As you know by now Gallery 3 Photo engine is hibernating. I decided to explore alternatives. Please note that unless I comfortable, I will be keeping my main gallery live while building up pieces using my new engine of choice.

As a long time G2/G3 user and seasoned plugin and theme developer for Gallery for past many years, while have a sad feeling, I have wisdom of knowing how things work and what to expect.

In this series, I will be posting my short notes on my experience migrating my photo site to new engine.


  • Ideally 1:1 replacement – which means…
  • Keep it private, private … Ability to host locally, i.e. gallery engine is not linked to any particular host or OS. LAMP or WAMP stack.
  • Ability to create custom themes (everyone wants to be unique or at least have variety of choices how gallery looks like)
  • Ability to create plugins. I would expect gallery engine to have number of plugins already available, but I do want to have ability to customize/extend it further nevertheless
  • Ability to move my content with as little effort as possible (local import, self organizing of the files)
  • Light resource requirement. Ability to import large photos.
  • and ability to use shared hosing which
  • Not as important for me, but should allow multilingual support
  • Image and Video upload support
  • User, User groups and permission setup

“Shared” Solutions

there are plenty of “shared” photo storages on the market and “public” storage is ok for you take a look at the following:

  • off course, you can always use FB for the whole world to see and for FB to monetize 🙂
  • Or Google flavored – Picasa

“Local” Choices

There are many around, but I would consider

Making personal choice

In the end it all comes to personal choice, so take it with the grain of salt and evaluate if solution works for you…


For few years now WP has Photo Gallery support. It is blog integrated and is very simple to use and customize. However if you have large number of photos to post this option may not work for you.
Being familiar with WP and using it as a blog engine but as  I am not planning to merge my blog and my photo gallery, I am going to skip on reviewing it here.


I was keeping eye on the project for some time and I do like it. Project is well established and have plenty of plugins and themes.

Install was  easy and I was able to import most of my photos… until large files were to be processed… and it failed… Turns out ImageMagic with my shared hosting just did not have enough juice to be able process images even on basic level to extract metadata.

Please note that it could be a that there are some tweaks required (I did some changes in G3 for it to work in the same scenario, but this is exactly what I am trying to avoid in my review process).

Bummer… so I would still recommend to take a look at ZenPhoto and consider it as a possible solution for you… but for me, I am moving on…


Well established, but too “old-looking”. This project is still going strong and active, but to my taste it is “legacy” solution. While it still have a lot of nice features, way it is organized is just not for me.


If you do not mind French here and there, take a close look at this little beauty. 🙂

Let’s look at my checklist above:

  • It is not 1:1 replacement, but close enough
  • I can host locally on the LAMP stack without changing hosting
  • I can inherit or create custom themes. In fact, it is somewhat easier with Piwigo
  • I can create plugins and there is plenty of existing one.
  • Local import and self organizing of the files is supported
  • Light resource requirement. Ability to import large photos.
  • I can keep my shared hosting
  • Multilingual support
  • Image and Video upload support (additional plugins may be required)
  • User, User groups and permission setup

Now the experience:

  • Deployment was a breeze – you can do full code deployment or use “pull” method and all components would be downloaded for you, you just need to deploy one file and setup your database. Rest will be done during setup.
  • I have uploaded my var folder from G3 and run Sync. All photos (2000+) was imported into gallery tree and appear in the gallery. No hiccups, no resource issues.
  • There is G2 import plugin you can install and try. It may even take G3 photos, but I did not try it. If G3 is the issue, someone may try to adjust G2 version to take G3 content especially if you have a good amount of metadata you need to bring across. I opted out to import images only.
  • Aside from few default themes installed by default, you can pull number of other themes from repository along with various plugins. There might be some things missing which I am used to with G3, but I do not consider it an issue as I can migrate missing parts myself.
  • If you are looking for GreyDragon Theme – I started process of migrating it over Piwigo and will make it available in next month or so. If you’d like to help testing it, please let me know. Just do not expect full port immediately.
  • If you are looking for any of my plugins which do not have equivalent at Piwigo already, please let me know and I will consider the port.


  • There is a code repository if you like to have access to raw stuff
  • Along with bug tracking system
  • Looking for ideas for your new gallery look, visit showcase section.

Americans beware, or not 🙂

Piwigo is started by Pierrick Le Gall, French and you would find some number of posts or plugin’s descriptions in French.

Do not be discouraged by this 🙂 people in Europe can speak 2-3 languages fluently and usually English is one of them. So have question or two, visit forum and ask.

PS/Edit: Read above with smile. How Pierrick highlighted in his comment below, Piwigo is international project and anyone will feel right at home regardless what language they speak.


I have moved my gallery to Piwigo.

You can follow visit this blog for more details as I will be posting updates and in some near future will be making GreyDragon available for testing and then official download.


Subscribe for Twitter feed at @greydragon_th to be informed about Theme development.


malinfabbri · Jan 11, 2017 at 13:09

Can somone please give some advice? I broke the /gallery3/ installation… so i need to install it again somehow? I still have the stuff in the /var/ folder.
No idea where the gallery descriptions are… any ideas?
Which one of these instructions do i follow?
I guess i need to install a new one and get the content from the old /var/ over to the new one somehow?

