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Our family has about 300 GB of JPEG photos in total, spread across various hard drives in various countries. We'd like to have a solution to share and tag photos with the following features:

  • Photos are stored on a central location.
  • Each family member can manage which photos are stored on his/her computer.
  • Each family member can add photos and tag photos conveniently.
  • The solution works on Linux. (If it doesn't, I'm still interested, for educational purposes.)

We have a server running Debian GNU/Linux in a datacenter, which has enough free space to store all the photos. But we don't have the software for quick, convenient and safe collaboration.

Solution ideas I've considered:

  • If the family lived together in a single house, I'd run F-Spot for managing the photos, and store the JPEG files on a NAS, and ask the family members not to modify the tag database at the same time.
  • If I had lots of money, I'd pay for a Flickr and/or Picasa account, and store everything there. But even then it would not be convenient to add tags to a photo somebody else has uploaded -- the web UI is just not powerful enough to manage thousands of photos.
  • Pay for 1 flickr account ($25 per year, quite cheap for unlimited photos), and use flickrfs or gnickr (old, from 2005) for collaboration. The problem here is that there is no F-Spot (or other tool) integration I know of, and also we have to trust flickr on our photos -- we would be more confident with a server we manage.
  • picurl -- it may actually work, except that it is not possible to change tags or propagate tag changes with picurl.
  • Store the images on the server running Gallery2 or Camera Life, and write a GUI client which speaks the Gallery Remote Protocol. Unfortunately, the protocol is not expressive enough for searching or modifying tags.

A list of some relevant software:

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Since you collection is so large, you might need to look at a Ditigal Asset Management (DAM) software instead of a photo gallery. There are a few open source ones out there.

Here is one that I've tested out, seemed to be really nice. Couldn't convince management of the need for one though :/ Resource Space

Here is the list of ones I ended up researching

  • Resource Space -
  • Enter Media -
  • Razuna -
  • Open Edit -

Another idea might be alfresco, while that might be mored then you need. You do get these ideas of spaces, and blogs / wikis tied to each. It could turn into a family portal.

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Thank you for compiling this list. I've given you +1, but I can't accept your answer since the web UI for all DAM software I've seen is too slow and clumsy to work with more than thousands of pictures of a time, so they fail to fulfill my requirement of convenient collaboration. – pts Dec 14 '10 at 13:42
up vote -2 down vote accepted

Since there were no answers for a long time, it seems that there is no such software.

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No, it just means that the right person hasn't read this. Or that the package is not well known. Or it is very expensive. Or that photo oriented superusers are uncommon on this site. – Sherwood Botsford Jul 1 '13 at 18:55

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