Manslide - a slideshow generator for Linux

Manslide is Qt-based application for making slideshows out of a set of images on Linux.

You're unlikely to find it in any package manager right now, so you'll need to download the binary package, extract it and then run ./Manslide.

The first time you launch it, the introduction screen will be in French.

Manslide introduction screenshot

Fair enough, I suppose, and it is easy enough to switch it into your preferred language, or leave it as it is if you wish as well. After you've done that, and selected an output directory for your slideshows, you restart the program and can get started.

Unfortunately, if you are using the English language version, you'll notice that the English translation isn't all that good; there are spelling mistakes and grammar issues sprinkled liberally throughout the interface.

While we're on the subject of the interface, personally I find it a little strange. The tabs across the top - Project, Pictures, Parameters and Sound feel like they should be different sections that you can dip in and out of to tweak settings as and when you like. Instead, they actually are sequential steps, one has to come after another.

Once you have got into the Pictures section though, you find the folder of images you want, and then select them and choose Insert Slides. The pictures you picked then go into the timeline at the bottom.

Manslide Pictures section

The Parameters and Soundtrack tabs give you options to set different visual settings on a per-photo and set music to your slideshow. Once you're done putting it together, you then go to Export and you can export your slideshow out to MPEG2, Flash Video, XviD and several other formats.

Exporting takes some time, and once it had finished (I left the default setting as MPEG2), Manslide kindly offered to play me back the file. I agreed, but my finished slideshow movie simply flashed on and off the screen, and didn't play. Subsequent attempts to manually find the file I'd made also failed (whether this was on my part or because the application threw it away, I'm not sure).

I made a second attempt at doing the same slideshow in XviD format and had the same issues - the playback would not work, and then the actual video file would be nowhere to be seen.

Manslide could potentially be a very useful application, and creating slideshow movies from a set of images is a formidable task. Unfortunately, I can't come to any other conclusion than to say that Manslide isn't there yet, and it can't really do its job in an intuitive way. The interface is quirky and confusing and doesn't integrate very well with any other applications on a typical Linux desktop or work in the same way. But aside from that, I couldn't actually manage to get a useful result from the program at all!

As far as I'm aware, the application has also dropped out of active development, so it seems unlikely that this will change unless another developer takes up the reins.

It's a shame, because an application designed well to solve this problem could be a very good tool for a Linux or Unix desktop.

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold -

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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Discussion: Manslide - a slideshow generator for Linux

  1. csgib (guest)

    # Posted on 09 April 2008 at 02:45 PM


    I'm the author of Manslide ... just to answer :

    the english language is bad because i'm french ... and i don't speak english very well, so if you want a better translation do it and send it to me ... i inluded it in a next release

    For the problem of encoding or playback i'm sure you don't have all the dependancies ... look on kde-apps page. because a lot of person with a lot of distro have no problem

    For the interface i've write on kde-apps page that i search ideas to remake the ui ... so don't complain because noone send me ideas ....


  2. Ralf Vogt (guest)

    # Posted on 10 April 2008 at 08:18 PM

    Hi, I do not agree with your Article. You wrote : "You’re unlikely to find it in any package manager right now, so you’ll need to download the binary package, extract it and then run ./Manslide " I have 2 computer : One openSUSE 10.3, and there is manslide in the package manager , when you add the packman Repositories. The second use Ubuntu 7.10, there are also .deb package , yust use ...

    The German translation is good !

    "While we’re on the subject of the interface, personally I find it a little strange." Many user ( like me ) like the interface , because it is different then other kde-apps .

    On my machines ( 4 GB and Dual2Core ) is the Exporting fast.

    When the output failed, check the dependences ( or use openSUSE ;-) ).

    "Manslide could potentially be a very useful application" Manslide is a powerful application , and it is the highest ranked application on . There is no application like manslide in the Linux world.

    "As far as I’m aware, the application has also dropped out of active development, so it seems unlikely that this will change unless another developer takes up the reins." At , csgib ( the author of Manslide) wrote : "Manslide is not ended ... i just currently search the best idea to remake the ui ..."

    With your Article , you make a great application worst .

    I do not agree wit your Article.

    Ralf Vogt

  3. Ridgeland (guest)

    # Posted on 12 April 2008 at 07:20 PM

    Thank you for the article. I use manDVD and like it. A year ago I tested all I could find for creating a slideshow. ManDVD was my winner. I did not know about manslide. I've offered to help Stéphane with the English translations. He said wait until he finishes the rewrite of the UI. Stay Tuned!

  4. Daniel (guest)

    # Posted on 19 April 2008 at 04:29 PM

    Hi! I really like this software but I ran into the same problem at the end, exporting hte file. I have no idea where it sticks the final version of the file, but when I search my system, it says the file doesn't exist!

    Am I missing dependencies? What are they?

  5. manuv (guest)

    # Posted on 03 May 2008 at 09:02 AM

    After hours of troubleshooting to install manslide on fedora 8, I came to the conclusion that the likely culprit was the Smilutils 0.3.2 package. This package is very Mandriva-centric, some other distribs manage to provide one (OpenSuSE & Ubuntu), and that's about it. This package is a spin off from Kino.

