How to open Canon CR2 Raws in Ubuntu

Or more correctly, how to open Canon CR2 Raw Files for editing in Ubuntu using GIMP.  F-Spot the default image viewer in Ubuntu already allows you to open Canon CR2 Raw images for viewing.

Gimp should come pre-installed with Ubuntu.  If you don’t have it installed for any reason (uninstalled?), install it using the command :

sudo apt-get install gimp

Next you need UFRaw which is a utility to read and manipulate raw images from digital cameras.  Or in our case, it is better to use the GIMP UFRaw plugin.  Get it by using the command :

sudo apt-get install gimp-ufraw

Now wasn’t that easy?  Now all you need to do is simply right click on any .CR2 file, Select Open With > Open With “Gimp Image Editor” and GIMP UFRaw dialog should appear like below.

UFRaw Dialog
UFRaw Dialog

I had to collapse some of the options to make the dialog appear on my small laptop (800 vertical pixel) screen, so if you can’t see the “OK” button don’t fret and resize the window.  There are a few options you can tweak with before you need to click “OK” as shown below.

UFRaw Dialog Options
UFRaw Dialog Options

There’s crop options too… but wonder why the ‘usual’ print aspects aren’t there 🙁

More UFRaw Options
More UFRaw Options

And finally, the CR2 raw image makes its way into GIMP for glorious editing… I think I’ll add whiskers and cat’s ears to her face now…

CR2 image opened in GIMP
CR2 image opened in GIMP

This post is dedicated to Andy Au!

16 thoughts on “How to open Canon CR2 Raws in Ubuntu”

  1. You are awesome. Thanks for the simple, yet very useful information. Exactly what I needed.

  2. Many thanks for this very useful tip. I got started with Ubuntu 9.04 only two days ago and still I’m a complete newbie, but the more I use it the more I love it. Especially he Gim amazes me. What a great piece of software it is, and the best f all is that it’s free.

  3. Why is that inspite of doing this on a Core 2 Quad machine with 8GB RAM, it still takes a couple of mins when changing temperature / green settings ?

  4. Hej hello – one question – I hope that blog isn’t expired yet ? I have a Ubuntu 10.04 and I tried it with gimp and UfRaw but with my very new EOS 550D CR2’s it doesn’t work 🙁 can anyone help me PLEASEEE !!!

    greetings – benNO!

    1. You may need to download UFRaw from Source and compile it, I had to do that too on a brand new camera. The repository version of UFRaw may not be up to date.

      1. hej thanks for your reply – I’m not that kind of geek 😉 can you tell me how or are there any tutorials for compiling ?
        thanks and greetings

  5. 12.04 copy of ubuntu – just fixed an old laptop. I can’t even see the cr2 thumbnails in explorer. Anyhow, this still works. Thanks!

  6. Sadly no longer works with Gimp 2.8.16 under Mint 18.2 (Debian). Just gives error messages when loading a Canon ‘.CR2’ file

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