A Guide to the Eye of GNOME Image Viewer

View your pictures on the GNOME desktop

The default image viewer for the GNOME desktop is called Eye of GNOME. Here's how to install Eye of GNOME, start the program, open images, and learn your way around the user interface.

Start Eye of GNOME

To start Eye of GNOME from GNOME, open the GNOME dashboard and search for it in the Applications view. You can also search for it by typing Image Viewer.

Image Viewer in GNOME

Alternatively, to open Eye of GNOME in any distribution, open a terminal window and typing the following:

eog &

The & at the end of the line makes the command run as a background process. This returns the control back to the terminal so that you can run more commands if needed.

Install Eye of GNOME

If Eye of GNOME isn't installed, look for it in the package manager for your distribution, such as Ubuntu Software, Synaptic, or Yum Extender.

To install Eye of GNOME on a Debian based distribution, open a terminal and use apt by typing the following:

sudo apt install eog

For Fedora, use dnf, and the command is as follows:

dnf install eog

For openSUSE, the command is:

zypper install eog

The Eye of GNOME Interface

The interface for the Eye of GNOME image viewer is basic. There's a blank screen with a toolbar that contains two icons. The first is a plus symbol, and the other, which is justified to the right of the toolbar, has two arrows on it. By default, the toolbar is inactive until you open an image.

Eye of GNOME on Ubuntu

Eye of GNOME also has a menu. On Ubuntu, the menu is at the top of the screen as opposed to sitting in the application window.

Open an Image in Eye of GNOME

To open an image, click an image in the file browser. Nautilus on GNOME will most likely open it in Eye of GNOME by default.

To open an image from Eye of GNOME, select the Menu icon, denoted by three stacked lines. Choose Open in the resulting menu. A file browser appears, and you can select the image you wish to view.

Open command in GNOME image viewer

Another way to open an image is to drag the image from the file manager into Eye Of Gnome.

The Toolbar

As with many GNOME apps, Eye of GNOME's design is clean and minimal. The toolbar is a perfect reflection of this philosophy.

On the left side, you'll find the zoom controls. By default, Eye of GNOME scales your image to best fit the screen. To manually override this, use either the zoom in or zoom out icon to display the image how you like. The space between the icons is a drop-down menu where you can manually select a zoom percentage to display the image.

Zoom controls in GNOME image viewer

The opposite side of the toolbar contains two icons. To the left, there's the full screen icon. It switches Eye of GNOME to full-screen mode. Next to it is the Image menu. It contains most of the Eye of GNOME controls and options.

Fullscreen and image icons in GNOME image viewer

Other Functionality in Windowed Mode

When an image is open, there are four more icons available. When you hover over the image, an arrow appears to the left of the image, and another arrow appears to the right of the image about halfway down the screen.

Select the left arrow to show the previous image in the folder where the current image is located. The right arrow shows the next image.

Navigation arrows in GNOME Image Viewer

At the bottom of the screen, there are two more arrows. One points to the left and the other to the right. Press the left button to rotate the screen 90 degrees to the left. The right button rotates the image 90 degrees to the right.

Image rotation buttons in GNOME image viewer

Other Functionality in Full-Screen Mode

While an image is displayed in full screen, you can view another toolbar by hovering the mouse at the top of the screen. The icons are as follows:

  • Show the first image in a folder.
  • Show the previous image.
  • Show the next image.
  • Show the last image in a folder.
  • Enlarge the image.
  • Shrink the image.
  • Shrink the image to the original size.
  • Rotate the image 90 degrees to the left.
  • Rotate the image 90 degrees to the right.
  • Display Image Gallery Pane.
  • Pause/Resume Slide Show.

The first four icons let you choose which image to display. You can also zoom in and out of an image by enlarging and shrinking it. As with the windowed mode, you can also rotate images.

The Gallery Pane icon shows a list of images at the bottom of the screen. This area shows a preview of the images in a particular folder.

The Slide Show button flicks through each image every few seconds.

The full-screen view has the same arrow icons for moving to the next and previous image and for rotating images as the windowed mode.

The Image Menu

The Image menu headings are as follows:

  • Open
  • Open With
  • Save
  • Save As
  • Print
  • Set as Wallpaper
  • Image Properties
  • Slideshow
  • Show
  • Preferences
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Help
  • About Image Viewer

Use the Image menu to open images, save images, save an image as a different type or with a different name, print images, set an image as the desktop wallpaper, show the folder that contains the images, and view the image properties.

The image properties are as follows:

  • Name
  • Width
  • Height
  • Type
  • Size In Bytes
  • Folder

From the Image menu, you can get to a few more options in sub-menus to help control how Eye of GNOME behaves.

The Show menu contains options to change which controls and information Eye of GNOME displays. It gives you access to enable or disable the Side Pane, Image Gallery, and Status Bar.

The Help menu has a help file and an about window.

Eye of GNOME Preferences

The preferences window has three tabs: Image View, Slideshow, and Plugins.

Linux Eye of GNOME preferences

The Image View tab is split into three sections: Image Enhancements, Background, and Transparent Parts.

  • The enhancements section lets you choose whether you want smooth images when zoomed in and out and whether the automatic orientation is on or off.
  • The background lets you choose a color for the background when an image is smaller than the window.
  • The transparent parts let you decide how to show the transparent parts of an image. The options are as check pattern (default option), as custom color, and as background.

The slideshow section has two sections: Image zoom and Sequence. The zoom section lets you decide whether to expand images to fit the screen or not. The sequence section lets you decide how long each image is shown, and you can choose whether to loop around the sequence.

Linux Eye of GNOME plugins

The plugins tab shows a list of available plugins for Eye of GNOME.