Curtail, compress PNG and JPEG images from the Ubuntu desktop

about Curtail

In the next article we are going to take a look at Curtail. This is free and open source image compression software for Gnu / Linux. With Curtail we will be able to compress JPEG and PNG files using lossy or lossless compression. It is a simple and easy-to-use application, we just need to drag and drop the images into the application, which will automatically compress them.

In this application we will find some available options, such as the possibility of removing metadata from the files, support for dark themes and support for progressive encoding JPEG. It will also allow us to set the lossy compression level for PNG and JPEG, in addition to the lossless compression level for PNG. We can do all this from the program settings. Hugo Posnic is the developer of this good image compressor, which is free and open source.

While there is already a huge push for better image file formats today, especially on the web, there are still some cases where PNG and JPEG formats come in handy. To optimize these formats, Curtail (formerly ImCompressor) offers us a useful image compressor, compatible with these types of files. The program is inspired by Trimage and Image-Optimizer.

Install Curtail on Ubuntu

Curtail Image Compressor is available as flatpak pack for Gnu / Linux. If you use Ubuntu 20.04 and you still don’t have this technology enabled on your system, you can use the guide that a colleague wrote on this blog a while ago.

Once you can install flatpak applications on your system, you just need to open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and write the install command:

install curtail as flatpak

flatpak install flathub com.github.huluti.Curtail

When the installation is complete, we can run the application looking for the launcher on our computer or executing the command in the same terminal:

app launcher

flatpak run com.github.huluti.Curtail

How to use Curtail?

curtail window

The Curtail tool is simple and easy to use. From the main program window, users can select if we want the compression to be lossy or lossless. Then we will only need to drag and drop the files or the folder that contains them in the main window. This will automatically start compression.

Curtail working

In this window we can see file names, old size, new size and how much is saved, expressed in percentages. Once the compression is done, we can click on the arrow button, located in the upper left, to return to the main view and be able to compress more images.

open preferences

In this program we can find some configuration options. It is only necessary to go to the header bar, click on the three-point button and select ‘preferences‘. In the tabs that we are going to find here, we can:

Enable or disable metadata retention They are not needed for things like icons, but you may want them in photos.

general preferences

We will can choose if we want to overwrite the original images or create new ones, in which case we must also specify the text to be added to the name of the reduced file to be created. The program will suggest the text -min by default, to add to the name.

compression preferences

We will also be able to force Curtail to use a dark version of the UI theme, if it exists.

advanced preferences

We will also find options to configure the compression level. These will range from lossy PNG and JPG compression, to setting for lossless PNG compression, which is basically a trade-off between making files smaller and compressing faster.


For remove this image compressor from the system, in a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) we will only need to execute this other command:

Uninstall curtail flatpak

flatpak remove com.github.huluti.Curtail

Curtail is a free open source image compression software for Gnu / Linux that allows us to reduce the size of JPEG and PNG files. Admits lossy and lossless compression in one easy-to-use application. To know more about this program, users can consult the page on GitHub of the project.

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