File Paths

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RawTherapee makes use of a "cache" folder to store temporary files which are safe to delete, and a "config" folder which stores your RawTherapee settings, custom processing profiles and other user-editable files. These folders reside in a special place, described below, and have a name that begins with the word "RawTherapee" optionally followed by a suffix. This suffix is set by the person who made the build of RawTherapee you're using. Some examples of what it can look like:

  • RawTherapee
  • RawTherapee4.2
  • RawTherapee5
  • RawTherapee5-dev
  • RawTherapee_test
  • And other possibilities always beginning with "RawTherapee"

The first part, "RawTherapee", is hard-coded. The second part, the suffix, is up to the person who made the build. It might be specific, like "5.0-gtk2-123-g87654321", it could be general, like "5", it could be anything else, like "_test", or it could be not set. We recommend that RawTherapee stable releases not use a suffix at all, while all development versions use "5-dev" - hopefully the person who made the build you're using took this into account.

Config

The RawTherapee config folder contains:

  • the "options" file, which contains all of your settings from Preferences,
  • the "batch" folder, which stores temporary processing profiles of the photos you sent to the Queue,
  • the user-editable camconst.json file, where you can define details of how a specific raw format is to be treated (this overrides the values from the system camconst.json file),
  • the dynamic profile rules,
  • and the "profiles" folder where you can save your custom processing profiles to if you want them to appear in RawTherapee's drop-down list.

You could include this folder in your backups so that you can regain all of your settings and custom processing profiles if you install RawTherapee on a new system.

Default locations for the RawTherapee config folder (look for the "RawTherapee*" prefix as described above):

Windows XP
%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\
Windows 7, 8 and 10
%LOCALAPPDATA%
Linux
~/.config/
macOS
~/.config/
Under the Finder's 'Go' menu click 'Go to Folder' (shortcut Command+Shift+g), you can then type/paste any path you want to navigate to, even if it's hidden.

Cache

The RawTherapee cache folder contains sets of cached items, where each set consists of:

  • a thumbnail,
  • a histogram,
  • metadata,
  • a sidecar file,
  • and optionally an embedded profile.

By default, RawTherapee keeps up to 20 000 cached sets. Keep an eye on the "cache" folder as over time it may grow considerably in size! This is mostly due to the cached thumbnails which are stored in the "images" sub-folder. Deleting the "images" sub-folder is safe, you will not lose any image settings, RawTherapee will just have to regenerate the thumbnails.

Default locations for the RawTherapee cache folder (look for the "RawTherapee*" prefix as described above):

Windows XP
%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\
Windows 7, 8 and 10
%LOCALAPPDATA%
Linux
~/.cache/
macOS
~/.cache/
Under the Finder's 'Go' menu click 'Go to Folder' (shortcut Command+Shift+g), you can then type/paste any path you want to navigate to, even if it's hidden.

Custom config and cache folders

Even though the path and name of the cache and config folders is hard-coded into RawTherapee, as of version 4.0.12.33 you can change them to any absolute path by using the RT_SETTINGS and RT_CACHE environment variables. How you do that depends on your operating system, so just search on the internet for "how to set environment variables in <your operating system>".

Some examples:

Windows
RT_SETTINGS=%LOCALAPPDATA%\rawtherapee\4.2
RT_CACHE=C:\Users\Bob\AppData\Local\rtcache
Linux and macOS
RT_SETTINGS=/home/bob/.config/rawtherapee/4.2
RT_CACHE=/home/bob/junk/rtcache

Processing Profiles

If you create your own processing profiles, to have them appear in RawTherapee's "Processing Profiles" list you should save them to the "profiles" folder which you will find inside the "config" folder as described above.

Temporary Folder

The "Edit Current Image in External Editor" tool stores intermediate image files in a temporary folder:

Windows
The default location is the one stored in the $TEMP environment variable, which is usually %LOCALAPPDATA%/Temp
If you do not have the $TEMP environment variable set, C:\ is used.
Linux and macOS
The default location is the one stored in the $TMPDIR environment variable, which is usually /tmp
If you do not have the $TMPDIR environment variable set, /tmp is used.