GIMP Plugin

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This article describes how to make it possible to have GIMP open raw images by using RawTherapee.

It currently describes the method only for Linux. Windows and macOS users are invited to contribute.


  • RawTherapee 5.2
  • GIMP 2.9.5
  • The file-rawtherapee plugin


  1. Perhaps in the future the RawTherapee installer or even GIMP itself will contain the plugin. For now you must compile it yourself.
  2. Compile the plugin: gimptool-2.0 --build file-rawtherapee.c
  3. Install the compiled plugin. To find GIMP's plugins folder run GIMP and look in Preferences > Folders > Plug-Ins. For example:
    • Install for the current user only: cp file-rawtherapee ~/.config/GIMP/2.9/plug-ins
    • Install for all users: sudo cp file-rawtherapee /usr/lib/gimp/2.0/plug-ins
  4. Let the plugin find RawTherapee by making sure that rawtherapee and rawtherapee-cli executables can be found on $PATH:
    • If you installed RawTherapee system-wide using a package manager, you're probably all set.
    • If you're running RawTherapee from some custom folder, e.g. ~/programs/rt then you have two options:
    1. Either sudo-edit the /etc/environment file and add a line like this but with the correct path: export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/programs/rt
    2. Or symlink the executables into /usr/bin: sudo ln -s ~/programs/rt/rawtherapee /usr/bin/rawtherapee && sudo ln -s ~/programs/rt/rawtherapee-cli /usr/bin/rawtherapee-cli
  5. Lastly, setup GIMP. Go to Edit > Preferences > Image Import and make sure that "Raw Importer" is set to the file-rawtherapee plugin.
  6. Done.


Just open a raw file from GIMP. A RawTherapee editor window should open automatically, which you can use to tweak your raw file. When you close the window, the image gets imported into GIMP.