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Join the chat at is a self-hosted open-source web gallery to browse personal photos and videos featuring tagging, mobile-friendly, and AI powered image and face discovery. Try the demo gallery or enjoy the food images!

Note: This software is a private pet/spare time project without any warranty. Ask questions on

Do you like HomeGallery? Does it solve your media problem? Would you like to help? Please read the CONTRIBUTING guidlines and support this project through any recurring financial support to my or one time support to my account. Thank you in advance.

MIT License



  • The source of all my private images and videos are stored local on my NAS at home. The gallery should be on top/close of the source.
  • Cloud service do not cover my privacy concerns
  • All gallery software are lacking to have a fast user experience on mobile phones
  • The gallery software should help to browse and discover forgotten memories from the complete media archive

Target Users

  • Computer affine users who solve their own problems and go the extra mile
  • Serve your local data without usage of cloud services
  • One user only - all files are served
  • View your own photos and videos from mobile phones
  • Serve all your images from multiple media source directories (hard drive, camara files, mobile phone files, etc)


Following steps need to be performed to use HomeGallery

  • Download the gallery software as prebuilt binary or docker image
  • Init the configuration with media sources like ~/Pictures
  • Start the server on localhost:3000
curl -sL -o gallery
chmod 755 gallery
./gallery init --source ~/Pictures
./gallery run server

and open localhost:3000 in your browser. Run ./gallery -h for further help of the CLI.

See for further binaries. Eg. latest binaries for Linux, Mac or Windows.

The configuration gallery.config.yml can be found in the current directory for fine tuning. See install section in the documentation for further information.

Quickstart using Docker

mkdir -p data
alias gallery="docker run -ti --rm \
  -v $(pwd)/data:/data \
  -v $HOME/Pictures:/data/Pictures \
  -u $(id -u):$(id -g) \
  -p 3000:3000 xemle/home-gallery"
gallery init --source /data/Pictures
gallery run server

and open localhost:3000 in your browser. Run gallery -h for further help of the CLI.

The gallery configuration can be found in ./data/config/gallery.config.yml for fine tuning.

Want to use docker compose? See install section in the documentation for further information.


See for general documentation.


  • Endless photo stream via virtual scrolling
  • Video transcoding
  • Reverse image lookup (similar image search). If you have one sunset image, you can easily find other sunset photos in your archive without manual tagging
  • Face detection and search by similar faces
  • Expressive query language with and, or, not operands
  • GEO location reverse lookups
  • Simple mobile app through PWA support
  • Tagging, single and multi selection
  • Support of read only and offline media sources. Once the preview files are generated and their meta data are extraced, the original sources are not touched and required any more. So media from offline disk need to be extracted only once and the disk can stay offline on next runs
  • Media are identified by their content. Duplicated media (identical files byte-by-byte) are only processed once. Renaming is supported without recalulating previews etc.
  • Fast file changes detection such as add, removes, renames or moves
  • Static web gallery site export such as the demo gallery
  • Meta data export to XMP sidecar files
  • Stream photos and videos to Chromcast enabled TV devices
  • Runs on SoC such Raspberry PI


The complete "database" is loaded into the browser. My 100.000 media are about 100 MB plain JSON and 12 MB compressed JSON. The performance is quite good on current mobile device. A user reported a successful setup with over 400.000 media files. Further feedback is welcome.

Binary Downloads

HomeGallery has prebuilt binaries for Linux, MacOS and Windows. Further download options can be found here.

See installation section for usage.

External Services and Privacy

The goal of HomeGallery is to use as less public serivces as possible due sensitive private image data. It tries to use service which can be deployed local. However the setup requires technical knowlege and technical maintenance. Following services are called:

For geo reverse lookups (geo coordinates to addess), HomeGallery queries the Nominatim Service from OpenStreetMap. Only geo coordinates are transmitted.

For reverse image lookups (similar image search), object detection and face recogintion, HomeGallery uses the its own public API at This public API supports low powered devices such as the SoC Raspberry PI and all preview images are send to this public API by default. No images or privacy data are kept.

The API can be configured and ran also locally or as Docker container. See installation section for usage.

Customized Environments

HomeGallery runs on the JavaScript runtime NodeJS which is supported by various platforms such as Linux (also Raspberry PIs), Mac and Windows.

For most cases a customized environment should be sufficient with

  • node version 20 LTS (or 18 old LTS)
  • perl (Linux)


# Clone or download the repo from GitHub
git clone
cd home-gallery
# Install required packages
npm install
# Build required modules
npm run build

In some cornor cases you might also need essential build tools to compile library bindings.

  • make
  • g++
  • python

Development recipes


HomeGallery uses npm workspaces with multi packages. Common npm scripts are clean, build, test.

To run only a subset of packages you can use pnpm's filter feature, e.g build only module export-static and database:

npx pnpm -r --filter './*/{export-static,database}' build

Unit Test

Run unit tests from specific packages (via pnpm)

npx pnpm -r --filter './*/{query,events}' test

End-To-End Test

Run specific e2e tests (via Gauge)

git clone data
npm run test:e2e -- --tags dev

home-gallery-e2e-data contains test files using Git LFS.

The e2e test output data are stored in /tmp/gallery-e2e directory. The latest test run is symlinked into the directory latest-e2e-test within the HomeGallery working directory. Check the cli.log and e2e.log (ndjson format) in each test directory.


Create local binary bundle from a feature branch

node scripts/bundle.js --version=1.3 --snapshot=-feature-test --filter=linux-x64 --no-before --no-run

Create local native bundle which excludes binaries via npm like sharp, ffmpeg and ffprobe. It should contain only js code which should run everywhere. It requires external binaries vipsthumbnail, ffmpeg and ffprobe in the PATH environment to work properly.

node scripts/bundle.js --version=1.3 --snapshot=-feature-test --filter=linux-native --no-before --no-run

Development Reset

To reset the current development state and start fresh on any very strange error behavior, you might run:

rm -rf package-lock.json node_modules e2e/node_modules packages/*/node_modules
npm install && npm run clean && npm run build