Rapid Photo Downloader for Linux

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Linux was long only an operating system for nerds. Now it’s becoming more and more mainstream. I am experimenting with Linux and will maybe switch partially or completely over.

As a photographer, you have to download your photos and videos from your devices, memory cards or other storage mediums to your PC to be able to work with them.

There are many ways to do this, but the tool Rapid Photo Downloader is probably the best way to do this under Linux. Heck, I wish this tool would be available for Windows as well.

Why using this tool? It has a bunch of functions to make your life easier. Here some of the main features

  • Download photos from different devices at the same time
  • Rename photos and create meaningful folders and subfolders by date, time and other metadata from your images and devices
  • Preview of your folder and subfolder structure before the download even starts on the right side in the boxes for Photo and Video.
  • Parallel download of multiple sources
  • Backup your images while downloading
  • Previously downloaded files will be remembered and won’t be downloaded again automatically
  • Automation of the download process
  • Timeline of your photos
  • Integration in the Linux desktop by creating thumbnails for RAW and TIFF files so the file manager can read the
  • and much more

Find the whole list of features on the official website.

Installation of Rapid Photo Downloader

The installation under Linux is super easy and convenient. Go to the Download Section of the Rapid Photo Downloader website and download the install script. Execute it and the system will take care of the rest and download all necessary files and dependencies to install Rapid Photo Downloader.

The software supports a variety of Linux Distributions:

  1. Ubuntu 16.04 or newer
  2. LinuxMint 18 or newer
  3. Debian 9 or newer, unstable or testing
  4. Fedora 27 or newer
  5. openSUSE Leap 42.3 or Tumbleweed
  6. CentOS 7.5 or newer
  7. Arch Linux 2018.10.01 or newer
  8. and more. see readme file for requirements

After the installation is done, restart your Linux and everything should be set up to go. It worked for me like a charm. After I rebooted the icon for Rapid Photo Downloader appeared in my launcher and I was able to use it.


Get familiar with the software. Maybe copy some pictures on a memory card and play with it. Start creating a structure for your needs. Not everyone has the same structure how to sort and archive their pictures. Some people do it by date and time, I do it by location. There are so many different ways and there is no right or wrong. Whatever works for you is the way to go.

When you first started Rapid Photo Downloader click on the menu icon, the tree horizontal bars next to the download button at the top right corner and select “Preferences”. Set up the software to your likes and needs. Once that is done get familiar with the tabs on the right side of the window: Destination, Rename, Job Code, Back Up. Here you will set up where you want to move your photos and videos and if you want to rename them, back up them or assign a “Job Code”. Once a job code is assigned you can also use this as folder and subfolder name to organize your pictures.

Rapid Photo Downloader

You can use the software even to reorganize already existing photos and folders. The timeline view is one of the best features and unique to Rapid Photo Downloader. This feature groups photos and videos based on how much time elapsed between consecutive shots.

It worked out of the box with my Canon EOS 5D Mk II and displayed all my RAW pictures. Besides that, I have to admit that the user interface is beautiful and very intuitive. All the options are presented in a way so it’s easy to understand.

Once you have downloaded your pictures and saved to your computer, you could use darktable, another open source software, to manage and edit your photos. darktable is probably the best free and open-source photography workflow application and raw developer available. It is similar to Adobe Lightroom but runs also under Linux and every other major operating system like Windows and macOS. Therefore the ultimate tool for multi-platform use.

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