Escape from G**gle Photos part 2: User 2

After almost a full year of happily storing and serving my photos on a little box under my desk at home, something unplanned happened: my partner needed some extra storage for their photos, too. So I had to add my second user.

Multi-user support was not a feature that I cared for previously, but I also assumed that every photo management web app would have it anyway – so imagine my surprise when I discovered that Photoprism lacks it. The proposed workaround is to host two instances in separate containers, but this just doesn’t appeal to me – even aside from the doubled resource usage, when you add up the double administration costs, you can see how this approach doesn’t scale well.

I had previously mentioned Photoview, and a friend of mine had also suggested LibrePhotos, both of which have similar features (including multi-user support!), and they also look very similar, so I started with them. They both have Docker images and instructions on their configuration available, so replacing Photoprism was pretty seamless – I used the same subdomain, so no changes to the proxy/certificate setup, and even my silly cron job worked for both apps with little wrangling.

While testing, I found out that they are both pretty resource intensive while scanning compared to Photoprism – of course, it is possible that this difference is due to the fact that the number of files to scan had also increased significantly after my partner had synced. However, it got me thinking about an upgrade (I already had to add some storage because my original disks were pretty small).

My testing and criteria are admittedly pretty superficial, but I can say the following: Photoview scans photos much faster than either LibrePhotos or Photoprism, but LibrePhotos has a better user interface than Photoview (and I’d put it slightly below Photoprism). Additionally, LibrePhotos seems like it has more active developers. After some deliberation, I decided to stick with it – so far, so good.

More of a side note, but I did eventually upgrade to basically the same HP small form-factor computer with a slightly better processor and much faster DDR4 memory; I’ll add some more about it at the home server notes soon.