Open Source Flickr?

Here’s a question for the Lazyweb – is there an open-source replacement/equivalent for Flickr? Preferably, it’s written in Perl, Python, or PHP, but I won’t rule out Ruby/Rails.

I’m looking for a way to host my own Flickr-like web-based photo sharing app, with similar features (especially notes on specific areas of a photo), which I then want to integrate with other web-based services, such as a wiki and a blog. For this application, hosting the photos on Flickr itsself is not an option; I need a self-contained solution.

My own search has turned up surprisingly little. I found one project on sourceforge, Photospace, which appears to be fairly feature complete, but it’s written in Java/Servlets. Unfortunately, I can’t use servlets in the environment I’m targeting. Other LAMP technologies are okay, but MS based solutions (IIS/ASP/ISAPI) are out. Also, no Flash. Javascript/AJAX are fine.

I also found a couple other projects on SF which aim to do something like this, but haven’t released any files, and appear to have no recent activity. If you know of any working, open source code that fits the bill, please leave me a comment below. Markdown formatting works in comments.

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18 Responses to “Open Source Flickr?”

  1. Micah Says:

    Not that I have any idea what you’re going to do with it, but…<br/>

    Isn’t much of the value of Flickr in the fact that it is social software with a database of tagged photos shared by thousands of people? If you go sectioning-off pieces of the photo-web, then you lose that value.

    Just a thought.

  2. Jason Says:

    True, but…<br/>


    I expected that question, I guess I should have addressed it to begin with. I agree with the fact that the power of flickr is the sharing; however, there are reasons to share among a more limited group. One example (not my use case) would be to share photos among all the people in a company. You need the sharing and social aspect, but you can’t put the content onto someone else’s server.

    In my case, I’m looking to put togther a website for extended family – say, around 150 users. It would offer photo sharing a lá flicker, as well as blog- and wiki-like features. Within the user community, the idea is to share everything; at the same time, restricting access to only family members. A website full of personal information, addresses, and pictures of kids probably shouldn’t be open to the world.

  3. Micah Says:

    Good points.<br/>

    And I sorta expected that answer. Good luck with your project.

  4. Uncle Roger Says:


    I’m unfamiliar with Flickr (I use Blosxom) but I did come across SCRY at It’s PHP and might be of some use.

  5. Chirs Burkhardt Says:

    (especially notes on specific areas of a photo)

    I don’t think I’ve seen or remember how Flickr lets you do this, but it might not be too hard to make your own little photo sharing/annotating Web application using the open Fotonotes spec for adding notes to specific parts of the photo:

  6. Chris Burkhardt Says:

    Ooh, and recently mentioned on Slashdot (the page is still pretty sluggish), an open source PHP photo management tool:

    Not sure it has all the features you want, but it is there. Also written in PHP, but looks even less Flickr-like:

  7. Jason Says:

    Wow, thanks for the links Chris. Hope I’ll find some time to look them over soon. I actually started playing around with rolling my own in Ruby on Rails as a learning experience with both Ruby and Rails a couple weeks ago, but I’ve had zero time to look at it since. I’ve got a whole list of ’round-the-house-project irons in the fire right now. Hopefully, by next week, all the paint will be dry and I can take a break and do a little more coding.

  8. Laura Ly Says:

    Same question.. Hope you had luck<br/>

    Hi. I googled flickr and opensource in google and came across your blog. I’m looking for the same thing. It’s not that I am antisocial, it’s that I am a control freak! Maybe it doesn’t make sense. Yet, I am also looking for the feature rich photo application. I am using Gallery right now and for the most part, happy with it. But if I can get the flickr type features too, that’d be awesome. Let me know if you had any luck, and I’ll do the same. Thanks and best wishes for everything else.

  9. Recipher Says:<br/>

    Check out this one, most promising one I’ve seen. It’s still in beta though…

  10. noa Says:

    I’m the same as Laura Ly, I found this by googling for an open source alternative to flickr…. gallery2 would be perfect if it supported tags/keywords, but it hasn’t happened yet – this is the second most requested feature however.

  11. footy Says:

    footnotes looks quite promising indeed

  12. nchenga Says:

    with all the yahoo id merging, this question crossed my mind as well.

  13. drummer Says:

    Gallery 2.2.1 has a plugin for dynamic albums based on keywords:

  14. Elise Says:

    Hi, I am a French librarian trying to find an open source equivalent for Flickr. I’d like to use it as a kind of catalog. With an open source logiciel I could program the classification of the pictures. Here are my question, did you finally find a solution? Thanks for any answer!

  15. Open Your Eyes - Open Source « It is Time to Tweak eLearning Says:

    […] Photos – If the way we share our videos, documents, thoughts has changed, the way we share our photos has not remiained the same. Trying to find an open source clone for the widely acclaimed photos sharing service Flikr was not an easy task. More people have been looking as well. After a google searcb it is possible to see people asking for the service for a while and wishes have been partially granted. I say partially because the open source community has yet been able to replicate the service, nor does it seem to be interested in doing so. Some efforts to create open source photo management systems have been put into motion for quite sometime now. […]

  16. Chris Says:

    You can try Gallery2 php roll your own Flickr. Check out:

  17. Open Source Alternatives to Web 2.0 Services « Enzo Silva Blog Says:

    […] interested in doing so. Some efforts to create open source photo management systems have been put into motion for quite sometime […]

  18. Saravanan Says:

    Hi Clark,

    Have you managed to get a flickrified opensource interface yet? I am looking for a similar one to share within our multi-geography photoclub.. please ping me if you have found any solution for this.

    Saravanan T S