Heif image viewer

I would like to display and preview heif pictures. I tried several image viewers (nomacs, eof, geeqie) and they are not able to display this picture format. Also thunar is not able to preview/create thumbnails. Digikam was able to preview some of the pictures, but now it seems broken and none of them are visible anymore, neither as preview or just by displaying them.

Is some of you able to preview/display this format?


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I don’t have personal experience with heif format images, however libheif has a list of software that uses their library

some notable examples

  • gimp
  • krita
  • darktable

and several more. There is also a section for gnome desktop previews on that website, but you would probably have to create a nix package to make that work.

EDIT: sorry for xfce you might have to enable tumbler, libheif, and gdk-pixbuf and follow the other instructions on the site to get previews.

I just realized that imlib2 supports heif via a compilation flag, that we have this derivation

  imlib2Full = imlib2.override {
    # Compilation error on Darwin with librsvg. For more information see:
    # https://github.com/NixOS/nixpkgs/pull/166452#issuecomment-1090725613
    svgSupport = !stdenv.isDarwin;
    heifSupport = !stdenv.isDarwin;
    webpSupport = true;
    jxlSupport = true;
    psSupport = true;

and that it has been applied to some photo viewers, so for example feh is able to show heif files

> grep -B 2 imlib2Full pkgs/top-level/all-packages.nix

  imlib2 = callPackage ../development/libraries/imlib2 { };
  imlib2Full = imlib2.override {

  jfbview = callPackage ../os-specific/linux/jfbview {
    imlib2 = imlib2Full;

  feh = callPackage ../applications/graphics/feh {
    imlib2 = imlib2Full;

  qiv = callPackage ../applications/graphics/qiv {
    imlib2 = imlib2Full;

  sxiv = callPackage ../applications/graphics/sxiv {
    imlib2 = imlib2Full;

  nsxiv = callPackage ../applications/graphics/nsxiv {
    imlib2 = imlib2Full;

See gnome.eog: Add HEIF support by jtojnar · Pull Request #212842 · NixOS/nixpkgs · GitHub