Linux users: are you interested in a native version of Photoline?

The Photoline devs are reconsidering their stance on providing a native Linux version of Photoline.

As most Linux users are aware, unless you install an older version of Photoshop under WINE, there is not any image editor available on Linux platforms that can compete with Photoshop.

Gimp is fine, although it still lacks many features that are available in both Photoshop and Photoline (for advanced image editing, that is).

If Photoline would be made available for Linux, it would allow Linux users to have access to a powerful professional image editor, not unlike Photoshop in terms of raw image editing power (without the 3d fluff and video support, though).

Photoline already runs without issues under WINE, and the developers actually make certain that it keeps running flawlessly under WINE. But they are now wondering whether a native Linux version would be viable, or not.

What do you think? Would Linux users be interested? Would a commercial image editor be viable on Linux?

As a Linux user you can test Photoline under WINE. Download it at

A short list of Photoline’s outstanding features:

  • full 8/16/32bit per channel support, Lab, RGB, CMYK, greyscale, bitmap.
  • no need for image mode switches: layers with any image mode and bit depth can be combined freely in the same layer stack.
  • full adjustment layers (the most common ones are compatible with Photoshop, and PSD files making use of these are read by Photoline).
  • adjustments such as the Curve colour adjustment layer can work directly in RGB, Lab, HSV, and HIS without the need for an image mode switch (unlike Photoshop).
  • full layer masking. Layer masks behave like regular layers, and unlike Photoshop, they can be grouped into grouped masks. Adjustment and effect layers, as well as layer effects, can be applied to layer masks in Photoline.
  • virtual layers allow for re-use and cloned instances of existing layers, groups, and layer masks. These update in realtime(!) - unlike smart objects in Photoshop.
  • external file layers that update automatically when the external file is changed.
  • multiple page support
  • most of the workflow is non-destructive.
  • compatible with standard Photoshop plugins
  • reads Photoshop brush libraries
  • reads Photoshop gradient libraries
  • full vector layer support and editing (true vectors that can be output as such).
  • SVG import and export
  • external app link that allows for almost any image editing tool to function as a plugin to Photoline. Works great with Krita, for example. Even PDF compatible applications work: editing a vector layer in InkScape is possible as well, and then sending the changes back to Photoline.
  • layer opacity from -200%(!) up to +200% for far more control than Photoshop and other image editors.
  • layer effects. Also a number of layer effects that are unique to Photoline.
  • GUI can be set to any light or dark setting.
  • supports multi-layered EXR files out of the box (Photoshop lacks this)
  • non-destructive RAW editing.
  • adjustment layers can be grouped in a “super” adjustment layer for easier layer management.
  • vector layers can be snapped to the pixel grid, on a per layer basis, and/or document wide.
  • Document mode which acts as a simple DTP application.
  • Full colour management, and linear mode.
  • built-in image management (“Bridge” and “mini Bridge”)

The latest beta version introduced many interface refinements, and functionality such as a guide creator for easy grid systems (and guides can be based on formulas for their position!!!).

About me: I have switched to Photoline after having been a loyal Photoshop user since version 3 (not CS3!). I now do all my professional and personal work in Photoline, with a combination of Krita and InkScape, etc.

supports multi-layered EXR files out of the box (Photoshop lacks this)

that’s cool

Yes, it was one of the features I requested about 1.5 years ago - the devs are quite willing to listen to well-founded user requests.

When you do import an EXR file with layers, be careful with z-depth ones: Photoline does not know how to display or handle those. Otherwise, it works well. I can import a Blender rendered multi-pass layered EXR file in Photoline with full 32bpc.

+1 for Linux native version.
I cannot find any thread or announcement at pl32, is there any?

I’m always interested in native versions for Linux! Open or Closed sources.

