I've just installed gimp 2.10 and darktable 2.6 from snap.

I am trying to open a Sony arw file.

I have darktable 2.6, I even checked its version from the command line. I have it installed for sure. However, GIMP continues to show me the message:

There is no RAW loader installed to open 'Raw Sony' files.

GIMP currently supports these RAW loaders:
- darktable (http://www.darktable.org/), at least 1.7
- RawTherapee (http://rawtherapee.com/), at least 5.2

I've tried installing RawTherappee from snap but I had no luck with it, too.

I am going to the conclusion that Gimp does not actually support either Darktable or RawTherapee.

Is there anything I am missing. Is there any way at all to open raw images in Gimp?

2 Answers 2


Okay. After long 40 minutes of struggling, I managed to make Darktable work with Gimp.

I've tried installing Gimp with flatpak, removed Darktable from snap and installed the latest one from a ppa (personal archive). It did not work.

It seems that the gimp packages coming from snap and flatpak are completely broken but the reason is probably nobody uses them at all.

Even though flatpak is the "recommended way" of installing Gimp I would strongly advise against using it at all, simply because the packages coming from there are completely unusable out of the box.

(Gimp's contributors probably need to update Gimp's homepage because they are currently providing incorrect info.)

Once I installed Gimp from this ppa everything happened flawlessly: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp

I can confirm that Darktable from ppa:pmjdebruijn/darktable-release and Gimp from ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp work correctly together.

These were probably some internal configuration problems of Gimp but the thing is most open-source contributors are happy with "works on my machine" which is the case with Gimp sadly. No users should have the study the internals of an application, so they can configure it properly.

P.S I thought that during the years the standards have become higher in open-source development but they might have actually got lower. We as users are about to expect unhappy years of struggling to complete simple tasks with Ubuntu because of this attitude. This is the fact.

  • 1
    Because of precisely your issues above, many of us find it almost as convenient to open our raw files in ufraw and create a .jpg or .png or.tiff for seperate processing with GIMP. It is an extra click or two but it works fine. I tested it with a sample arw file from the web.
    – chili555
    May 22, 2019 at 20:31
  • 2
    I had the same problem with installing gimp plugins in the snap based version and came to the same conclusion. Replace the snap version of gimp with the ppa.
    – user68186
    Aug 23, 2019 at 13:09

As has been suggested: install Gimp and Darktable from standard distribution repositories like on Ubuntu 20.04 "focal".

sudo apt-get install gimp darktable

This gave my system Gimp v2.10.18 (close to latest v2.10.20 as of Sep. 2020). However only Darktable 3.0.1-0ubuntu1 (latest version was v3.2.1 at the time).

When opening a RAW (Sony .ARW) in Gimp it opens Darktable automatically, the image will be opened in Gimp as soon as you close the Darktable application.

This is sort of off-topic: the standard distribution repositories do not guarantee the latest versions of software (such as you would possibly find with a snap image downloaded from the software's official website). If things are not working properly it can be worth checking if there is a significant difference between your installed version vs. the website's (Gimp or Darktable's) latest documentation. You may have to add a PPA from a software maintainer if you want the more recent version.

Search engine for official PPA's; general information on PPA - Personal Package Archives at the ItsFOSS website; and Launchpad introduction to packaging and PPA's could be useful resources.


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