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How to edit photo Exif data on Linux

Exif data is metadata embedded inside photos. This metadata includes ISO speed, shutter speed, camera information, the dimensions of the photograph, where it was taken, and so on.

This metadata, for the most part, is automatically added by the camera. Usually, the Exif photo data is accurate, but mistakes can happen. If you’re a Linux user and avid photographer and want to know how to edit this metadata, follow along with this guide. In it, we’ll show you how to edit photo Exif data on Linux!

Installing XnViewMP

A lot of the photo editors that come on Linux desktop environments can edit Exif data in photos. However, accessing these editing features can be confusing, and each desktop has a different photo app. So, rather than explaining how to edit Exif metadata in photos in 5 different image applications, we’ll instead turn to the XnViewMP program. It’s a universal Linux tool that makes changing photo metadata simple.

Installing XnViewMP on Linux is quite easy, as the developers have a DEB package (for Debian/Ubuntu) and an AppImage (for generic Linux users). To start the installation of XnViewMP on your Linux PC, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard.

With the terminal window open and ready to go, follow the command-line installation instructions below that correspond with the Linux distribution you use.

Ubuntu

To install XnViewMP on your Ubuntu PC, you will first need to download the DEB release of the app. To do this, use the following wget downloader command in a terminal window.

wget https://download.xnview.com/XnViewMP-linux-x64.deb

After downloading the XnViewMP DEB package from the internet, the installation can begin. Using the Apt command, load up the program.

sudo apt install ./XnViewMP-linux-x64.deb -y

Debian

To get XnViewMP working on a Debian Linux system, start by downloading the DEB release of the program. To download the DEB package, use the following wget command down below.

wget https://download.xnview.com/XnViewMP-linux-x64.deb

When the DEB release of XnViewMP is done downloading, use the dpkg command to set it up on your system. However, be warned that dependency issues may occur.

sudo dpkg -i XnViewMP-linux-x64.deb

The dpkg command should install the program fine. If any errors appear, please follow our guide on Debian dependency errors to learn how to correct the problem.

Arch Linux

The developers of XnViewMP do not have an official Arch Linux release. That said, the program is in the AUR, so we will demonstrate how to install it.

To start, you must install the “Git” and “Base-devel” packages on your system.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

With both “Git” and “Base-devel” packages installed, use the commands below to install the Trizen AUR helper. This app will make setting up apps like XnViewMP from the AUR much easier.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

cd trizen

makepkg -sri

When Trizen is set up, use the trizen -S command to install XnViewMP

trizen -S xnviewmp

Fedora/OpenSUSE/Generic Linux

XnViewMP has an AppImage release, which is perfect for Fedora users, OpenSUSE users, and those on lesser-known Linux distributions. To get the AppImage app working, enter the commands below.

mkdir -p ~/AppImages

cd ~/AppImages

wget https://download.xnview.com/XnView_MP.glibc2.17-x86_64.AppImage

sudo chmod +x XnView_MP.glibc2.17-x86_64.AppImage

./XnView_MP.glibc2.17-x86_64.AppImage

Edit photo Exif data

To edit your photo’s Exif data, start by launching the XnViewMP app on your Linux desktop. When the app is open, follow the step-by-step instructions outlined below.

Step 1: Locate the “Folders” side-bar on the left-hand section of the app. Scroll through the list of folders and locate the Home directory.

Step 2: Click on the arrow next to “Home” to reveal it’s sub-folders. Then, look through the sub-folders till you find the directory that has the photos you would like to edit and click on it with the mouse.

Step 3: After selecting your photo folder, XnViewMP will show you the photos inside of that folder in a descending list. Look through this list and choose the image you wish to edit.

Step 4: Right-click on the selected photo with the mouse to bring up the right-click menu.

Step 5: Look through the right-click menu for the option “Edit ITPC/XMP” and select it with the mouse. Upon selecting this option, a metadata editor window will pop-up on the screen.

Step 6: In the metadata editor window, you will see several tabs. These tabs are “Caption,” “Keywords,” “Categories,” “Credits,” “Status,” “Date/Time,” “Source,” and “Options.”

Look through the different tabs to edit (or add) metadata to the photo.

Step 7: Click the “Write” button at the bottom-right section of the metadata editor window to save your changes.

Repeat this process as many times as desired to modify your photo’s Exif metadata.

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