[clug] Photo management?

Chris Smart clug at christophersmart.com
Mon Mar 28 10:07:29 UTC 2016

On 22/12/15 19:14, Chris Smart wrote:
> What do people use for photo management (that works well)? I have
> thousands of photos from dozens of different devices on a network share
> which I need to make useful somehow - that is, if you want to look up
> people or events or such you can do so from a range of devices.
> Mission impossible?

I want to thank people who emailed a reply through to the list, your
suggestions were helpful. I thought I should also provide a little update.

So I've finally found the time to work out something with my photos (and

My NAS has a photos directory where I'd made an attempt previously,
however I also had photos all over the place (elsewhere on the NAS,
other machines, various external drives, multiple phones, and in random
directories on each) so I first tried to get all my *files* onto the NAS.

Then I looked there for directories that I knew had photos (like _DCIM_
from phone dumps) and moved them into a temporary directory in photos/.

I cleaned up directories that were caches and had thumbnails, etc.

Then I looked for files that were had type of "image" and moved anything
interesting over to a new temporary directory inside photos.

At this point I pretty much had all the photos in one location. I
discovered that shotwell can manage videos too, so I decided to lump
them all together. Lots of duplicates though, so I used fdupes to clean
them up (shotwell will also ignore duplicates on import).

After this, I copied the photos dir onto an external drive and plugged
it into a desktop machine (no GUI on my server, obviously).

I kicked up shotwell and imported the photos directory from the USB
drive. I told it to copy the photos into a new location, ordered by
year/month/day, to rename files lowercase and to write metadata to the
photos themselves.

This provided a nice new clean layout for my photos which I then copied
back onto my server. There were a bunch of photos though which are not
associated with a date and come up in shotwell under "No event" which
I'll need to fix.

On the NAS, I configured the new photos directory for the family group
and set some stickybits. I configured a new Samba share for the photos
and set appropriate umasks so that existing and new files are always
accessible by anyone in the family group.

So now I have an authenticated Samba share which is housing all of the
photos (and videos) in date order. It's available over Samba for any
machine on the network and so far I've successfully used both shotwell
and digikam on it.

Using shotwell, I imported the latest photos and videos from my phone
directly to the Samba share. So now going forward, anyone (probably just
me) can continue to do that and hopefully order will be maintained.

Current size is about 250GB totaling 51,441 files.


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