Installation of Photini is done in two parts - first install Python, then use Python to install and run Photini.

Installing Python

Python is absolutely essential to run Photini. It is already installed on many computers, but on Windows you will probably need to install it yourself.

Python should already be installed, but make sure you have Python 3. Open a terminal window and run the python3 command:

jim@mint:~$ python3 -V
Python 3.8.10

Note that the command is python3. On many machines the python command still runs Python 2. If you do not have Python 3 installed then use your operating system’s package manager to install it.

You should also check what version of pip is installed:

jim@mint:~$ pip --version
pip 20.0.2 from /usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip (python 3.8)

Most Linux systems suppress pip’s normal version check, but I recommend upgrading pip anyway:

jim@mint:~$ python3 -m pip install -U pip
Collecting pip
  Downloading pip-22.0.3-py3-none-any.whl (2.1 MB)
     |████████████████████████████████| 2.1 MB 185 kB/s
Installing collected packages: pip
Successfully installed pip-22.0.3
Installing collected packages: pip
  WARNING: The scripts pip, pip3 and pip3.8 are installed in '/home/jim/.local/bin' which is not on PATH.
  Consider adding this directory to PATH or, if you prefer to suppress this warning, use --no-warn-script-location.
Successfully installed pip-22.0.3

Note that pip has installed the new version in /home/jim/.local as normal users can’t write to /usr. (Don’t be tempted to get round this by using sudo to run pip. /usr should only be written by the operating system’s package manager.) You may need to log out and then log in again to update your PATH settings.

Running pip --version again shows the new version:

jim@mint:~$ pip --version
pip 22.0.3 from /home/jim/.local/lib/python3.8/site-packages/pip (python 3.8)

Installing Photini

Before installing Photini you need to decide if you are installing it for a single user or for multiple users. Multi-user installations use a Python virtual environment to create a self contained installation that can easily be shared. Using a virtual environment has other advantages, such as easy uninstallation, so you could also use it for a single user installation.

Linux & MacOS users have another decision to make - whether to install Photini’s dependencies with pip or with the operating system’s package manager. For a good introduction to the advantages and disadvantages of each I suggest reading Managing Python packages the right way. All of Photini’s dependencies can be installed with pip, but I recommend installing PySide6 / PySide2 / PyQt6 / PyQt5 (whichever is available) with the package manager to ensure you install all of its system libraries and plugins, and so that you get the same GUI style as other Qt based applications.

Virtual environment

If you are using a virtual environment you should set it up now. I use the name photini and create it in my home directory:

jim@mint:~$ python3 -m venv photini --system-site-packages
jim@mint:~$ source photini/bin/activate
(photini) jim@mint:~$ python3 -m pip install -U pip

Note that pip may need to be updated again from within the virtual environment. The Linux/MacOS option --system-site-packages makes packages installed with the system package manager (e.g. PySide6 / PySide2 / PyQt6 / PyQt5) available within the virtual environment. You should stay in this virtual environment while installing and testing Photini.

Initial installation

New in version 2022.9.0: The photini-configure post installation script can be used to install most dependencies and configure Photini to use them.

Firstly install Photini with pip:

(photini) jim@mint:~$ pip3 install photini
Collecting photini
  Downloading Photini-2022.9.0-py3-none-any.whl (324 kB)
     ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ 324.9/324.9 kB 443.5 kB/s eta 0:00:00
Collecting exiv2>=0.11.0
  Downloading exiv2-0.11.3-cp38-cp38-manylinux_2_17_x86_64.manylinux2014_x86_64.whl (8.0 MB)
     ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ 8.0/8.0 MB 903.7 kB/s eta 0:00:00
Collecting cachetools>=3.0
  Downloading cachetools-5.2.0-py3-none-any.whl (9.3 kB)
Requirement already satisfied: requests>=2.4.0 in /usr/lib/python3/dist-packages (from photini) (2.22.0)
Collecting appdirs>=1.3
  Downloading appdirs-1.4.4-py2.py3-none-any.whl (9.6 kB)
Installing collected packages: exiv2, appdirs, cachetools, photini
Successfully installed appdirs-1.4.4 cachetools-5.2.0 exiv2-0.11.3 photini-2022.9.0

Now run the photini-configure command to choose which Qt package to use:

(photini) jim@mint:~$ photini-configure
Which Qt package would you like to use?
  0 PyQt5 [installed]
  1 PySide2 [installed]
  2 PySide6 [not installed]
Choose 0/1/2: 1
Would you like to upload pictures to Flickr? (y/n):
Would you like to upload pictures to Google Photos? (y/n):
Would you like to upload pictures to Ipernity? (y/n):
Would you like to check spelling of metadata? (y/n):
Would you like to import GPS track data? (y/n):
Would you like to make higher quality thumbnails? (y/n):
Would you like to import pictures from a camera? (y/n):

The command asks a series of questions, then runs pip to install any extra dependencies that are needed, then updates your Photini configuration file.

