Google's Picasa 3 on Linux

Jack Wallen
Sep 18, 2010
Updated • Dec 8, 2012

Let's face it, the photo management tools for Linux can tend to be either too complex for the average user or offer nothing in the way of modern features. The biggest gap in the spectrum of Linux tools for photo management, image editing is smack dab in the center. That center is where the majority of users work. Few users needs the power of The GIMP or Blender and few users want to use an application that lacks features found in most modern image applications.

Fortunately Google has made their Picasa 3 available for the Linux platform. This entry into the photo management tools should satisfy most users with plenty of bells and whistles. In this article I will show you how to install and begin using Google's Picasa 3 in the Linux operating system.


Fortunately you will not have to use WINE or any other third-party application in order to install Picasa 3. All you have to do is download the file that works with your distribution and install it. I will show you how to install Picasa on both Ubuntu and Fedora. I will show you how to do this via the command line. You will find, however, that when you click on the associated file your browser will most likely offer you the option of installing this file with your installation tool. If that is the case, just let that auto-installer work its magic.

To download the files go to the Picasa 3 Linux download page and download the file you need for your distribution (they offer and .rpm for Fedora/Mandriva/OpenSuSE as well as a .deb for Ubuntu and Debian).

If, however, that is not the case, you can easily install Picasa 3 from the command line. Here's how.

I will assume you have downloaded the file to ~/Downloads. With that being the case do the following for Ubuntu:

  1. Open up a terminal.
  2. Issue the command cd ~/Downloads.
  3. Issue the command sudo dpkg -i picasa_3.0-current_i386.deb
  4. Type your sudo password and hit Enter.
  5. Watch the installation finish.
  6. Close your terminal window.

Fedora users will follow these steps:

  1. Open up a terminal.
  2. Issue the command cd ~/Downloads.
  3. Issue the command su to change to the root user.
  4. Enter your root user password.
  5. Issue the command rpm -ivh picasa_3.0-current.i386.rpm
  6. Watch the installation complete.
  7. Close your terminal window.


If you look in the Applications > Graphics menu you will find a sub-menu for Picasa 3. In this sub-menu you will see two entries:

  • Picasa
  • Picasa Font Settings

The former starts the application and the latter allows you to set up Font Linking, Screen Resolution, and Menu Font.

Figure 1

When you open up Picasa 3, anyone that has used the application in another platform will be instantly familiar with the interface (see Figure 1). When you first open Picasa 3 it will instantly check your ~/Pictures directory and immediately begin importing all of your images.

As you can see, from Figure 1, Picasa 3 for Linux offers all the same bells and whistles as does the version for the Windows platform. You shouldn't miss a beat.

Final thoughts

Google has been outstanding in their support for the Linux platform and Picasa 3 only helps to prove that point. If you are in need of an easy to use, feature-rich photo management tool, give Picasa 3 a try.

Update: Picasa for Linux is no longer available on the official Picasa website.


Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. David said on September 22, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Officially video support isn’t working, but with a bit of searching, I worked out how to enable it, and have tested tit on different distros, with the same results. Details are here.

  2. durango99 said on September 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    I did also setup Picasa 3 on Ubuntu. However performance was a bit slow and the main issue for me was not bein able to get video playback to work. Were you able to get all the features to work including video in your install?


  3. David said on September 20, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Been using Picasa for years, both on Windows and Linux, and never had a prob with it. It’s great at helping sort and locate my images, and it gives me no problems, even with my huge collection. The fact that it’s not a “native” app doesn’t pose me any problems. It works, and does what it’s supposed to. I have no hesitation about recommending it. :)

  4. mesamoo said on September 19, 2010 at 3:29 am


    Not only is it a wine app, it creates a whole file system in its prefs folder ~/.google/picasa.
    There is nothing to indicate that these are links, as a matter of fact, this “virtual” filesystem behaves just like your standard file system. Deleting a folder from within the ~/.google/picasa… structure deletes the actual folder, not just a link
    I have not done anything as scary as deleting this configuration folder in a long time. I guess if I knew more about WINE I might have been less worried. At least I still have my files

    If you care about your files or your privacy I would steer clear of this application for now.

  5. Anonymous said on September 18, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Old news is extremely old, and Picasa just runs in a wine wrapper, it’s not a native app.

  6. al said on September 18, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    … it use wine… to bad

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.