Same here, and if the price is to be the same (59 Euros) then that would be a very cool deal for sure. :slight_smile:

There is a thread in the beta part of the forum. A discussion is going on between myself and another person who is convinced it is a waste of time, as:

  • no one uses Linux on the desktop (less than 2% of PC users on the planet);
  • it would be wasting time to become a player in a non-existent market. It is pointless;
  • it incurs headaches of trying to troubleshoot and support multiple competing versions of “Linux”.

My counterargument is mainly based on the facts that a small market of around 750.000 users (based on Steam stats) without any real competition is still a viable market if one can sell at least around a thousand licenses.

Of course, I am unsure if it would be possible to sell that many.

Did the developers know about Humble Indie Bundle campaigns?
They show that Linux users are contributing the most money. And raising in Linux is similar to Mac.

Of course this does not prove anything, but it is data that they should know.

Yes, I actually referred to those numbers directly, and copied them in one of the posts in that thread a couple of days ago.

The developers have not yet responded to the thread, but did post a question whether a native version would be preferred or not. So they are considering it.

The question is, of course, whether Linux users would actually make a Photoline purchase: Photoline does suffer from its non-marketing, and there seems to be a stigma in terms of GUI (which is untrue by now: the interface is more user customizable than Photoshop at this point!).

This is the wrong question they should be asking. The real question is what it the percentage of possible users of this software (for 2D and 3D graphics) are Linux users as well. I don’t have the numbers, or know where to look, but my gut feeling is that it will be higher than 2%.


+1, i’m a graphic designer and I’m using Linux an Mac (I have no Windows computer at all). That editor looks promising. For now, I have to do most of complicated image editing on the Mac (Photoshop), I’d like to have that editor on my Linux machine.

I’m looking forward to seeing more 3d and 2d profesional aps suported natively under linux but the truth is that the vast majority of people still work under windows.

it would take considerable work and possibly a complete workflow change for many to start using their favorite windows apps under an linux environment.

linux is a heaven for tech savy people and a huge bonus when it comes to speed optimisations such as custom compiled code to speed up CPU rendering

Vast majority of graphic designers work under Mac, to be closer to this app’s TA :slight_smile:

well, the mere absence of such a capable graphics program in linux is a market niche for its own, which many people are waiting for to be filled since so many years; And as they seem to target the niche market anyways, it’s a match.

This plus getting it into steam would push it definitely. I do not know how much effort is to be done to port it (underlying toolkit?), but the handling of different distributions is quite easy nowadays. I would suggest to look at what the natron team does. or they could cheat like teamviewer does and ship with their own wine underneath…

As there are many great community places to more known software, maybe pl also needs something like this, with way more fancy style to showcase what pl is capable of - I like the blackmagic design website layout e.g. though this one is way too theatrical…

as i see it … am hanging on Windows

  1. waiting for PS or something competitive comes to Linux, so YES
  2. waiting for multi touch, pen & tablets to become usable as if made for kids on Linux

Good news: the newest version of Photoline (19) is about to be published (in the upcoming two weeks, if all goes according to plan).

In v19 an alternative colour management engine can be selected: LittleCMS - which is Linux compatible, and makes Photoline 100% compatible with Linux under WINE - including full colour management!

For those who are running Photoshop under WINE: Photoshop relies on the operating system for its colour profiles, and Photoshop is not properly colour managed within the WINE environment (as far as I am aware). The same holds true for LightRoom, for example.

With the new version of Photoline anyone on Linux can have a very powerful professional image editor which can do rounds with Photoshop at their fingertips with FULL proper colour management!

Aside from this, expect many more improvements and new features. I won’t tell what they are just quite yet… :wink:

nice! I would like to add that it’s possible to make the whole desktop color-aware with a compiz plugin called compICC and underlying oyranons color management system. So by using this, You can also do color-managed work with non-color-aware linux software including wine-run PS.

Any news on native Linux version of this?

No news yet. Perhaps post your question about a Linux version on the PL forums. I would urge anyone interested in a Linux version to make your voices heard on the PL forum, so the developers may gauge interest better.