Test the installation

Now you should be able to run photini:

(photini) jim@mint:~$ python3 -m photini
No module named 'enchant'
No module named 'gpxpy'
No module named 'requests_oauthlib'
No module named 'requests_toolbelt'
No module named 'requests_oauthlib'

Photini should run successfully, but it lists some optional dependencies that are not installed. These provide additional features, for example the Flickr uploader, that not all users will need to install.

Missing system packages

On some Linux systems (e.g. Ubuntu, Debian, Mint) Photini may still not run if you’ve installed PySide2 or PySide6 with pip instead of the system’s package manager. In this case it may be worth doing a web search for the error messages you get. For example, failing to load a Qt plugin (on Debian) can be cured by installing just one system package (libxcb-xinerama0) but the error message doesn’t tell you that!

Optional dependencies

Most of the dependencies required for Photini’s optional features can also be installed with photini-configure:

(photini) jim@mint:~$ photini-configure
Which Qt package would you like to use?
  0 PyQt5 [installed]
  1 PySide2 [installed]
  2 PySide6 [not installed]
Choose 0/1/2: 1
Would you like to upload pictures to Flickr? (y/n): y
Would you like to upload pictures to Google Photos? (y/n): y
Would you like to upload pictures to Ipernity? (y/n): y
Would you like to check spelling of metadata? (y/n): y
Would you like to import GPS track data? (y/n): y
Would you like to make higher quality thumbnails? (y/n): y
Would you like to import pictures from a camera? (y/n): y
/home/jim/photini/bin/python3 -m pip install photini[flickr,google,ipernity,spelling,gpxpy,Pillow,importer]
Requirement already satisfied: photini[Pillow,flickr,google,gpxpy,importer,ipernity,spelling] in ./photini/lib/python3.8/site-packages (2022.9.0)
Requirement already satisfied: appdirs>=1.3 in ./photini/lib/python3.8/site-packages (from photini[Pillow,flickr,google,gpxpy,importer,ipernity,spelling]) (1.4.4)
Requirement already satisfied: cachetools>=3.0 in ./photini/lib/python3.8/site-packages (from photini[Pillow,flickr,google,gpxpy,importer,ipernity,spelling]) (5.2.0)
Requirement already satisfied: requests>=2.4.0 in /usr/lib/python3/dist-packages (from photini[Pillow,flickr,google,gpxpy,importer,ipernity,spelling]) (2.22.0)
Requirement already satisfied: exiv2>=0.11.0 in ./photini/lib/python3.8/site-packages (from photini[Pillow,flickr,google,gpxpy,importer,ipernity,spelling]) (0.11.3)
Collecting requests-toolbelt>=0.9
  Downloading requests_toolbelt-0.9.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl (54 kB)
     ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ 54.3/54.3 kB 241.5 kB/s eta 0:00:00
Requirement already satisfied: keyring>=7.0 in /usr/lib/python3/dist-packages (from photini[Pillow,flickr,google,gpxpy,importer,ipernity,spelling]) (18.0.1)
Collecting requests-oauthlib>=1.0
  Downloading requests_oauthlib-1.3.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl (23 kB)
Requirement already satisfied: Pillow>=2.0.0 in /usr/lib/python3/dist-packages (from photini[Pillow,flickr,google,gpxpy,importer,ipernity,spelling]) (7.0.0)
Collecting pyenchant>=2.0
  Downloading pyenchant-3.2.2-py3-none-any.whl (55 kB)
     ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ 55.7/55.7 kB 269.7 kB/s eta 0:00:00
Collecting gphoto2>=1.8.0
  Downloading gphoto2-2.3.4-cp38-cp38-manylinux_2_12_x86_64.manylinux2010_x86_64.whl (5.9 MB)
     ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ 5.9/5.9 MB 900.6 kB/s eta 0:00:00
Collecting gpxpy>=1.3.5
  Downloading gpxpy-1.5.0.tar.gz (111 kB)
     ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ 111.6/111.6 kB 313.3 kB/s eta 0:00:00
  Preparing metadata ( ... done
Requirement already satisfied: secretstorage in /usr/lib/python3/dist-packages (from keyring>=7.0->photini[Pillow,flickr,google,gpxpy,importer,ipernity,spelling]) (2.3.1)
Requirement already satisfied: oauthlib>=3.0.0 in /usr/lib/python3/dist-packages (from requests-oauthlib>=1.0->photini[Pillow,flickr,google,gpxpy,importer,ipernity,spelling]) (3.1.0)
Building wheels for collected packages: gpxpy
  Building wheel for gpxpy ( ... done
  Created wheel for gpxpy: filename=gpxpy-1.5.0-py3-none-any.whl size=42878 sha256=fe9e48d88437fb635227a114ddd4c021e99979514e83cbba7cb3cd620bc7f8f8
  Stored in directory: /home/jim/.cache/pip/wheels/93/15/ce/1cd2782b440b8a517b89c3fa112f79f7015bd6e51b552e1b1a
Successfully built gpxpy
Installing collected packages: gphoto2, requests-toolbelt, requests-oauthlib, pyenchant, gpxpy
Successfully installed gphoto2-2.3.4 gpxpy-1.5.0 pyenchant-3.2.2 requests-oauthlib-1.3.1 requests-toolbelt-0.9.1

