I want to convert all NEF/RAW image files to an image format that could be easily opened without additional tools.

I thought about using ImageMagick's convert tool as mentioned in How can I convert a .jpg or .png image to .raw format?

However, I don't see any parameter for recursively looking for images in all subfolders nor for removal of old/original images in the documentation of the convert tool.

Should I look for another tool, or the only option is to write some loop around convert?

  • find allows you to recursively find files and folders, and offers the opportunity to execute a command on the files that were found using the -exec option. See man find to learn about the find command. You will also be able to find many examples on how to use find and its -exec and -execdir options.
    – vanadium
    May 12, 2021 at 12:33

3 Answers 3


Imagemagick cannot convert raw image files in recent Ubuntu versions because the ufraw-batch package is not available, due to it not being maintained anymore. We can however use darktable to do the conversion. To install darktable run:

sudo apt install darktable

You can then use this command that uses darktable-cli to convert the images:

find . -type f \( -iname "*.raw" -o -iname "*.nef" \) -exec sh -c 'darktable-cli {} ${0%.*}.jpg' {} \; -delete

The above command uses find to do the following:

  • recursively search in the current folder: .
  • for files only: -type f
  • that their name ends either in .raw or .nef, irrespective of their case: \( -iname "*.raw" -o -iname "*.nef" \)
  • executes (-exec) this command to convert the found files to jpg: sh -c 'darktable-cli {} ${0%.*}.jpg' {} \;
  • deletes the original files: -delete

Caution: Make sure to first test the command in a copied portion of your files to ensure that it works as intended!


The below command worked for converting Canon CR2 RAW into jpg with darkable ver. 4.0.0.

find . -type f \( -iname "*.CR2" \) -exec sh -c 'darktable-cli {} ${0%.*}.jpg' {} \;

To just be able to view the files, you don't need to develop your raw image with darktable or ufraw, all common formats have an embedded preview image.

You can extract the preview with e.g. dcraw:

dcraw -e *.CR2

Or you can use a proper image viewer that will open the files and show the embdedded preview (e.g. geeqie).

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