    To add insult to injury, I have not managed to find a source package in that version yet, to build one for Fedora from sources.

    I'm really p*ssed at the moment. Stéphane should consider adding the Smilutils into his project if he is to use them intensively, because he seems the only dev out there to rely on them.

  6. manuv (guest)

    # Posted on 03 May 2008 at 02:26 PM

    All right, I've done it. Manslide now runs on my fedora 8, but it's been extremely painful. Just to provide some guidelines for others really willing to follow that route, I'll sum up what's needed. For the majority, I urge beginners to consider installing a mandriva 2008.1 first, because otherwise you're in for a world of pain.

    First, get Manslide 2.0.3 in the tar.gz version ; copy it in /usr/local/, and unpack it there. Manslide is self contained in that dir, so it should be easy to remove. To run, open a terminal and type "/usr/local/manslide-2.0.3/Manslide" ; that should do, but don't do it yet !

    Now it's time to take the plunge into dependencies hell.

    If you've not done it yet, add livna to your repo defs. Go to, click the link. Easy one.

    Now, as root in a term, install every package listed on kde-apps or softpedia with yum. You should get everything but smilutils.

    To avoid banging your head in the walls later, install netpbm-programs too, because on fedora netpbms are split in two parts and you'll need (very badly, I guarantee you) ppmmix.

    And now, on with the great hunt for smilutils. Try fetching the mandriva 2008.1 package from rpm bone. Use "open with installer" option from firefox. This will list a lot of missing packages. Again, most should install just so after you look after the missing lib in the search option from rpm bone, and choosing the a fedora 8 link on the result page. Among those you won't find, there's libggi. I managed to grab it from kwizart, using the "save target as". It's a fedora core 7 pack, but it works.

    You're not likely to find a kino-extensions pack for fedora either. Get the mandriva one, at this stage, it should install. Finally, install the smilutils.

    Manslide should work now, but be warned : don't feed it with mp3 or any non-free audio format file, because it uses sox and sox is badly crippled in fedora. As far as I know, there's no drop-in sox pack that includes non-free codecs for fedora 8 yet, and the last one built was for fedora 4.

    I apologize if I omitted some parts in the struggle, and as a wish I would have really REALLY liked manslide to at least log what was going on. It's been a real pain in the b* to make it work, but I must admit it was worth it.

    Caveats : don't try manslide on any Intel video chipset, it doesn't work. Nvidia was another tricky part of the install process, thanks to livna : you need to remove the stock yourself and symlink the nvidia one by hand after you setup the package.

    Now, excuse me, but 2 men in white coat are ringing at the door, I gotta check what they want.

  7. sblanz (guest)

    # Posted on 11 July 2008 at 02:04 PM

    Export troubles....

    anybody figured out how to solve the export problems?

    It's just a little frustrating to work hard to build a project and then to not obtain any output...

    I'm on Ubuntu 8.04

  8. sblanz (guest)

    # Posted on 11 July 2008 at 02:04 PM

    I forgot: I got it on getdebian

  9. zoli (guest)

    # Posted on 17 July 2008 at 03:17 PM


    Where can I find the Output file? I try export a full slideshow, process is done, i become "gratulation" -post; but I can't find the output.mpeg in default directory.

    Pls, help me! (I use Ubuntu 8.04)

  10. practic (guest)

    # Posted on 03 September 2008 at 04:48 AM

    Search the Ubuntu forums for instructions on installing this has now been renamed to Smile.

  11. Ricardo Medina (guest)

    # Posted on 04 February 2009 at 01:18 AM

    Tried with Ubuntu package 2.0.3. When the program starts, there is a black window covering a dialog box preventing me from continuing.

  12. Pierre (guest)

    # Posted on 17 April 2009 at 11:10 PM

    Ubuntu 8.10 AMD64

    Manslide doesn't work. Hangs. I read somewhere that Manslide is now "smile" on sourceforge. Tried it. Doesn't work. 32 bit only.

    One day we will have a slideshow creator on linux that

    a) works b) puts out 16:9 aspect video c) exports to a range of formats d) has the ability to automatically synchronize slides duration with the sound track duration

  13. manuv (guest)

    # Posted on 09 June 2009 at 11:35 PM

    To follow up one year after my epic struggle with Manslide, I just installed its offspring, now named SMILE. In a word, it's a breeze compared to the previous version. SMILE is very mature, and has really few dependencies (QT4, ImageMagick, sox, mplayer/mencoder and that's about it). As usual, sox on fedora has been neuteured but SMILE detects it and warns you approprietly that there's no mp3 support for the soundtrack. Ogg being a superior format anyway, I don't see that as a real problem. Overall, SMILE is even easier to use than Manslide (not a small feat, if you ask me), and much faster and responsive. Truly a great linux software. I didn't checked for endianess issues, though. Certainly something that will soon be tackled, before the first feature complete and stable version is released (current rev. is 0.9.9). BTW, I'm not affiliated to the project in any way. I realize my comments verge on the advertisement side, but I was truly impressed by the many improvements of SMILE in such a small timeframe.

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