Photini’s spelling checker may require some other files to be installed. See the pyenchant documentation for platform specific instructions.

One optional dependency that cannot be installed with pip or photini-configure is FFmpeg. This is used to read metadata from video files. Linux & MacOS users can install it with the system package manager, but installing it on Windows is non-trivial.

Start menu / application menu

Although you can run Photini from a command shell, most users would probably prefer to use the start/application menu or a desktop icon. These can be installed with the photini-post-install command:

jim@mint:~$ photini-post-install
desktop-file-install \
  --dir=/home/jim/.local/share/applications \
  --set-key=Exec \
  --set-value=/home/jim/photini/bin/photini %F \
  --set-key=Icon \
  --set-value=/home/jim/photini/lib/python3.8/site-packages/photini/data/icons/photini_48.png \

Additional users

If you have installed Photini in a virtual environment then other users should be able to run the photini command using its full path. (On Windows you will need to share the virtual environment top level directory first.)

sarah@mint:~$ /home/jim/photini/bin/photini

This is not a very convenient way to run Photini, so most users will want to add it to their start/application menu:

sarah@mint:~$ /home/jim/photini/bin/photini-post-install
desktop-file-install \
  --dir=/home/sarah/.local/share/applications \
  --set-key=Exec \
  --set-value=/home/jim/photini/bin/photini %F \
  --set-key=Icon \
  --set-value=/home/jim/photini/lib/python3.8/site-packages/photini/data/icons/photini_48.png \

To install Photini menu shortcuts for all users you can run the post install command as root (Linux) or in a command window run as administrator (Windows). It is important to use the full path to the post install command:

jim@mint:~$ sudo /home/jim/photini/bin/photini-post-install
[sudo] password for jim:
desktop-file-install \
  --set-key=Exec \
  --set-value=/home/jim/photini/bin/photini %F \
  --set-key=Icon \
  --set-value=/home/jim/photini/lib/python3.8/site-packages/photini/data/icons/photini_48.png \

Uninstalling Photini

Before removing Photini you should use the photini-post-install command to remove it from the start/application menu:

jim@mint:~$ photini-post-install --remove
Deleting /home/jim/.local/share/applications/photini.desktop

If you used a virtual environment you can simply delete the top level directory created when setting up the virtual environment. Otherwise you can use pip to uninstall Photini and as many of its dependencies as you want to remove:

jim@mint:~$ pip3 uninstall photini pyside2
Found existing installation: Photini 2022.2.0
Uninstalling Photini-2022.2.0:
  Would remove:
Proceed (Y/n)? y
  Successfully uninstalled Photini-2022.2.0
Found existing installation: PySide2
Uninstalling PySide2-
  Would remove:
Proceed (Y/n)? y
  Successfully uninstalled PySide2-

Updating Photini

When a new release of Photini is issued you can easily update your installation with pip:

jim@mint:~$ pip3 install -U photini

The -U option tells pip to update Photini to the latest available version.

If you upgrade Python you shouldn’t need to reinstall Photini or its dependencies if only the patch level changes (e.g. 3.8.9 to 3.8.10). After a more significant Python upgrade (e.g. 3.7.x to 3.8.y) you will need to do a fresh installation of Photini and its dependencies.

Dependency details

These lists of dependencies may be useful to Linux or MacOS users who prefer to use their system package manager to install them instead of pip. Note that in some cases you have a choice of packages, as discussed in the notes below each table.

Different operating systems have different names for the same packages. If you run into problems, please let me know (email and once we’ve worked out what needs to be done I’ll be able to improve these instructions.

