For instance, when using gimp I would like to rotate the displayed image.
Isn't Image - Transform - Rotate
in the gimp sufficient for you? Even ALT-I T R if you prefer keystrokes.
Most other picture viewers have similar options.
Some will automatically rotate your camera's images if your camera attaches the right "orientation" metadata to the jpgs it makes. My older camera does not do this. My more recent one does.
If this doesn't answer your Q, then we'll need details of your linux distro and what desktop you are running.