Does anyone know an app that allows to get an overview about all pictures of a folder, including all subfolders?

I would like to browse through my filesystem and then have an overview of all pictures of the current folder, like Adobe Bridge (on a Mac).

9 Answers 9


Not an application but an useful tool to recursively show the pictures of a folder and a subfolder:

feh --recursive --auto-zoom --geometry 1600x1000 ~/Pictures

It can also generate an image with the thumbnails:

feh -r -i ~/Pictures -O index.png

It is not exactly what you (and I) were looking for, but it is the only option I have found in Linux at the moment to recursively explore the images of a directory.

  • No window shows up when I use this, even though the man page says that the default mode ("slideshow") "opens one window and displays the first image in it, the keyboard and mouse can be used to change slides (images)".
    – Mitch
    May 19, 2017 at 11:59
  • feh --recursive . for current working directory, and fitting images to window size.
    – Abdull
    Oct 14, 2022 at 14:29

Shotwell Photo Manager


Shotwell is a digital photo organizer designed for the GNOME desktop environment. It allows you to import photos from disk or camera, organize them in various ways, view them in full-window or fullscreen mode, and export them to share with others.

Install via the software center

It is installed by default. Import your main folder (and all sub folders automatically) via FileImport from Folder. I also suggest to check "Watch library directory for new files" in EditPreferencesLibrary.


  • 2
    thanks, but i don't want to import the pictures. I would like to browse through my filesystem and then have an overview of all pictures of the current folder, like Adobe Bridge (on a Mac)
    – user68827
    Jun 6, 2012 at 19:18
  • It is called "import" - but it actually means "scan" when you choose your pictures folder. But indeed it doesn't work as what you are looking for.
    – Jakob
    Jun 7, 2012 at 17:56
  • Would you be so kind to tell me how to make Shotwell run a slideshow across all pictures in the library either in random order or starting with a certain date? I really hate starting the slideshow from the very first picture every time. I have thousands of them. Mar 29, 2020 at 12:33
  • This is a clunky workaround that is highly unscalable to the context of the question, and thus does not form a good answer to it. As every time you would like to browse another folder, you would have to remove all previously imported images. Basically, the program shotwell was not designed for the issue in question, as it was meant to be an manager and not a viewer/browser.
    – adamency
    Jul 3 at 21:18

I came here looking for a solution to the exact same problem. What ended up working for me is XnViewMP. In the directory tree on the left-hand side, just right-click your top-level folder and select Show all files (recursive).

  • This works for me.
    – Snowcrash
    Sep 18, 2019 at 18:01

Nomacs goes in this direction, but is not exactly what you asked.

I had the very same question for a long time now since the best organization of pictures is a tree directory, not a set of tags in database you risk to loose whenever you reinstall your linux.

Nomacs has an option in File menu called "Scan folder recursive" that enables jumping from a subfolder to another, in view mode, in slideshow mode or whatever. It doesn't show all the thumbnails in a same place though.

In panels menu, "Thumbnail preview" allows you to view very quickly your folder contents. It just needs a browsing option that shows folders next to another in a timeline fashion. Let's make a feature request, the devs are quite responsive :)


try digikam. (sudo apt-get install digikam)

It allows you to browse your filesystem, and it shows the number of pictures available rekursively for each folder. You dont need to import the pictures, but digikam will take (maybe hours) some time to scan your filesystem

  • 3
    note that digikam is a KDE tool and will require installation of a large amount of packages - it may not be the best option if he just wants a listing. Jun 7, 2012 at 17:50

it's question from 5 years ago but nobody noticed this solution - nor here nor in top 3 google answers to this question - so here it goes:

just use VLC - it's available for bunch of distros and on ubuntu in left "tool" box of VLC you have option: "my pictures" - it takes all pictures form your /home/user/pictures/ (including sub-folders) and plays it as slideshow

hope it helps!


For those who are looking for a more GUI solution, these days gThumb Image Viewer implements the sub folder view.

  1. Select the main folder to browser through
  2. Click on Search button located on the top toolbar
  3. Check checkbox "Include sub-folders"
  4. In Rules, select "All Images"
  5. Hit button

You should be able to just do a search for specific file types in the file manager (Nautilus). Look for the option to search for image file types.


  • 1
    That doesn't show the (contents of the) images, though. Jun 7, 2012 at 18:11
  • The screenshot on the page I linked to is showing thumbnails - is there some other information that you want displayed instead? Jun 7, 2012 at 18:34
  • 1
    I'm not the asker of the question, so I don't know, but it seems from the question like the OP may want something that will view the pictures in full size (without launching a separate application). Jun 7, 2012 at 18:49

Try this :

exiftool -ext .JPG -fast -p '$directory/$filename;$Keywords' -qq -r -m . 2> /dev/null | grep -i '\;.*keyword1\|keyword2' | sed 's/\;.*//'

This will produce a list of all the filenames (path included) that contain either keyword1 or keyword2 ; Pipe it to your viewer of choice, feh being indeed a valid one.

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