Linux: Command to View/Delete Metadata in Image Files

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

This page shows you how to use the Linux command line tool to view or delete data such as {date, GPS location, …} that are embedded in image files.

ExifTool

ExifTool is a widely used tool for {read, write, edit} metadata in image files. It's available for {Windows, Mac, Linux}.

Install Exiftool

# install exiftool
sudo apt-cache install libimage-exiftool-perl

For Mac, Microsoft Windows, see ExifTool home page at http://owl.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/

View Metadata

How to view metadata of image file?

# show metadata of a image file
exiftool myPhoto.jpg
# show metedata for all *jpg files in current dir
exiftool -ext jpg
# show metedata for all *jpg files in current dir and subdirs
exiftool -r -ext jpg .

Here's sample metadata in jpg file and mp3 file:

On Linux, type man exiftool to view its doc. Here's a text copy: exiftool_man_page.txt

Remove Metadata

How to remove metadata of a image file?

# remove all metadata of a image file
exiftool -all= -overwrite_original photo.jpg
# remove all metadata of all *jpg files in current dir
exiftool -all= -overwrite_original -ext jpg .
# remove metedata for all *jpg files in current dir and subdirs
exiftool -all= -r -overwrite_original -ext jpg .

The -ext jpg is case-sensitive. So, you might use -ext JPG or -ext jpeg or -ext png.

How to remove just GPS data?

# remove all GPS metadata of *jpg files in current dir
exiftool -gps:all= *.jpg

ImageMagick 「identify -verbose」

A alternative to exiftool is ImageMagick identify -verbose.

See also: ImageMagick Tutorial.

2013-10-24 thanks to Nick Alcock

Metadata is also stored is various different formats, for files other than image files. For example, video files, and even text files. Two popular general-purpose metadata formats are: IPTC, XMP. There's also the ID3 format for MP3 audio files. There's also Mac OS X Extended Attributes.

If you have a question, put $5 at patreon and message me.

Image/Video Tutorial

  1. ImageMagick
  2. Convert WEBP to JPG
  3. Convert gif to Video
  4. Convert Video mov webm mp4
  5. View meta info in Image Files
  6. What's Gamma
  7. What's HDRI Image