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I'm an amateur photographer, and have over the course of several years managed to accumulate somewhere in the neighborhood of a terabyte of photographs.

I've got a little personal linux server running on my home network with loads of storage.

What I need is a FAST way to search through the images, browsing thumbnails, etc. Currently they're all just in timestamped folders with meaningful names (the folders have meaningful names; the images themselves do not). It's impossibly slow to browse through them directly on the NAS, because in order to generate the thumbnail, my laptops (windows and mac both) need to download the whole image first.

It seems to me the ideal solution would be some kind of web-based solution, making my photos searchable by date, containing folder, and/or other characteristics, which would automatically generate thumbnails, so I could do the searching/browsing etc in a web browser.

One potential concern is that I shoot a lot of RAW, so I need to support NEFs (Nikon raw files)... I believe ImageMagick does that now, which would hopefully make it more likely a web-based tool can handle them.

Anyway: Does such a tool already exist? Is there a straightforward way to adapt an existing tool by, say, running a cron job to create thumbnails of images that don't already have them, etc? Or perhaps there's some way of doing this I haven't thought of at all.


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closed as off topic by Bobby, ChrisF, Xavierjazz, Dave M, Nifle Aug 20 '12 at 16:44

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Find something that builds and saves the thumbnails. On Windows I've used ThumbsPlus which does this. – martineau Aug 20 '12 at 15:06
Understand that, and could certainly go with something along those lines, but am hoping for a more elegant solution than just having thumbnails saved on the NAS along with the full images. For example, if accessing the images via a browser interface, would be nice to auto-generate a thumbnail server-side if one isn't there already. – DanM Aug 20 '12 at 15:19
Generating them on-the-fly will always be slower than saving them somewhere, especially if many large RAW image files are involved. It's a classic storage memory vs cpu trade-off. ThumbsPlus actually stores them in a database with other metadata so searching and display are both very fast. In addition you can control where the database files are stored. – martineau Aug 20 '12 at 15:36
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can try to use ajaxplorer.

It's really simple to configure, and it has low requirements. The final result is something like this: (The image is not mine)

enter image description here

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Looks quite promising... looks like it uses ImageMagick for thumbnail generation, which would mean it can handle NEFs as well.. Will keep question open in case there's a photography-specific answer that might be more effective, but this is definitely a candidate. – DanM Aug 20 '12 at 15:20
Well, the question has been closed for reasons somewhat unclear to me. Accepting. – DanM Aug 20 '12 at 19:01
I am also new here, and i would also like to know. Sometimes i see topics that are in the correct place, being closed :/ Whats the problem in this case? – Cláudio Pereira Aug 20 '12 at 19:05

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