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libexif is an open source library for reading and editing Exif metadata, commonly found in digital pictures. It is written in C and released under the LGPL. The library runs under GNU/Linux, BSD, MacOS, and Windows. The library is developed by the "libexif project." The project also includes command-line and graphical front-ends.


The use of the command-line front end is typical of many Unix or Linux commands.

exif example.jpg

This command will write all tags and values contained in the file to standard output. It will also indicate if the file contains an embedded thumbnail.

Other common options for the exif command:

  • -e extracts the thumbnail. You can use the --output option to a specified file
  • -r removed the thumbnail from the image. Will write a new image. You can specify the file with the --output option
  • -l lists all known tags
  • --remove removes a specified tag or entire IFD (Image File Directory) is no tag is given