Some considerations concerning running digiKam on a Mac
I have been using digiKam for 10 years, starting with version 0.10.0 in 2005, under GNU/Linux, and, from the
beginning, found it to be the very best foto management program for my needs. (Thanks a lot to the
developers for this outstanding software!)
In August 2012 I bought a 15" Macbook Pro with retina display (because of the retina display), and it was a
revelation in terms of hardware quality, speed, stability and, above all, brilliancy, accuracy and
sharpness of the display. Never before had I been able to admire my (and other) photographs in such
perfectness (and also, had never before so clearly perceived the defects of many of them...). Since then,
a normal full HD display seems just coarse to me.
But - digiKam was (and is) not available for the Mac OS X, at least not as a native build, like e. g. Gimp and
RawTherapee. And iPhoto, compared with digiKam, I found to be just a nice toy. So what I did was to install
Linux, more exactly: KUbuntu, on my Macbook beside Mac OS X. This worked well, with a few drawbacks like
suspend mode, which never worked, and the behaviour of the trackpad and mouse, which reacted, under
KUbuntu, not as fast and exact as under Mac OS X. Also, since I used the native resolution of the retina
display (because I wanted to be able to see my photographs with their real resolution), text and symbols in
the menu and text boxes were really tiny, so that you almost needed a magnifying glass for them.
I put the pictures on a separate non-journaled hfs+ partition which could be read and written both by Mac OS X
and KUbuntu. So far, so good. But the great disadvantage of this method was, that I needed to shutdown Mac OS
X, reboot the computer and start KUbuntu, when I wanted to work with digiKam, and vice versa, when I wanted
to do other work under Mac OS X. And I do need Mac OS X, above all for Sigma Photo Pro, which is the raw converter
for my Sigma cameras ond only available for Windows and Mac.
When the iMac 5K appeared on the market last autumn, it was clear to me that this was just what I wanted. In
February I bought it, and again, it was a revelation to me: now finally I was able to see my photographs in
full size in their original resolution. The quality and brilliancy of this monitor is just overwhelming.
This time I did not even try to install also Linux beside Mac OS X, but, instead, installed Arch Linux with
just the KDE base packages and digiKam with all it's dependencies in a virtual machine (VirtualBox), and
this works perfect. My pictures are in the pictures directory which I made accessible from inside the