Downloading Photos to Ubuntu

My use of Ubuntu so far has included a little word processing, some graphic manipulation and Internet functionality, but yesterday, I tried importing pictures from the Canon Ixus that I use.

In Windows XP this is a breeze. I take the SD Card, shove it into the SD Card Reader, XP picks it up and offers me a bunch of options, amongst other things to import the photos. I can choose the folder, set the pre-fix of the file-name and click import and it downloads the pictures with the name I chose plus sequential numbers, and if I choose to do so, delete them too.

So there I was, just me, Ubuntu and the memory card from my camera. I didn’t know if it would work, but in my quest of migrating to Ubuntu, it was necessary to know, because I use it often enough. So I shoved the SD Card in the reader and squinted at my screen to detect any signs of a response.

Almost immediately my computer made a sound and the icon for the reader appeared on my Ubuntu Desktop, indicating that it had recognised the SD Card. I was relieved, but not surprised (Ubuntu so far haven’t had many disappointing moments).

However, it got trickier from there. It popped up a box, ala XP, offering me some options, one of which was Import. To me, this seemed the obvious choice, but when I selected it, it lead me to a dead end (in hindsight, not so dead, I just didn’t know what to do).

The best I could do was access the file-system of the SD Card, but it gives you access to all the different folders, and in this particular session I had several days worth of photos, each set in their own folder, and it would be time consuming and cumbersome to transfer them folder by folder. And cumbersome, I knew, Ubuntu is not.

I did a Google for what I was looking for and discovered that gThumb Image Viewer was the application to use. Now I realise that when I chose Import, Ubuntu did actually launch this application, which is already installed with Ubuntu Gutsy 7.10, it’s ready to use without having do anything additionally.

Simply go to Applications – Graphics – gThumb Image Viewer and launch the application (which is launched automatically when you insert the SD Card and choose Import).

The programme is simple by design, displaying the directory structure on the left with a viewing area on the right. What you want to do to get the images off your SD Card and onto Ubuntu, is under File – Import Photos.

t pops up the Import Dialog Box and first step, choose the destination folder on your computer. Film is to specify a folder name (leave blank to copy to the folder you chose in destination without creating a sub-folder). You can also choose to delete the pictures from your camera after it copied, as well as automatically rotate it.

Once you’re done, just click Import, and Bob’s your uncle.

As easy as one-two-three. The only thing I couldn’t figure out yet is how to rename the files at the time you copy it – I like to start my photos with the date (ie. 080211 for instance). When I did this yesterday I had to use Krename for this (which is a great little app in itself, but an additional few steps).

So far I have not touched Windows on my home computer since I installed Ubuntu a few days ago, because Ubuntu can do everything I need to do.

My quest continues…


  • Mike

    12 February 2008 at 07:36

    You can't rename files during the import, but if you select the files after importing (inside gThumb) and press F2, a reasonably powerful batch renaming tool will launch.

  • 1Earth

    12 February 2008 at 08:43

    Excellent! Thanks for the tip, I'll try it on my next import.

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