How to modify the F-Spot database

On my new Linux installation I wanted to have all my images in one folder. Due to some mishaps F-Spot had stored the images in three different locations. I looked a bit around and then found a forum post which described an easy way to do this.

Find your photos.db database. It’s usually in ./config/f-spot/. Then use sqlite3 to extract the information into a text file:

sqlite3 ~/.config/f-spot/photos.db .dump > f-spot.dump

If you stare wondering at a “bash: sqlite3: command not found”, just install the package “sqlite3-tools”.

Now open this file in your text editor (not word processor…..) of choice. You’ll see a lot of lines, among them images with paths. Just change these paths with search and replace to the new scheme.

INSERT INTO "photos" VALUES(4243,1243489564,'file:///home/rs/Pictures/Photos/2009/05/28/','RLF_9743.JPG','Rolf Steinort',38,1,0);

Take care to only change the paths, don’t delete or change any of the other stuff. It can break everything. πŸ˜‰

Now make a backup of your database and import the changed data back into the database.

mv ~/.config/f-spot/photos.db photos.db.backup
sqlite3 ~/.config/f-spot/photos.db < f-spot.dump

This is only working when no database is there, so make the backup! If you run into an error, delete the new database.

Of course you should only start F-Spot again if you are sure that all the files have reached their new destinations safely.

[flattr /]

Other news: Shotwell imports F-Spot data and images without problems. And #150 has been recorded the third time and is just in the rendering tool chain. I'll know about the result in some moments.

Episode 137: A Trip to Hamburg

Download the Video! (50.9 MB, 26;46)

This time I have made an experiment. You can look over my shoulder while I select the images to keep from a trip to Hamburg. I use F-Spot for this task.

I am not sure if this was a successful approach because I didn’t talk that much while selecting the images. Can you find out what I was looking for? What are your criteria? I found out again that shooting without a goal is fun, but has not that much good results. πŸ˜‰

I mention two podcasts worth to follow. Jeff Curto’s “The History of Photography” and The World’s “Technology Podcast“.Β  And then there is the Haus der Photographie in the Deichtorhallen, which has good exhibitions and a good bookstore. The map in the begin was provided by the Open Street Map Project.


00:20 A trip to Hamburg – Podcast Promo Jeff Curto
02:30 Where I wanted to shoot
03:50 Using F-Spot for grading images
04:30 Setting the date range
04:40 Going through the images
18:30 What were my criteria?
19:40 Discarding a lot
21:00 Second walk through the images
21:15 Fullscreen mode in F-Spot
21:45 Selecting images for more doing work on them
23:00 How to shoot good images – not like me.
24:15 Podcast Promo for the “World Technology Podcast”
25:00 Train ride home

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Meet the GIMP Video Podcast by Rolf Steinort and Philippe Demartin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany License.
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Episode 128: Beam it up, F-SPOT!

128Download the Video! (32.7 MB, 17:13)

If you have problems with the sound – simply reload! There was a glitch.

I was out on a photo walk with a GIMPer from Bremen. One of these shots is post processed in this show. Nothing special, just adjusting the colours with a curve in two different parts of the image. Of course a layer with mask is used to separate the different areas and explained again for the new GIMP users.

The really new information is about uploading images from F-SPOT to 23 and flickr. You have to enable the exporter in the menu Edit/Mange Extensions/Export. 23 is covered by the flickr exporter, they use the same API.

You can find the final image on 23 and flickr, both uploads worked like a charm.

You can participate in episode planning in the Wave. It is open for everybody.

Creative Commons License
Meet the GIMP Video Podcast by Rolf Steinort and Philippe Demartin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

XCF is getting into F-Spot! :-)

xcfforeveryonesStephane Delcroix, the maintainer of F-spot, has sent me this link to his blog. There he describes the GdkPixbuf loader for XCF he wrote.This allows a lot of Gnome programs to read XCF files. He had to do this under “Clean Room” conditions because GIMP is GPL licensed and he had to release under LGPL. So he wasn’t allowed to look into the source of GIMP and had to use some documentation and the old fashioned hexdump and brain combination.

Full XCF suppurt for F-Spot will follow. Now you can see and open XCF files in GIMP, but sending a JPEG to GIMP and getting a XCF back is in the pipeline. Stephane mentioned a “perhaps” date, but I’ll translate that into “soon” here. πŸ˜‰ I’ll keep you updated.

A big “Thank You” to Stephane!

(Image stoen from Stephane’s site)

Episode 089: Transparency

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Download the companion file! (…if there is one…. πŸ˜‰ )

Today I talk about the Eraser Tool, Alpha Channels and Layer Masks – in short: about transparency. Jim got me onto this topic with an email. Jim, consider this the answer. πŸ˜‰

Norman sent me another mail about F-Spot and using RAW andΒ  XCF files. Up to the inclusion of XCF files in the database and an option to get images out of UFRaw in XCF or TIFF, just copy the path of the JPEG with a right click. Store your XCF in the same directory as the F-Spot images and add the tag “HasXCF” So you know that there is a XCF and can search for it.

Show 100 is coming up. What shall be in it? I know about the intro, but nothing more. Discuss it in the forum or in the comments.


00:18 Welcome
00:22 Ideas for episode 100 requested
01:10 The erase tool
02:57 The erasing with an alpha channel
04:05 The channels
06:40 Effect on the alpha channel when erasing
08:45 Un-erasing
10:30 Comparing with layer-masks
14:00 Historic and current images combined
15:20 Transparency menu
15:45 Colour to Alpha
17:00 Threshold Alpha
18:00 Alpha to selection
18:30 Summary
20:45 F-Spot and .xcf files
28:28 The End

Episode 087: The second Spot of F-Spot (2)

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Download the companion file! (…if there is one…. πŸ˜‰ )

f-spot-galThis is the second show about F-Spot – one week late because of sound problems.

Edit: I have said something wrong in the video: The hotkey for opening the tag entry is “t”, not “Ctrl-t”. “Enter” validates the input and “Esc” closes the entry field.
It’s about editing images and exporting them into image sharing sites or into folders. Even a gallery creation function is provided, see the image on the right. The editing is only suitable for simple, quick edits. But you can call GIMP or UFRaw to help with heavier stuff. The images produced by these programs are also stored in the database of F-Spot. Only XCF files are not known to F-Spot – a real drawback in my eyes. Perhaps a later version will include them. At version 0.5 there is still room for an other feature. πŸ˜‰
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Episode 086: A Spot of F-Spot (1)

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Download the companion file! (…if there is one…. πŸ˜‰ )

86Today I explore the program F-Spot. It’s an image multi-tool – you can rate, tag and index your images, store or export them and even do some editing with it.

You find the F-Spot homepage at

F-Spot is a program for Linux and the Gnome desktop environment. But there are more programs out there for other Linux flavours and operating systems. For some you can even pay money. πŸ˜‰
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