Essential dependencies

These are all required for Photini to be usable.


Minimum version

Typical Linux package name

PyPI package name




PyQt [1]


python3-qt5 or python3-pyqt5 or python310-PyQt6

PySide2 [1]




PySide6 [1]




QtWebEngine [2]

python3-pyside2.qtwebengine or python310-PyQt6-WebEngine













[1] PyQt, PySide2, and PySide6 are Python interfaces to the Qt GUI framework. Photini can use any of them (although PySide2 is preferred), so you can install whichever one you prefer that is available for your operating system. If more than one of them is installed you can choose which one Photini uses by editing its configuration file or by running photini-configure.

[2] Photini needs the Python interface to QtWebEngine. This is included in PySide6 and some PyQt or PySide2 installations, otherwise you need to install a separate package. The photini-configure command will tell you if it’s missing.

Optional dependencies

Some of Photini’s features are optional - if you don’t install these packages Photini will work but the relevant feature will not be available. Linux package manager names will probably have python- or python3- prefixes.



Spell check[1]

pyenchant 2.0+

Flickr upload

requests-oauthlib 1.0+, requests-toolbelt 0.9+, keyring 7.0+

Ipernity upload

requests-toolbelt 0.9+, keyring 7.0+

Pixelfed upload

requests-oauthlib 1.0+, requests-toolbelt 0.9+, keyring 7.0+

Google Photos upload

requests-oauthlib 1.0+, keyring 7.0+

Thumbnail creation[2]

FFmpeg, Pillow 2.0+

Import photos from camera[3]

python3-gphoto2 1.8+

Import GPS logger file

gpxpy 1.3.5+

[1] Pyenchant requires a C library and dictionaries to be installed. See the pyenchant documentation for detailed instructions.

[2] Photini can create thumbnail images using PyQt, but better quality ones can be made by installing Pillow. FFmpeg is needed to generate thumbnails for video files, but it can also make them for some still image formats.

[3]Photini can import pictures from any directory on your computer (e.g. a memory card) but on Linux and MacOS systems it can also import directly from a camera if python-gphoto2 is installed.

Special installations

There are some circumstances where installing Photini from the Python Package Index (PyPI) with pip is not suitable. If you need easy access to the source files, for example to work on translating the user interface into another language, then you should install the development version.

Development version

To install the development version you can use git to clone the GitHub repository or download it as a .zip or .tar.gz file and then unpack it. Then set your working directory to the Photini top level directory before continuing.

You can run Photini without installing it, using the script:

$ python3 src/

This can be useful during development as the script should also work within an IDE.

The development version can be built and installed using pip:

$ pip3 install .

If you’d like to test or use one of Photini’s translation files you will need to update and compile the translations before installing or running Photini:

$ python3 utils/
$ python3 utils/
$ pip3 install .

This requires the Qt “linguist” software to be installed. See Testing your translation for more information about using translations.


If you ever have problems running Photini the first thing to do is to run it in a command window. If you installed Photini in a virtual environment then activate that environment, for example:

jim@brains:~$ source /home/jim/photini/bin/activate
(photini) jim@brains:~$

Start the Photini program as follows. If it fails to run you should get some diagnostic information:

jim@brains:~$ python3 -m photini -v

Note the use of the -v option to increase the verbosity of Photini’s message logging. This option can be repeated for even more verbosity.

To find out what version of Photini and some of its dependencies you are using, run it with the --version option:

jim@mint:~$ python -m photini --version
Photini 2022.3.2, build 2084 (3194bd4)
  Python 3.8.10 (default, Nov 26 2021, 20:14:08) [GCC 9.3.0]
  python-exiv2 0.11.0, exiv2 0.27.5
  PySide2, Qt 5.15.2, using QtWebEngine
  PyEnchant 3.2.2
  ffmpeg version 4.2.4-1ubuntu0.1 Copyright (c) 2000-2020 the FFmpeg developers
  available styles: Windows, Fusion
  using style: fusion

This information is useful if you need to email me ( with any problems you have running Photini.

Mailing list

For more general discussion of Photini (e.g. release announcements, questions about using it, problems with installing, etc.) there is an email list or forum hosted on Google Groups. You can view previous messages and ask to join the group at!forum/photini.

Photini documentation

If you would like to have a local copy of the Photini documentation, and have downloaded or cloned the source files, you can install Sphinx and associated packages and then “compile” the documentation:

$ pip3 install -r src/doc/requirements.txt
$ python3 utils/

Open doc/html/index.html with a web browser to read the local documentation.

Comments or questions? Please subscribe to the Photini mailing list!forum/photini and let us know.