I have a raw file but I don't know the pixel format or the width of the image. I need a tool that can quickly display the data and allow me to try different formats easily. An example of such a tool for Windows would be 7yuv. What software exists for this task on Linux?

Note: This has nothing to do with digital camera raws, which is frustrating my attempts to use Google to answer this question.


  • I'm guessing there are lots available (a quick search in the repos will propably give you more than enough results). The one I prefer though is digikam (I haven't tried many others though). I'm also certain that GIMP has a plugin that allows viewing and manipulating raw files. – VasPle Jun 7 '12 at 0:19
  • Searching the repos finds nothing appropriate. Additionally, these aren't camera raws as stated in the question. – Alistair Buxton Jun 7 '12 at 12:53
  • Use can use 7yuv in Linux also through WINE. It has a silver rating so it will probably run just fine... if you can't find any linux native alternatives, give it a try. – VasPle Jun 7 '12 at 14:38

Turns out Gimp can do this. Just open the file as raw, and you get this helpful dialog that allows you to preview the image:

enter image description here

  • How do you open the raw data file? – Val Mar 30 '14 at 18:33
  • File->Open then change the file type to raw. – Alistair Buxton Apr 1 '14 at 23:42
  • 1
    It's only for RGB. how do you open grayscale (8bit) raw format? – Nadav B May 7 '18 at 8:21

convert from ImageMagick

E.g., an 8-bit 2x3 grayscale:

printf '\x00\xFF\x88\xFF\x00\xFF' > f


convert -depth 8 -size 3x2+0 gray:f out.png

Command explanation:

  • -depth 8: each color has 8 bits
  • -size 2x3+0: 2x3 image. +0 means starting at offset 0 in the file. If there are metadata headers, you can skip them with the offset.
  • gray:f: the input file is f, and the format is gray, as defined at http://www.imagemagick.org/script/formats.php This weird notation is used because ImageMagick usually determines the format from the extension, but here there is no extension.

The problem now is how to view the output. A direct eog:

eog out.png

is not very good because the image is too small, and if you zoom in a lot eog uses a display algorithm that mixes up pixels, which is better for most pictures, but not in our case. I found two possibilities:

  • gimp out.png. Image editors must show every single pixel.
  • convert out.png -scale 300x200 out2.png. -scale is needed instead of -resize, since -resize mixels pixels up much like eog by default.


enter image description here

RGB example:

printf '\xFF\x00\x00\x00\xFF\x00\x00\x00\xFF' > f
convert -depth 8 -size 3x1+0 rgb:f out.png

enter image description here

Tested on Ubuntu 16.04, ImageMagick 6.8.9.

  • 1
    This is a decent solution. I scripted it up with my inputs, and it works all the time. – Subin Sebastian Apr 12 at 18:52

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