Here's a screenshot of a sample reading:
The default layout shown above is "ellipse" and double clicking on any card will bring up a separate window to the right which gives an explanation of the card given its orientation (i.e. right side up, upside-down) and position.
For someone like me who hasn't memorized all the cards and their interpretations, Qtarot is very user-friendly. There are some tweaks that users must make, however, to get good-looking cards with higher resolutions.
The default cards provided by the Qtarot github repo (/decks/coleman-white) are very low resolution, 99 x 170 pixels, which look pretty horrible in full screen mode. They are installed in the following local path:
These are the standard Rider-Waite public domain1 images used on most Universal Tarot decks. There are many higher-resolution versions of these same images available on the Internet, however. I found 350 x 600 pixel images of the Rider-Waite cards from the site www.learntarot.com. Fortunately, the site uses a predictable numbering scheme for the cards, so I was able to get large images of all 78 cards using batch download flags for wget:
The numbering scheme for the four suits pentacles, cups, swords, and wands is similarly predictable, making it easy to download the rest of the deck.
But Qtarot cannot handle .jpg images, only .png, so you need to batch convert the jpegs. ImageMagick to the rescue!
mogrify -format png *.jpg
This above command will convert all jpegs to png format.
Once you have downloaded all the images, you must rename them according to the numbering scheme used by Qtarot. The numbering scheme is as follows:
0~21 the major arcana (The Fool ~ The World)
22~35 the wands (Ace of Wands ~ King of Wands)
36~49 the cups (Ace of Cups ~ King of Cups)
50~63 the swords (Ace of Swords ~ King of Swords)
64~77 the pentacles (Ace of Pentacles ~ King of Pentacles)
To save you the trouble of converting and renaming all the files, I encourage you to just download the archive of renamed png files I have made available on Google Drive at this link. Of course, you can use any tarot images you like as long as you convert your images to png and rename the image files according to the numbering scheme above.
Now overwrite the existing low-res images in /usr/share/qtarot/decks/coleman-white/ with your desired hi-res images.
Finally, edit /usr/share/qtarot/decks/coleman-white/deck.ini to make the hi-res cards appear larger:
author=Pamela Colman Smith
desc=The original illustrations for the most widely-known deck.
The default values of width and height are 0.5 and 1.0, respectively, but that is way too small. I have doubled these values above.
Qtarot hasn't yet been packaged for Ubuntu/Debian distros, but the package qtarot-git in the AUR for Archlinux users is available and maintained by ShadowKyogre, Qtarot's developer.
1As of 2012, the images from the Rider-Waite tarot are in the public domain as 70 years has passed since the death of the original UK copyright holder. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rider-Waite_tarot_deck#Copyright_status