Your own Google Photos with a Raspberry Pi and PhotoPrism

PhotoPrism, a photo manager you should know

The first thing is to explain what it is PhotoPrism, although you will already intuit that it is an application with which you can create a photo manager capable of cataloging them in different ways so that you can have control and easy access to them at all times. Regardless of whether you are looking for one that you did on a specific day or all those from the last vacation.

The interesting thing about the application itself is that it is designed to be installed on a computer that will act as a server and which others will be able to access to consult all that information that it stores and manages. Thus, what you can achieve with PhotoPrism is a solution capable of saving, organizing, displaying and sharing all your photos and videos. Exactly the same as similar solutions such as the aforementioned Google Photos, Amazon Photos or already local solutions such as the Lightroom catalog, etc.

In addition, all those photos can be organized by albums, labels that it is even capable of adding intelligently thanks to Google’s own TensorFlow technology, depending on the date on which they were taken and grouped by moments or finally through of the places that were taken if in the EXIF ​​data the location of the same is embedded through the GPS data added by the camera or manually by the user.

If to all this is added the possibility of sharing photos through personalized links and also through any application compatible with WebDAV, the result is a more than interesting option for those who are not afraid to tinker a bit.

Installing PhotoPrism on a Raspberry Pi

So far so great, but where do we install it. Well, you could do it on your PC, but if you don’t want to consume resources and are looking for a much cheaper solution, but just as effective, the solution is to use a Raspberry Pi.

PhotoPrism can be installed on a Raspberry Pi thanks to Docker. So you only have to have an installation or resort to an operating system for Raspberry Pi with Docker already integrated, such as UbuntuDockerPi. Then, once everything is installed, you would only have to connect an external hard drive with the capacity you need, but initially it would be much cheaper than purchasing a NAS.

So value the idea, and if you think it is very complicated, although we leave you links to the process in more detail, this would be the summary of the steps you would have to take:

  1. Get a Raspberry Pi 3 or 4 ideally
  2. Download UbuntuDockerPi, version adapted from Ubuntu Server for Raspberry Pi with Docker from this link
  3. Use Pi Imager to install the image on an SD or micro SD card depending on the Raspberry Pi used
  4. Download the version of PhotoPrism for Docker and Raspberry Pi from the official website of the photo manager
  5. Then start the installation process by following the steps detailed on this page

Extra tips for using PhotoPrism on a Raspberry Pi

Once you have everything installed, the next step would be to put an HDD with enough capacity for all your photos and videos. Once all the information is done and transferred, a couple of additional tips:

  • These types of installations are reliable, but it is also always good to have a second backup
  • For iOS and Android devices there is no official app, but you can use the ones that support WebDAV to sync photos, view them, etc.
  • You can try a demo of PhotoPrism here to see how it behaves and the options it offers

If you consider yourself a handyman and with the appropriate knowledge or patience to take on this project, we can only encourage you to step forward and do it. Because it may surprise you and change your mind about having your own NAS if you are not sure what you are going to get out of such an investment.

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