabilities, and media presentation capability that neither does.

Jeremy Hogan replied to Jonas with several recommendations about finding an Irfanview alternative on Linux:

[There are] too many alternatives to list, if my understanding of IrfanView is correct. [Irfanview] version 3.95 is currently released as freeware. For viewing, ElectricEyes, GhostView,GQview, KuickShow, Kview and ImageMagick. For simple edits (the only other thing Irfan seems to do) Gimp.

The Gentoo distribution wiki also has a listing of Windows equivalent graphic programs (scroll down to the "Graphics" section). Neither the Gentoo page, nor Jeremy's post grapple with some features of Irfanview that I really want to keep. They don't consider look-feel-function-style issues that make an application what it is.  I've used Irfanview for years, and I consider it a mandatory addition to my Windows OS installs. I've used Linux for about 16 years. Here are uses of Irfanview I'm trying to replace:

  1. Scan multiple pages through a duplex scanner and save them as a tiff file. Reload the tiff file (doing so enables the multi-page access of Irfanview), and print the entire document to a pdf file with a program like Adobe Acrobat or PrimoPDF.
  2. Photocopy without a photo copy machine. Irfanview pipes images from a scanner to a printer, directly.
  3. The "T" option, which immediately lets me browse, delete, sort, and organize hundreds of digital camera pictures. I like the "T" function, and I want it in a separate detached window like Irfanview does.
  4. Nearly instantaneous crop, rotate, delete, and re-save. This is mandatory stock trade of anyone who takes lots of pictures.
  5. Macro image adjustments such as color, hue, brilliance, contrast, special effects, etc. For adjusting only regions of a picture, I use GIMP.
  6. Generate slideshows. I can save them as free-standing executables or screen savers.
  7. Intuitive and flexible printing - original size, best fit, stretch, custom size absolute, scale, offsets, center, header, footnote, multipage.
  8. Batch processing such as batch file type conversion, and file renaming (reconciling images from different cameras).
  9. Tiling images for efficient bulk printing on a large format ink plotter, or building decimated, tiled images for eBay posting.
  10. Instant display of image meta data.
  11. Capture screenshot, crop, save - for documentation or educational material.
  12. Intelligent view display choices.

I haven't been happy with any of the Linux replacements.  Jeremy Hogan's post made me isolate in my mind why I like Irfanview. I hope it is eventually released under Linux. In the meantime, I am pursuing two paths:

I found a few pages that discuss ways to get IrfanView running under the Linux Wine emulator.  I have not had luck getting this to work [ed note: no longer true]. Of course, it may just be my level of commitment and discipline.  If a project of this scope goes beyond an hour, there are just other things of life that take my time.

It's been fun trying other programs under linux to see what I could find to replace Irfanview. I've tried ElectricEyes, GhostView,GQview, KuickShow, Kview, ImageMagick, GPhoto, and GIMP.

KuickShow was my favorite Irfanview replacement until they deleted the action of the DEL key when quickly flipping through images with PgUp and PgDwn. As of 2008, KuickShow is no longer released as part of the Mandrake distribution of Linux to which I've grown attached, so it became harder to install than convenience allows.

I like the html-generating features of GPhoto 2 (which has been relabeled as FLPhoto). This html generating feature is one capability that even Irfanview didn't provide.  For daily review and crop operations, I have settled on GQview because it lets me mimic the quick review/rotate/delete features I used to like in Kuickshow.

Summer 2008 photo-handling Update:
I recently installed Mandriva 2008.1.  flPhoto did not auto-install but flPhoto v1.3.1 (now 2 years old) was available from the web repositories.  This older version is still what I use to do web page gallery generation, even though the GUI doesn't have soft edges.  Image sequencing, watermarking, thumbnail and image resolution control.

The new Mandrake default installed showFoto v0.7.0  (associated with the KDE desktop).  It is proving to be acceptable on the simple tasks of loading pics, flipping, rotating, cropping, and saving in varied resolution and format. Irfanview allowed PgUp and PgDwn.  showFoto demands space and backspace (which I don't like). Everything about showFoto is single-picture centric, and some of what I like about Irfanview is that it conceives and uses things  across an entire set of photos.  If you want to quickly review and handle a bunch of photos, you have to remember to open them all at the same time when you start showFoto.  If you want to retain Irfanviews ability to click and open one photo, and then scroll the entire directory, try Gwenview 1.4.2, which I first noticed with the 2008.0 distribution of Mandriva.

I haven't tried to grab GQview from the program repositories for Mandriva 2008.1; don't know if it's available.  I tried Irfanview under WINE about 2 years ago.  I didn't go that way because the WINE libraries are pretty stable for Win95 and earlier code, but for WinNT, Win2K, or XP, it does not work well.

Spring 2013 Update:

Wine libraries are working great on both Linux and my Mac OSX (10.6.8 Snow Leopard) operating systems.  Here's a picture of Wine running on my Mac, running Irfanview, accessing the iPhoto media library.

irfanview on Mac

This page is maintained by Brian Mork, owner & operator of IncreaTM // It was last modified Dec 2013. Suggestions for changes and comments are always welcome. The easiest way is to contact me through the Internet.

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