Nikon D90 works perfectly with Ubuntu (Karmic)

Yep, the Nikon D90 works perfectly with Ubuntu Linux. I’m using Karmic, but it should work just as well with Jaunty.

If you don’t already have a D90, I recommend getting one of the kits from Amazon. This one will get you everything you need, but if you have the cash, you should probably spring for something like this kit with the 18-200 lens.  Either way you’ll probably spend $1000 – $1500.

Nikon D90 & Ubuntu laptop

Nikon D90 & Ubuntu laptop

Anyway, the Nikon D90 works great, right out of the box, with Karmic. Just plug in the USB cable and it will offer to start F-Spot, a great photo manager.

When F-Spot starts, it will quickly scan your camera for images, and then show a dialog that lets you choose which photos to import.  It lets you easily tag photos, and organizes them by date, tag, and import session. The photo browser is responsive and attractive, and really easy to use.

The F-Spot photo browser

The F-Spot photo browser

One of the cooler features of F-Spot is non-destructive editing — when you edit a photo, it creates a copy and works from there, saving the original so that you can always go back. This means that you can safely edit your photos without worry, since the original will be unchanged.

Viewing an individual photo

Viewing an individual photo

Although I don’t have much experience with it, RAW images are fully supported via UFRaw. You’ll probably need to install it first.  You can do that from the Software Center, or just type this command into a terminal:

sudo apt-get install ufraw

After that go into F-Spot, hit Edit -> Manage Extensions -> Tools, and Enable “DevelopInUFRaw”.

That pretty much covers all the basics. If you know what you’re doing, you can get just the camera body from Amazon.com.  Most people will probably want to start with a kit though.

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