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Manual Reference Pages  -  UFRAW (1)

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UFRaw - Convert camera RAW images to standard image files.



ufraw [OPTIONS] <rawfile(s)>
ufraw-batch [OPTIONS] <rawfile(s)>


The Unidentified Flying Raw (UFRaw) is a utility to read and manipulate raw images from digital cameras. It reads raw images using Dave Coffin’s raw conversion utility - DCRaw. UFRaw supports basic color management using Little CMS, allowing the user to apply color profiles. For Nikon users UFRaw has the advantage that it can read the camera’s tone curves. Even if you don’t own a Nikon, you can still apply a Nikon curve to your images.

By default ’ufraw’ displays a preview window for each raw image allowing the user to tweak the image parameters before saving. If no raw images are given at the command line, UFRaw will display a file chooser dialog. To process the images with no questions asked (and no preview) use the command ’ufraw-batch’.

The input files can be either raw images or UFRaw ID-files. ID-files contain a raw image filename and the parameters for handling the image.

UFRaw can also work as a GIMP plug-in. To activate it simply open a raw image or a UFRaw ID-file in the GIMP.


The options supplied on the command-line decide the starting-values for the GUI. The GUI will then allow you to tweak these values before saving the final image.

    General Options

--version Display the version of UFRaw and exit.
--help Display a brief description of how to use UFRaw and exit.
--maximize-window Force window to be maximized.
--silent Do not display any messages during conversion. This option is only valid with ’ufraw-batch’.
--conf=<ID-filename> Load all parameters from an ID-file. This feature can be used to tweak the parameters for one file using the GUI and using those parameters as the starting point for other images as well.

    Image Manipulation Options

These command-line options override settings from the default configuration of UFRaw and from any loaded ID-file. The best way to learn about how these parameters work is to experiment with the GUI. All parameters correspond exactly to a setting available in the GUI. Not all parameters in the GUI have corresponding command-line options.
--wb=camera|auto White balance setting. camera means that UFRaw tries to read the color-temperature and green color component that the camera recorded in the meta-information in the raw-file. This does not work for all cameras. If UFRaw fails to read the white-balance information from the meta-information, it falls back to auto.

auto means that UFRaw calculates the color-temperature and green color component automatically from the image data.

The white-balance can also be set manually with the --temperature and --green options.

--temperature=TEMP Manually set the color temperature in Kelvin.
--green=GREEN Green color component. Range 0.20 to 2.50.
--gamma=GAMMA Gamma adjustment of the base curve. Range 0.10 to 1.00. Default 0.45.
--linearity=LINEARITY Linearity of the base curve. Range 0.00 to 1.00. Default 0.10.
--exposure=auto|EXPOSURE Auto exposure or exposure correction in EV. Range -3.00 to 3.00. Default 0.
--restore=clip|lch|hsv Control how highlights are restored when applying negative EV. ’clip’ restores nothing and is therefore safe from any artifacts. ’lch’ restores in LCH space, resulting in restored highlights with soft details (good for clouds). ’hsv’ restores in HSV space, resulting in restored highlights with sharp details. The default is ’lch’.
--clip=digital|film Control how highlights are clipped when applying positive EV. ’digital’ corresponds to using a linear response, emulating the harsh behaviour of the digital sensor. ’film’ emulate the soft film response. The default is ’digital’.
--saturation=SAT Adjust the color saturation. Range 0.00 to 8.00. Default 1.0, use 0 for black & white output.
--wavelet-denoising-threshold=THRESHOLD Wavelet denoising threshold (default 0.0).
--hotpixel-sensitivity=VALUE Sensitivity for detecting and shaving hot pixels (default 0.0).
--base-curve=manual|linear|custom|camera|CURVE Type of tone curve to use. The base curve is a combination of the gamma curve corrected by the curve specified here. The base curve is applied to each channel of the raw data after the white balance and color matrix, but before the ICC transformation.

manual means that a manual tone curve is used. This is probably not very useful as a command-line option, since there is no way to specify what the curve should look like.

linear means that no tone curve corrections is performed.

custom means that UFRaw shall use the curve supplied by the camera in the meta-information in the raw-file.

camera means that UFRaw shall use the custom curve only if the camera was set to use it (according to the meta-information). Otherwise the linear curve is used.

CURVE can be the filename (without path) of any curve that was previously loaded in the GUI.

The default is camera if such a curve exists, linear otherwise.

--base-curve-file=<curve-file> Load the base curve from a file. The curve file format can be either UFRaw’s XML format or Nikon’s NTC/NCV format.
--curve=manual|linear|CURVE Type of luminosity curve to use. This curve is applied in HSV space and therefore hue and saturation should not be effected by it.

manual means that a manual luminosity curve is used. This is probably not very useful as a command-line option, since there is no way to specify what the curve should look like.

linear means that no luminosity correction is performed.

