Are there plans for Shotwell to have face recognition and to categorize photos according to faces?

2 Answers 2


We do have plans to add face recognition and a Faces (or People) view to Shotwell: Bugzilla - Shotwell - Face detection

There's been some movement on a patch from community contributors, but there's still plenty of work to do.

UPDATE: Adventuresome Shotwell users unafraid to run development code should read my answer to How can I compile Shotwell to be able to use the faces feature?

  • To follow up, we've committed a patch from Google Summer of Code student Valentin Barros that adds face categorization to Shotwell. The user manually selects faces and Shotwell creates folders of photos for each face. There's no automatic face recognition yet, but this is a good first step.
    – Jim Nelson
    Aug 2, 2011 at 19:54
  • I wish this feature gets polished soon. I just donated to Yorba (yorba.org/about/donate) - and would like to encourage everybody to do the same (and then just send a mail that they should focus on this feature)
    – Alex
    May 20, 2013 at 20:49

Shotwell version 0.29.3 is supposed to come with the face detection tool that was previously developed during Google summer of Code. I could only find this link stating this and release notes for this version was not found anywhere.

  • I installed the version the way they recommend, shotwell v 0.30, and it didn't have facial recognition. I'm assuming it's not a plugin...?
    – isaaclw
    Apr 17, 2019 at 18:24
  • @isaaclw See askubuntu.com/a/1145778/898365 (It is possible to use this feature when on the unstable branch of the Flatpak version of Shotwell, but it still has basically the same functionality since 2011 - it can only detect faces in one photograph at a time, and sometimes it might think your curtain or fridge is a face - but at least you have the ability to manually draw a box around a face, which is good progress.) May 24, 2019 at 3:35

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