Using geeqie

Geeqie is a lightweight GTK image viewer that boasts easy integration with other software.

Geeqie is my favorite lightweight image viewer, capable of quickly displaying a directory of images and easily pass an image to another application or to a console command for editing or processing. With Geeqie I can browse my image collection and use it to (for example) open an image in The Gimp for editing, or have jhead change the file’s timestamp to match the EXIF timestamp.

Geeqie’s only annoyance is that file and directory navigation is performed with single clicks rather than the standard double clicks, and there is no way to change this behavior. But if you can get used to this quirk, you will find Geeqie to be an able and agile image viewer.

Geeqie is found in the package managers of many distributions.

Geeqie’s main configuration controls are found at Edit – Preferences – Preferences. Non-default settings I prefer are:

  • General – Thumbnail size: 64 x 64.
  • General – Thumbnail quality: Nearest.
  • Image – Convenience – Auto rotate image according to EXIF information: Disabled. This is a handy function, but using it blinds you to images that will not display correctly in viewers that ignore the orientation tag of the EXIF header. So I disable the option here and rotate the images. Below I describe how to add an autorotate function to Geeqie.
  • Behavior – Delete – Safe Delete: Enabled. The default path is ~/.local/share/geeqie/trash; I change this to my desktop environment’s trash. In Gnome and Xfce, this is ~/.local/share/Trash/files.

External editors are configured at Edit – Preferences – Configure Editors, which will open the Editors window. First, review the default entries, which are automatically generated by processing the .desktop files corresponding to your other image processing applications. If there are external editor entries you’re not interested in, then delete the unwanted application package in your distribution’s package manager.

Then add external editors as desired. To do so, press New. An editor will launch with a default .desktop file. Edit as desired. The default file is copiously commented, and you can open any existing file to use as an example. The only one I add is one that calls jhead (which needs to be installed separately) to rotate the selected image per the orientation tag of its EXIF header. The .desktop file, which I save as geeqie-jhead-autorate.desktop, is:

[Desktop Entry]

# The name which appears in Geeqie:

# Autorotate the selected image per orientation tag of EXIF header. Requires jhead.
Exec=jhead -autorot %f

# Mark as used only within Geeqie:

To use the above or any function you add, right click on the image, its thumbnail, or its file name. A context menu will open; choose Edit – Autorotate (or whatever you named your function). Your function will execute.

Window options and layout is controlled in Edit – Preferences – Configure This Window. I like to change:

  • General Options – Home Path: My desktop environment’s pictures directory. In Xfce, this is ~/Pictures.
  • Start-up Directory: Home path.

Navigate to any directory with images. In the file pane (by default found in the lower left corner of the application window), right-click on any item to configure the file list presentation as desired. I prefer “View as list” and “Show thumbnails”.

There are also additional configuration options available by directly editing the configuration file ~/.config/geeqie/geeqierc.xml.

If Geeqie is not what you’re looking for, there are other lightweight image viewers for Linux.

This information was last updated 16 June 2015 with reference to Geeqie 1.1.


About Warren Post

So far: Customer support guy, jungle guide, IT consultant, beach bum, entrepreneur, teacher, diplomat, over-enthusiastic cyclist. Tomorrow: who knows?
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3 Responses to Using geeqie

  1. anonymous says:

    Daniel writes:In your other post you wrote that geeqie supports xcf. I added .xcf to the file list and now it shows them in the list, but still can't display them.Is there anything else to do?(I'm using the standard geeqie 1.0-7 package on Debian Squeeze)Thanks,- Daniel

  2. wpost says:

    Funny thing, that. During my initial testing of geeqie it displayed thumbnails of those XCF images I tested it with, and I added XCF to the file types list. After making geeqie my daily driver I encountered many XCF images that geeqie cannot view and have removed XCF from the file types list. I haven't found the time to investigate this, but suspect that geeqie was originally displaying previously cached thumbnails left behind by something else and cannot directly view XCF images.If it provides clues to anyone, I'm using geeqie-1.0-1 on Mandriva 2010.2 and Gnome 2.30.0. For file managers I have nautilus-2.30.1, gnome-xcf-thumbnailer-1.0-2, thunar-1.0.2, and thunar-thumbnailers-0.4.1. At different moments I was fooling around with the thumbnail settings of both geeqie and gimp-2.6.11. I also used the same box to test I don't remember how many other image viewers, any of which might have left behind generated thumbnails.

  3. Pingback: Lightweight image viewers for Linux | Warren's tech notes

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