especially in those lock down corona pandemic isolation times… users want to share family pictures to stay in touch.

but how to share them in a non-privacy intrusive way?

probably it would be best (of course) to view those shared pictures on 100% Open Source and Free Software compliant devices (right now: pine 64 laptops are available (“best possible” alternative would be LibreBooted Lenovo X60S) but smart phones pretty expensive (“Place your order now, get it in a few months!”) or “out of stock” (work in progress))

o privacy & security wise this is definitely better than WhatsApp & Telegram, because the user knows where the files are stored (ask ur webhoster in what country the servers run)

o also the transfer of the pictures device -to-> datacenter -to-> device is https (TLS) encrypted (if the user’s webhoster gives easy & free access to Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates (THEY ALL SHOULD!))

o privacy plus would be: if there was a way to store the pictures in encrypted form (e.g. no access of the admins of the server or in case that not all data center components can be trusted (backdoors like verywhere X-D))



  • a webserver (webspace, webhoster) with:
    • supports .htaccess for authentication of legitimate users (e.g. apache2)
    • (for security) latest PHP enabled
    • optional (but really good to have): allows sending mails via php mail command

e.g. https://www.hetzner.com/webhosting/level-1 (2021-02 2€ per month inclusive one domain)

download the src:


ok now displays thumbnails (by month) & a separate slideshow.php to start slideshow of those month’s pictures 🙂




ok mail notification (config.php) works 🙂 (when a new picture was uploaded)

ok added next/prev slide show buttons






# to check integrity of download
# put both files in the same folder then
sha512sum -c family-picture-share_v1.src.php.zip.sha512sum.txt
family-picture-share_v1.src.php.zip: OK


===== what? =====

==== share family pictures with privacy & secure & easy v1 ====

1) secure (install .htaccess!!!)

2) independent = self hosting

3) easy to install (no database needed)

4) mobile friendly

5) web based software

sharing pictures with family (uploading, categorizing, finding pictures)

+ easy

+ privacy

+ security

===== why? =====

sharing pictures via instant messengers and social media is privacy wise a mass surveillance catastrophe

(some social networks even declare copyright on everything the users upload)

===== install =====

1) find a webhoster that allows easy .htaccess config (e.g. https://www.hetzner.com/webhosting/level-1) and register a domain with webspace (no database needed)

2) unzip the zip

3) sftp upload the unzipped files to webhoster (domain)

4) setup .htaccess access rights (username & complex! password)

5) setup https for save encrypted transport (e.g. Let’s encrypt certificates are FREE of charge)

6) finished! point browser to https://domain.org and start sharing pictures with the family!

===== done =====

ok v1

ook upload pictures

ook automatically sort them by upload YYYY-MM month-date

ook view pictures as slideshow

o v1.1

ook mail notification works (the php mail command needs a mail server running on the same machine as doing the web-hosting)

===== todo / roadmap =====

ok v1.2

from DATE: 2021-02-28 TIME: 19:13:58 to DATE: 2021-02-28 TIME: 20:13:58, 1h

ok index.php shows monthly thumbnails

ok click on a month, and month.php will open and shows all thumbnails of that month

ook in the title is a back button (which links to index.php)

ook there is also a “start slideshow” button, which will tell slideshow.php?month=2021-02 to generate a slideshow with all pics of that month (a “all pics” slideshow, might be no good idea, because it will download ALL pictures which could (depending on the size of the collection) Gigabytes of data

ook click on a thumb will open that pic (simple link to file)

o v2

oo exif data will be read from pictures in order to sort them in YYYY-MM folders (if this fails, date of upload will be used)

oo generate thumbnail overview per-month

oo allow to view individual pictures

oo allow pictures to be tagged
ooo allow to click a tag and then see all pictures that were tagged with this tag

oo allow pictures to be rated (1 to 5 stars)

oo slideshow button will display all pictures in the current month-folder

o v3

oo a digital photo picture frame for grandma & grandpa without smart phones (almost all have them) like https://www.ikeahackers.net/2013/06/digital-pi-cture-frame.html
… that automatically sftp down the lastest pictures via wifi 🙂

===== licence =====


(because comes with cycle2 slideshow plugin, which is also gpl 2.0 licensed, creditz to malsup)

===== report bugs errors or commit improvements? =====

contact: https://dwaves.de/contact/

wifi for the digital photo frame:

hardware: thinking about using odroid, but raspberry 1-4 will do just fine as well https://www.pollin.de/search?query=odroid

while making one’s own wifi shield for Odroid-C4 sounds like “fun” X-D

possible wifi adapters compatible with XU4 or C4 (UNTESTED!)

the official compatible module https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/wifi-module-5a/ uses RTL8811AU

example: cheap & one big antenna 🙂 https://www.ebay.de/itm/W87B-RTL8811AU-150M-Dual-Band-USB2-0-Bluetooth-4-0-Wireless-Network-Card-14/265040045831

RTL8812AU seems to work too “driver update was already pushed into most kernels. Same results with 8814 or 8812, both test were made on 2.4 band.” (src) (example usb wifi dongle)

“but RTL8814 should work too” (latest tech more expensive)

big antennas! https://www.ebay.de/itm/USB-WiFi-Receiver-Dongle-1200M-RTL8812AU-2-4-5-8G-Wireless-Network-Adapter/293987979130

no antennas https://www.ebay.de/itm/DMG-04-Wi-Fi-5-USB-Nano-Adapter-Realtek-RTL-8811CU-Single-Chipset-2-4Ghz-5GHz/383785685197

probably will either deploy an old screen (need HDMI to DVI adapter)

this would be the laziest option X-D to just buy a “ready to go” digital photo frame, well rated Nixplay

but can they download pictures via SFTP?

PS: sharing is caring