CURVE can be the filename (without path) of any curve that was previously loaded in the GUI.

The default is linear.

--curve-file=<curve-file> Load the luminosity curve from a file. The curve file format can be either UFRaw’s XML format or Nikon’s NTC/NCV format.
--black-point=auto|BLACK Black-point value. Range 0.0 to 1.0, default 0.0.
--interpolation=ahd|vng|four-color|ppg|bilinear Interpolation algorithm to use when converting from the color filter array to normal RGB values. AHD (Adaptive Homogeneity Directed) interpolation is the best, but also the slowest. VNG (Variable Number Gradients) is second best and a bit faster. Bilinear is the simplest yet fastest interpolation.

four-color is a variation of the VNG interpolation that should only be used if you see strange square patterns in the VNG interpolation, See <>.

AHD is the default interpolation. AHD interpolation is not supported for cameras with four color filters, such as the Sony-828 RGBE filter. In such cases, VNG interpolation will be used instead.

--color-smoothing Apply color smoothing.
--grayscale=none|lightness|luminance|value|mixer Grayscale conversion algorithm to use (default none).
--grayscale-mixer=RED,GREEN,BLUE Grayscale mixer values to use (default 1,1,1).
--darkframe=FILE Use FILE for raw darkframe subtraction.

    Output Options

The options which are related to the final output are:
--shrink=FACTOR Shrink the image by FACTOR (default 1).
--size=SIZE Downsize max(height,width) to SIZE.
--rotate=camera|ANGLE|no Rotate image to camera’s setting, by ANGLE degrees clockwise, or do not rotate the image (default camera)
--crop-(left|right|top|bottom)=PIXELS Crop the output to the given pixel range, relative to the raw image after rotation but before any scaling.
--auto-crop Crop the output automatically.
--aspect-ratio X:Y Set crop area aspect ratio.
--lensfun=none|auto Do not apply lens correction or try to apply correction by auto-detecting the lens (default auto).
--out-type=ppm|tiff|tif|png|jpeg|jpg|fits Output file-format to use. The default output file-format is ppm.
--out-depth=8|16 Output bit depth per channel. ppm, tiff, png and fits output formats can uses either 8 bits or 16 bits to encode each of the Red, Green and Blue components of each pixel. The jpeg format only allows for 8 bits for each color component.

The raw-files contain more than eight bits of information for each color component. This means that by using an eight bit format, you are actually discarding some of the information supplied by the camera. This is not a problem if you only plan to view the image on screen. For prints you should consider a 16 bits workflow.

--compression=VALUE JPEG quality factor. Range 0-100 with a higher number giving a higher quality at the cost of a larger file. Default 85. The --compression parameter is only relevant if the output file-format is jpeg.
--[no]exif Embed exif in output. Default embed exif. Exif is currently embedded in JPEG, PNG and TIFF output.
--[no]zip Enable [disable] TIFF zip compression. The zip-compression is loss-less. Default nozip. The --zip parameter is only relevant if the output file-format if tiff8 or tiff16.
--out-path=PATH PATH for output file. In batch mode by default, output-files are placed in the same directory as the input-files. In interactive mode UFRaw tries to ’’guess’’ if you have a favorite output directory.
--output=FILE Output file name to use. This is only relevant if a single raw-file is supplied on the command-line. . Use ’-’ to output to stdout. The default is to name the output-file the same as the input-file but with the extension given by the output file-format.
--overwrite Overwrite existing files without asking. Default is to ask before deleting an existing file.
--create-id=no|also|only Control whether UFRaw ID files are created for the output image. (Default is no).
--embedded-image Extract the preview image embedded in the raw file instead of converting the raw image. This option is only valid with ’ufraw-batch’.

Conversion Setting Priority

Conversion settings are applied in the following priority order:
1. Command-line options
2. Settings from the configuration file specified with --conf=<ID-file> (ignoring any filenames in the ID-file).
3. Settings from an ID-file supplied as an input-file.
4. Settings from $HOME/.ufrawrc
5. UFRaw’s default settings.
This means that an option supplied on the command-line always takes precedence over all other options.

The conversion settings can be changed in the GUI before the resulting image is saved.


$HOME/.ufrawrc or $HOME/.config/ufrawrc (depending on the system) - UFRaw resource file containing the user default settings. This is an XML file that can be modified with any text editor. Still, it is recommended not to edit this file. This file is updated from the GUI when you save an image, or when you explicitly ask to save this file in the ’Options’ menu.

$HOME/.ufraw-gtkrc - An optional file for setting up a specific GTK theme for UFRaw.


UFRaw homepage: <>
DCRaw homepage: <>


The GIMP homepage: <>
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UFRAW UFRAW (1) 2015-06-15

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