PiGallery2 - Photo Gallery Website

Hello FBX Forum readers.

I’m sharing this post to spread word on a nice little FOSS (MIT License) photo gallery website app that I have found very useful. I’ve installed in on my FBX and have been using it for ~3 months now.

What it is
Pigallery2 is an extremely fast directory-first photo gallery website. Please feel free to visit it’s demo.

What I Like About It
I found the below very useful:

  • The app is a directory-first app that does not meddle with your photos or their directory structure. It helps display the photos (and movies) you have on your server.
  • It integrates with sqlite where it stores data about users and photo index information. Didn’t even need any meddling on FBX; just created an admin account on its settings web-UI and it worked out-of the box.
  • It provides password access on the web-UI so your files are not in the open. Additionally, you can share password protected photos / folders with family and friends for their viewing / downloading.
  • It’s amazingly fast. It uses ffmpeg to scan your library to create downsized duplicates of your files in a directory of your choice. With this, thumbnails and photos are rendered incredibly fast. If you zoom in or want to download any of the files, it reverts to your originals.
  • It can read all sorts of metada including face tags.
  • If you have any GPS exif-data on in your media, it provides a nice little map showing you where they were taken.
  • It supports a wide range of image and video formats.
  • It has a nice search interface where you can define all sorts of paramters for your search (location, date, people in it, etc.)
  • It’s very open to customization in regard to branding and theming (not many options at the moment - but open).
  • As it doesn’t touch your data, you don’t really need any back-ups. I prefer to backup the downsized media just in case for time-saving (for later on). I have found that backing up the database is not possible (or I couldn’t manage), but just saving a copy of your config.json is sufficient for future reference.

The dependencies required are present in the Debian 12 repos. The installation instructions were very clear on the github website. With node.js it was a straightforward process to install from source and run the app (on a Pi4 with 8GB, building took around 5 mins.). There were a couple of hiccups in building the app but I ignored them with no trouble running.

How I use PiGallery
I’ve created an SMB folder on my FBX to store my photos. On my desktop, I configured the same folder as Shotwell’s library. Simply put, I do the organizing of the photos (generally by date) with Shotwell on my local machine and store the media on my FBX.

I have PiGallery automatically scan my FBX media folder and access/share them from the web.

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