ExifTool is a free program for reading, modifying, and manipulating images and audio or video file formats on your computer. It has been developed by millions of users from all around the world with the aim to make their lives easier by providing support across different platforms such Windows, macOS, and Unix systems like Linux, etc.
The software also offers robust features that allow you not only to view but also edit metadata, including date taken/original resolution info about videography footage; examine photo album shots one after another quickly without having to scroll through each individual slide – pick what moment interests you!
In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install ExifTool on Ubuntu 22.10. The tutorial will use the command line terminal with complete steps using both the standard APT repository from Jammy and the Flatpak hub repository as an alternative for those that may want a newer version.
ExifTool implements its own open metadata format. It is designed to encapsulate metainformation from many sources, in binary or textual form, and bundle it together with any type of file. It can either be a single file, wrapping existing data, or used as a sidecar file, carrying for example Exif or XMP metadata.
Before proceeding with the tutorial, it is good to ensure your system is up-to-date with all existing packages.
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
Primarily, you should upgrade your current Ubuntu version regularly in order to benefit from the latest security patches. These might be for the operating system, drivers, or even (in the case of the Meltdown and Spectre bugs) the underlying hardware.
By default, ExifTool is available to install from Ubuntu 22.04 repository making the installation quick and straightforward without importing any third-party repositories.
In your terminal, execute the following command.
sudo apt install exiftool -y
How to Use ExifTool
Now that you have the software installed, some basic commands are as follows.
Extract information from a file
exiftool a.jpgCode language: CSS (css)
A basic command to extract all metadata from a file named.
Basic write example
exiftool -artist=me a.jpg
Writes Artist tag to
a.jpg. Since no group is specified, EXIF:Artist will be registered, and all other existing Artist tags will be updated with the new value (“
Write multiple files
exiftool -artist=me a.jpg b.jpg c.jpg
Writes Artist tag to three image files.
Write to all files in a directory
exiftool -artist=me /images
Writes Artist tag to all files in a directory
Write multiple tags
Writes two tags to
Extracting duplicate tags
exiftool -a -u -g1 a.jpgCode language: CSS (css)
Print all meta information in an image, including duplicate and unknown tags, sorted by group (for family 1).
Print common meta information
exiftool -common dir
Print standard meta-information for all images in dir.
List meta information
exiftool -T -createdate -aperture -shutterspeed -iso DIR > out.txtCode language: CSS (css)
List meta information in tab-delimited column form for all images in the directory
DIR to an output text file named “out.txt.”
Print ImageSize and ExposureTime
exiftool -s -ImageSize -ExposureTime b.jpgCode language: CSS (css)
Print ImageSize and ExposureTime tag names and values.
Print Canon information
exiftool -l -canon c.jpg d.jpgCode language: CSS (css)
Print standard Canon information from two image files.
Recursively extract common meta information.
exiftool -r -w .txt -common picturesCode language: CSS (css)
Recursively extract standard meta information from files in an example directory, writing text output into files with the same names but with aC<.txt> extension.
Move Thumbnail Image
exiftool -b -ThumbnailImage image.jpg > thumbnail.jpgCode language: CSS (css)
Save thumbnail image from one image file to another image file.
Recursively extract JPG image from CRW
exiftool -b -JpgFromRaw -w _JFR.JPG -ext CRW -r .Code language: CSS (css)
Recursively extract JPG image from all Canon CRW files in the current directory, adding C<_JFR.JPG> for the name of the output JPG files.
Print formatted date/time for JPG files
Print formatted date/time for all JPG files in the current directory.
Extract image resolution
exiftool -IFD1:XResolution -IFD1:YResolution image.jpgCode language: CSS (css)
Extract image resolution from EXIF IFD1 information (thumbnail image IFD).
Extract all tags with names with “example word”
Extract all tags with names containing the word “Resolution” from an image.
Extract all author-related XMP
exiftool -xmp:author:all -a image.jpgCode language: CSS (css)
Extract all author-related XMP information from an image.
Extract complete XMP data
exiftool -xmp -b a.jpg > out.xmpCode language: CSS (css)
Extract complete XMP data record intact from
a.jpg and write it to
out.xmp use the unique
XMP tag (see the Extra Tags)
Print output date time original
Print one line of output containing the file name and DateTimeOriginal for each image in the directory
Extract all GPS positions from AVCHD
Extract all GPS positions from an AVCHD video.
exiftool -icc_profile -b -w icc image.jpgCode language: CSS (css)
Save complete ICC_Profile from an image to an output file with the same name and an extension of filename<.icc>.
Generate HTML pages from HEX Dump
exiftool -htmldump -w tmp/%f_%e.html t/images
Generate HTML pages from a hex dump of EXIF information in all images from the C directory. The output HTML files are written to the C directory (which is created if it didn’t exist), with names of the form “FILENAME_EXT.html.”
How to Update ExifTool
Depending on the method of installation used, the following commands can be used to update the software and any system packages. Ideally, the terminal update command should be used even if you have auto-updates in your desktop GUI to ensure everything is updating correctly.
sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt upgrade
How to Remove (Uninstall) ExifTool
Use the following command for users who no longer require ExifTool on their system and wish to remove it.
sudo apt autoremove exiftool --purge -y
The above command will automatically remove any unused dependencies installed from ExifTool and other leftovers from previous removals. This command should be run often to keep your system from getting too bloated.
Comments and Conclusion
In the tutorial, you have learned how to install ExifTool on Ubuntu 22.10.
If you’re looking for a powerful, open-source metadata tool that can work on Windows, macOS, and Unix systems, ExifTool is worth checking out. With its ability to read, modify, and manipulate the image, video, audio, and PDF metadata, ExifTool is an invaluable asset for any digital media workflow.
Another interesting article may be: The Best compression utilities for Ubuntu