Jordi Kroon edited this page Dec 11, 2015 · 18 revisions

Installing thumbor is really easy because it supports the distutils form of packaging (


The latest stable version of thumbor is always published in the Python Package Index (, so it can be easily installed using pip install thumbor or easy_install thumbor.

Ubuntu using aptitude (apt-get)

There's now an officially supported ppa for thumbor if you are using aptitude.

To install using aptitude, add the following lines to your sources list:

deb <your release> main 
deb-src <your release> main 

If you are using ubuntu 12.10 (quantal), it would be:

deb quantal main 
deb-src quantal main 

Or you can add the repository to you sources list via the command line:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:thumbor/ppa

After that just update your sources:

sudo apt-get update

And install using plain old aptitude install:

sudo apt-get install thumbor

A service will be created for you that gets started when the machine starts up (using upstart).

Make the configuration file using the command below and the move the file onto /etc using sudo:

 thumbor-config > thumbor.conf
 sudo cp thumbor.conf /etc/thumbor.conf

By default thumbor will be disabled. Open /etc/default/thumbor and change (or remove) the flag enabled to 1 or use the command sudo service thumbor start force=1 (force_start=1 for thumbor<3.7.0) to temporarily start thumbor. You can also override other defaults like the location of the configuration file by editing /etc/default/thumbor.

The configuration for thumbor will be at /etc/thumbor.conf and the security key at /etc/thumbor.key. There will be one instance running at http://localhost:8888.

If you want to run many instances of thumbor you'll need to run it in many ports. That means you'll need to use some form of load balancing (NGINX, Apache, Varnish, Haproxy, etc).

Running many instances of thumbor is as simple as editing /etc/default/thumbor and changing the port key to as many ports as you want, comma-separated: port=8888,8889,8890 (for thumbor>3.7.0).

If you need more detail head to

From the source of a stable release

Download the latest stable source-code version here on github or Pypi and decompress it.

In the path you decompressed, execute pip install . or python install.

From the latest version of the source

Clone thumbor's repository and install it using one of the following:

pip install git+git://


git clone git://

cd thumbor

python install

Alternative installation

Works on Ubuntu 12.04 x32, except webp detection with opencv doesn't seem to work :(

apt-get install ffmpeg libjpeg-dev libpng-dev libtiff-dev libjasper-dev libgtk2.0-dev python-numpy python-pycurl webp python-opencv python-dev python-pip
pip install thumbor

Installation with Chef

The thumbor chef cookbook will install all necessary components to run thumbor including NGINX as proxy.

Example to install thumbor, generate a secret and disable unsafe-mode:

  "run_list": [
  "default_attributes": {
    "thumbor": {
      "key": "This-Is-A-Secret-Key",
      "options": {
        "ALLOW_UNSAFE_URL": false

Alternatively there is also thumbor-ng chef cookbook.