Image Viewers

17 Best Free and Open Source Graphical Image Viewers

One of our favorite adages is “A picture is worth a thousand words”. It refers to the notion that a still image can convey a complex idea. Images can portray a lot of information quickly and more efficiently than text. They capture memories, and never let you forget something you want to remember, and refresh it in your memory.

Images are part of every day internet usage, and are particularly important for social media engagement. A good image viewer is an essential part of any operating system.

Linux offers a vast collection of open source small utilities that perform functions ranging from the obvious to the bizarre. It is the quality and selection of these tools that help Linux stand out as a productive environment. This is particularly true when it comes to image viewers. There are so many image viewers that are available for Linux that it can make selection difficult.

Here’s our verdict captured in a legendary LinuxLinks-style ratings chart. Only free and open source software is eligible for inclusion.

Ratings chart for the best free and open source graphical image viewers

Click the links in the table below to learn more about each image viewer.

Graphical Image Viewers
fehFast and light Imlib2-based image viewer
RegardsModern image viewer with OpenGL/OpenCL support
qimgvQt5 image viewer with video support
PhotoQTGood looking, highly configurable, yet easy to use and fast
gThumbAdvanced image viewer and browser
LoupeWritten with GTK 4, Libadwaita and Rust
GwenviewSimple image viewer for KDE
GeeqieLightweight Gtk+ based image viewer
QuickViewerGraphic image viewer for comfortable browsing
GPicViewSimple and fast image viewer
nomacsHandles most image formats including RAW images
Eye of GnomeFast and functional image viewer
VookiLightweight viewer with fast image preview
qViewImage viewer designed with minimalism and usability in mind
ViewniorDesigned with usability in mind
sxivSimple X Image Viewer
RistrettoView and scroll through images

Image viewers that display output direct in the terminal are explored in a separate roundup.

This article has been revamped in line with our recent announcement.

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James Smith
James Smith
3 years ago

Regards is hard to get running on Debian, just get lots of crashes.

3 years ago

How is Regards so high on this list?! Its a slug to use, painfully slow performance compared to something as quick and fully featured such as XnView MP (closed source but free to use, no ads) or digiKam. Both quicker and more stable than Regards on Arch, Debian, and Ubuntu.

1 year ago

You might have a look PLIO Image Viewer, especially if you want to change the order of the images (sort temporarily while viewing, or persistently by bulk-renaming the files) …