    Serguei Dosyukov · Jan 11, 2017 at 13:41

    did you lose files and DB or just files?
    if both you would need to restore old backup, if any, and reupload/recover new images
    if you lost just files, then deploying files and connecting to db while making sure config info matching target folders should help

Marek · Feb 9, 2017 at 09:01

Serge, I was actually looking for gallery3 to upload and host all images on amazon s3 but the extension only duplicates and links the images, so partially what I wanted (now gallery serves images from s3) but it still needs local images (not what I wanted). I checked your list and none of them has a working extension of what I need. Have you ever heard of anything like that?

    Serguei Dosyukov · Feb 10, 2017 at 09:29

    no, I have not
    considering that G3 project is inactive it would be hard to find anything of sort
    as for pwg, I would suggest raising question on the forum. It was asked few years back, but no further discussion. Someone may have answer

      Marek · Feb 16, 2017 at 13:46

      Unfortunately the commenting has been disabled on the forum. Thanks for your input.

        Serguei Dosyukov · Feb 17, 2017 at 11:43

        I was referring to PWG forum. as I said I did not find any recent discussions about the topic there but I would imagine it is not unusual request

Matt · May 16, 2017 at 20:59

Hi Serg

I’ve come upon your site with some googlefuu. I’ve got a gallery2 which is running 2.3.2 which unfortunately doesn’t like PHP7.0, rather understandably due to it’s age i guess.

I’m thinking about moving to Piwigo as rather like yours! Will things like view counts transfer with my photos at all? I’d be quite keen not to lose the count, after all i’ve had the gallery since about 2007 and they’ve mounted up!

I’m wondering whether the best route would be to migrate to 3.0 then to Piwigo, what’s your thoughts on the matter?

    Serguei Dosyukov · May 17, 2017 at 07:32

    I did not look at any feedback from older version of G2 to PWG. People were ok with G3 > PWG migration and I think view counts were coming across fine
    I would suggest backup > go to G3 > validate > create test instance of PWG > move > test > go live

Jens Andersson · Jun 2, 2017 at 10:12

I run gallery2 on a Debian Wheezy server. Have to move it to a Debian Jessie server, for moving the albums to a installed and working gallery3 on Jessie. Have earlier tried to install gallery2 on Jessie using two different debian packages, but failed misserably.

1st question: Is the success rate higher if I skip debian packages and go for a “manual” installation?
2nd question: Is the success rate higher if I instead install gallery3 on Wheezy and then move the albums to the Jessie gallery3?

Most thankful for advice.


    Serguei Dosyukov · Jun 2, 2017 at 18:26

    it is all depend on your server setup
    using manual deployment especially in situation when project (G2/G3) are no longer supported probably would be your best bet
    not familiar with Debian server setup much, but on CentOS direct deployment of the code worked easier as you are controlling the entire process while deployment from packages is not necessarily very visible

      Jens Andersson · Jun 5, 2017 at 22:33

      So, I think I will try another agenda: Install Piwigo on the old server, migrate the albums from Gallery2 to Piwigo (Menalto2Piwigo plug-in?), install Piwigo on the new server an move the newly created Piwigo albums to it.

      Any expected obstacles to avoid during this agenda?


Danny W. Burdick · Apr 19, 2018 at 21:54

I have run gallery 3 since it came out on debian wheezy 7 and lately upgraded the os in place to jessie 8 and then to stretch debian 9….with only a few bugs which were not hard to figure out….I did not attempt to install gallery into these new releases of the os but rather upgrade the os in place into an active running gallery 3 webserver and it worked just fine.

Danny Burdick · Jun 25, 2019 at 22:07

Hopefully posting is still working here…Just upgraded with apt dist-upgrade and with the new apache and others it took down my server which had been working for years. I went through many days of hacking and wacking on it..and just now got my box fully updated to stretch completely and reinstalled gallery 3.0.9. Got that stupid oops screen and could not login as admin….Configured myphpadmin and brought it up ….changed password to 12345 as posted various places, and tried all the other cli.php and installer.php hacks….finally the phpmyadmin worked and I quickly logged in and changed it to what I wanted….clonezilled the thing…and now working on rebuilding the thing back. This little server is fine and will still be good for years to come….if I can help it. I am not a software engineer, but I am a rabid pitbull when it comes to not giving up.

Gwyneth Llewelyn · Oct 7, 2021 at 12:04

Good news for the die-hard Gallery fanatics; the project is back on track, now on GitHub. Dubbed ‘Gallery the Revival’, the current version is little more than some house-cleaning so that it runs well under PHP 7.4, but it pretty much replicates the formerly last available Gallery version (dropping Flash and replacing it with HTML5). More information here:

Granted, work is going on mostly on separate branches which haven’t been committed yet to the main branch; also, Gallery relied upon some web services to provide access to translations, plugins, auto-updating, etc. and these are now down. The old forums and wiki are still up, but in read-only mode; current support (and overall discussion) happens on Google Groups only.

I’ve peeked at Piwigo. These days, it’s clearly a far more advanced platform, it looks much better (and has a contemporary look & feel, not a slightly outdated one), and the number of available extensions/plugins beats Gallery3 by several orders of magnitude. Also, Piwigo gets updated constantly — no wonder the guys still loyal to Gallery (like myself!) feel a bit frustrated and falling fast behind…

Oh well.

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