Flickr Uploaders for Linux: Secretive, But Not Endangered Beasts

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 16, 2008

Flickr is almost like Xerox, or Kleenex, in that its name is in some ways inextricably linked to the service it delivers. There are many other photo sharing sites, of course, with similar (or perhaps even superior) features and options. Maybe it's because it is one of the first services that's managed to grow, add features, and consistently stand out from the others, it is often the first service people try, and the one many ultimately choose to continue with.

Though Flickr has a browser uploader, there are limitations. It is slow, and on occasion it won't successfully upload anything. Flickr has desktop uploaders available that are generally faster, and allow for more image and metadata manipulation prior to upload. And for years, the desktop uploader page has shown "official" options for Windows, and Macs, and mobile devices. For years, there has been one uploader option on that page -- a third party, cross platform (and very serviceable) -- that is Linux compatible.

jUploadr continues to be a great tool (and though updates aren't frequent, it handles basic Flickr uploading tasks well). Don't let the fact that it's the only Linux uploader listed on Flickr's site make you believe it's the only option, or that Linux targeted uploaders are one trick ponies.

Photo Management Software Plugins

The obvious places are usually the last places anyone thinks to look. Both the GNOME photo manager F-Spot and the KDE digiKam photo software have plugins able to upload to Flickr (as well as a few other photo sites). In some distributions, these plugins may have to be installed, though it's been a year or two since I've had a distribution not include the KIPI-plugins digiKam requires for Flickr uploading.

Uploaders That Do What They Claim

For the KDE fans who'd rather just handle things through a file manager rather than digiKam, the standalone uploader kflickr might be appealing. Photos queued for uploading can be resized, appropriately licensed and added to photosets. Privacy settings, tags, titles and descriptions can be modified in bulk or individually, and images can be magnified and set to the desired orientation. kflickr is also capable of managing more than one authenticated account.

The GNOME counterpart to the kflickr is Postr. Postr's developer, Ross Burton, makes no pretense that the application is fully developed, but it is a strong contender for a primary uploader as is. Postr is referred to as "Flickr Uploader" on window borders and menus once it is installed on a system, but at least in the Ubuntu repositories, it's just referred to as "Postr." With the usual tagging, titling, description and privacy settings, Postr additionally enables photos to be added to any Flickr groups you might belong to.

And Now For Something (Almost) Completely Different...

The Desktop Flickr Organizer is a Flickr uploader. It's also able to download. It can organize, rearrange, edit, and do all the same sorts of things the in-browser Flickr Organizer can do, without needing to be online. There is a real appeal to that, and coupled with the clean interface and configuration, drag and drop photo rearrangements between it and the Nautilus file manager, and availability through many distribution repositories, it seems like this would be the only option. For some it undoubtedly is. At this time, however, it is only available for the GNOME desktop.

If DFO's functionality is required, there is the other option. The developers who brought DFO to life did so with their flickrfs virtual filesystem. It mounts your Flickr account in much the same way a network drive or partition is handled. It's command line based, so there are a few commands and arguments specific to flickrfs you'll want to be familiar with, but it is able to sync, search, and organize in much the same way (if not in as visual a manner) as DFO.