Smartphone users take hundreds, if not thousands, of photos each year. Many of them use Google Photos to automatically upload and store holiday snapshots for free. This service will no longer offer unlimited storage in 2021. This meant that the user had to hand over his cash to Google or find another solution. That meant either moving to another provider or going self-hosting.
Here are some self-hosted Google Photos alternatives for creating your own media server on Linux.
What is self-hosting?
Self-hosting means running a web server that is physically on your own premises. It can be as simple as a static website or as complex as a managed array of streaming software, VPNs, office suites and photo galleries. Self-hosting is a fun hobby and easy to get started. A good starter project is hosting her own WordPress site at home.
What you need to self-host a photo backup and storage solution
The requirements are fairly basic, most of these projects require only a reliable internet connection, a domain name, and a computer capable of running Linux. The low-cost Raspberry Pi is perfect for this.
Another important prerequisite is a reliable media server to host your media files, similar to Google Photos.
1. Pygallery 2
As the name suggests, PiGallery 2 was designed with the Raspberry Pi in mind, but you don’t need a Raspberry Pi to run it. It can be run on any Linux machine and installation is easy using Docker with docker-compose, but if you are familiar with Node.js and building npm packages from source, you can do the installation directly.
PiGallery 2’s main selling points are its simplicity and speed. Access your photo library from any device’s browser by simply pointing the software to the directory containing your images.
Galleries are built automatically and subdirectories act as albums. All photos are searchable with full boolean logic and keywords including date, location and subject. Performance is excellent for photo collections of up to 100,000 images, as long as each gallery contains less than 5,000 individual photos of him.
PiGallery 2 doesn’t come with syncing software or mobile apps, so you’ll need a way to get photos from your phone onto your Pi (or whatever computer you’re using). One way to do this is to use SyncThing to sync files across multiple devices.
2. Nextcloud photo
Nextcloud is often the first thing self-hosters install on their servers. It comes with just about every app imaginable, including office suites, music players, video conferencing, and of course photo galleries.
With mobile clients available for both Android and iOS, photos are automatically uploaded to the server without any additional input from the user and can be viewed via mobile app, browser or file manager thanks to WebDAV Easy to view. your desktop computer.
When you access Nextcloud Photos from your browser, your photos are displayed on an infinitely scrolling page and thumbnails are created on the fly. This can be very slow.
Nextcloud and Nextcloud Photos work fine on most Raspberry Pi models. If you don’t have one yet, read our guide on how to build your own cloud server with Nextcloud.
PhotoPrism is a very nice image gallery and can be installed using Docker and docker-compose.
By employing Google’s TensorFlow library, PhotoPrism can tag and categorize images as soon as they appear on the server, create instant albums, and even recognize faces in photos. . Image tagging and machine learning are performed on our servers and no data is sent to Google. If this doesn’t meet your privacy needs, you can easily turn off machine learning features by editing docker-compose.xml.
PhotoPrism’s search capabilities are impressive, offering drop-down filters for date, location, people, camera model, and even the image’s dominant color.
Another great feature is maps. PhotoPrism extracts the location data from each image’s metadata (if available) and places each thumbnail where it was taken to create a pushpin map of the world!
PhotoPrism is still under development and new features are added regularly. It currently supports only one user account, no auto-sync or mobile his app. The developer recommends using the PhotoSync mobile app to upload and view images.
Piwigo exists both as a paid service with plans starting at $45/month, complete with support and storage, and as a free self-hosted version that you can run on your own hardware at home.
Installation is as simple as downloading a compressed file to your server’s DocumentRoot, unzipping it, and entering your database details in your browser.
You can manage your photos by uploading them using your web browser and manually adding them to albums, tagging them, and moving them around. You can add keywords to help search and perform operations on multiple files in batch.
By default, Piwigo does not display photos in full screen resolution as it reserves space on the display for information such as filename, size, album information and tags.
You can now host your own Google Photos alternative at home!
Photography is a great hobby that most people have equipment for. Mastering image composition, lighting and processing will set you apart from other amateur photographers.
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