Loupe Image Viewer Now Available on Flathub (Updated)

The image viewer being eyed up as a potential core app in future versions of the GNOME desktop is now available on Flathub.

Loupe (named after the small magnifying glass jewelers use) is a GNOME incubator project, meaning it’s under consideration for inclusion as a GNOME Core app. If adopted, Loupe would replace the venerable Eye of GNOME.

This app is built in Rust, and it has been in development for a while. Anyone tracking GNOME development on social media will probably have heard hype about this app.

Now the first public release of Loupe is available from Flathub, meaning non-developers wishing to try it out can do so without needing to get their hands dirty.

So what’s it like?

Loupe Image Viewer

Loupe handles tons of formats

Loupe has a minimal UI that ensures the image you’re viewing is the focal point. On-canvas controls allow you to move left/right, take the app full-screen, and zoom in/out on an image (and I must say the scrolling and zooming of images is terrifically smooth).

Loupe is able to open the usual image formats like JPG, PNG, WEBP, SVG, GIF (including animated), TIFF and BMP, as well as more “tricky” ones like HEIF, AVIF, ICO, and EXR, according to its Gitlab page.

Transparent images (like SVG) are displayed on a dark background rather than a checkerboard unless the SVG is dark, in which case a light background is used. SVGs render beautifully even at high zoom levels, and are fluid when panning which is great.

Finally, there are toolbar buttons to copy an image to your clipboard, and delete the image being viewed. Touchpad gestures include two-finger swipe, pinch, zoom, and rotate. Plus a swathe of keyboard shortcuts, including ctrl + 1 to view images “actual size”.

More features in the loupe?

Eye of GNOME on the left, Loupe on the right

I tried Loupe from Flathub on my Fedora 38 Workstation install and it works great for the most part.

The Flatpak pulls in a HEIF runtime so Loupe can load HEIF images. EXR images don’t look great when viewed — however, this is an initial release so bugs, rough edges, etc are to be expected and understandable.

Loupe already lets you rotate images but it can’t, as of writing, resize or crop images. Some would argue a viewer should just be that: a viewer, but normally when I view an image I want to do something with it, like crop and share elsewhere. Having those in-app would save time.

A slideshow feature is also absent atm (though do people actually use those? Let me know in the comments).

But so far, so good: Loupe makes a delightful first impression, and looks to be an app that’s well worth keeping an eye on.

Loupe features at-a-glance:

  • GTK4/libadwaita app
  • Supports lots of image formats
  • Fluid panning and zooming
  • Touchpad gestures
  • Smooth transitions between images
  • Rotate images
  • See image info in sidebar

Want to try it out?

• Get Loupe on Flathub

Article amended on April 8 after app update fixed HEIC issue

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