I already use Linux for my desktop and laptop so I have found tools to use.
Here are the ( Free ! ) ones I would recommend you check out :
- everyone knows Gimp in Linux land. Like an 8-bit version of Photoshop. It can read RAW files through UFRaw or dcraw.
- a great RAW converter kept up to date by it's author and ideal for making the initial conversion of RAW files to e.g. 16-bit TIFFs or JPEG. It can also work directly on JPEGs and 16-bit TIFFs.
- like Gimp ( based on an earlier version in fact ) but capable of 16-bit edits, so suitable for RAW files ( which it can handle ) and 16-bit TIFFs.
- part of a thing called DigiKam. A good tool for manipulating the whole image, but not an image editor like Gimp. No layers, no selections. Still very useful and can handle 16-bit images and RAWs
- Wine is a designed to allow properly performing MS Windows applications to run directly under Linux as part of the normal desktop. Not everything works ( and alas many of these are graphics kits ), but NeatImage does along with s7raw ( if you're a Fuji RAW file user ) and others. Check it out at http://www.winehq.org
where there is an application database to check compatibility.
- new and a little uneven, but undoubtedly a very promising editor for 16-it images. Not quite ready yet for the big time.
- COMMERCIAL software with a dedicated Linux version. My preferred RAW converter and I can do almost all my photo work from it. Full 16-bit support and the latest version has a complete 41-day trial available for download.
(8) Bibble Pro
- COMMERCIAL software which you have to pay for but which I gather has a version for Linux
(9) Noise Ninja
- COMMERCIAL software again with a version for Linux
- dcraw is a command line tool which is used behind teh scenes by most of teh RAW converters in Linux and many in MS Windows and Mc land. For the brave you can access it directly from teh command line and use it that way. I'm a programmer and I did this a few times, but the other tools will do it all for you so why bother. But do say thank you to Dave Coffin for his ongoing work on dcraw.