3 Ways open and view .Heic image files on Linux mint

There are several ways to open Apple’s Heic image file on Linux Mint, either by installing the additional packages or converting them to JPG. Here we discuss both of them.

Apple devices store images in HEIF (HEIC), a file format for High-Efficiency Image Format. Such file format images use HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding ) encoding. It is designed to be more efficient, consumes less space, and supports a wide range of color information than traditional image formats like JPEG. Further, it can also save images with transparent backgrounds. HEIF is also supported on IOS 12 and macOS.

Steps to Open HEIC Images in Linux Mint

#1st method using the default Linux Mint Image viewer

1. Update Linux Mint

To open HEIC without converting, we need to install some packages using Mint’s default APT package manager. Therefore, before that, run the system update command. This will flush and build the APT package index cache, apart from installing the updates.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

2. Install heif-gdk-pixbuf for Xviewer

XViewer is the default Image viewer on Linux Mint, and we can use it to view HEIF format images. However, to enable it, we need to install an extra package called – heif-gdk-pixbuf. This helps Linux Mint Xviewer to open HEIF images, and even other open-source Image viewers software and File managers such as Eye of GNOME, Nemo File Manager, and more can use it.

sudo apt install heif-gdk-pixbuf

3. Open the HEIC file in Linux Mint

Once you have installed the package, we are required to view .heif on Linux, close the file manager, and reopen it. Browse to the folder where your HEIF or HEIC Image files are located.

  1. Right-click on the .heic Image file and select Properties.
  2. Go to Open With Tab.
  3. Scroll to find the Image Viewer app from the List.
  4. Click on the “Set as default” button.
  5. Hit the Close button to exit.
  6. Now, Double click on any HEIF or HEIC image, and you can view them now in Linux Mint.
Open Image Properties
Open HEIC on Linux MInt Image viewer

#2nd by converting HEIC to JPEG

4. Install libheif-examples

To convert HEIC to JPEG in Linux Mint using the command terminal, we need a package called libheif-examples. On your command terminal, run:

sudo apt install libheif-examples

5. Convert HEIC to JPEG in Linux Mint

Go to the folder where all your HEIC or HEIF Images are located. Right-click somewhere on blank space and select Open in the terminal. Alternatively, you can also browse your Image directory using the command terminal.

Now, use the given syntax:

heif-convert  <image-filename> <output-filename>

For example- If your file name is Sample.heic, then we use the above command in this way:

heif-convert  Sample.heic Sample.jpg

Those interested in converting more than one or two images at once can do that using a single command. It will convert and save the photos in JPEG format with their respective names.

for a in *.heic; do heif-convert "$a" "${a%.heic}.jpg"; done

#Use GIMP Image Editor Software

6. Use GIMP to open HEIC

Those who don’t want to install an extra package can use the GIMP software to open HEIC files if they already have it. However, if not, here is the command to install GIMP on Linux Mint.

sudo apt install gimp

Open the GIMP software, click on File, and then select the Open option. Browse to the HEIC image and select it. This will open it in GIMP for editing; later, if users want can save the image in JPEG or any other supported format by the image editing software.

Use GIMP to open HEIC in Linux Mint

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