How does GarfNet manage its image library?

  • Editor’s note 2018-01-01: Coppermine has been deprecated and we are no longer actively adding to it, nor are we accepting content on it from third-party users. The following text is kept here purely for historical purposes.

We’ve been using Coppermine (a free, open source PHP/MYSQL gallery & database system) for several years here on GarfNet. I like it because it is powerful, reasonably fast yet very easy to administer. My clients and models seem to like it because they can download the pics they want, whenever they want and wherever they are. Means they get images that are ideally presized for use on other web sites.

Coppermine actually stores images in three different sizes, a thumbnail, an intermediate and an original. It generates the intermediate and the thumb automatically. You can actually pre-determine all three of these sizes if you wish. It also has a bulk upload mode, EXIF reader, keyword search, multi-language, template switcher, organisation by categories and a whole stack of additional plugins if you want them.

Access permissions, read & write, may be set at both user and group level – all very unixy! Means we can make any gallery, public, private, password protected for just one viewer or pretty much set any permissions we want. For example, one of the many uses I make of our installation is as an online family album. Here all family albums are hidden from public view. Then, any family member can see any image providing (s)he logs in. Some family members have permission to contribute further images and a very select few are allowed to edit captions and delete images.

You can run Coppermine with any web host that supports MySQL & PHP. And its sophisticated template system means you can “skin” the program to suit your site, either by using one of the dozens of free themes or by designing (or customising) one of your own.

And its FREE.

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