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This is a small Perl script to help automate the creation and maintenance of an online photo gallery. It creates the thumbnails and the actual web pages for you by asking you for descriptions of the pictures.

Click here for my photo album, generate by AutoScrapbook.

Assuming you meet these requirements, the operation is fairly simple:

  • You must be running the script on Linux or equivalent
  • You must be running from within X-Windows (for display of pictures)
  • [Recommended] You must have the ImageMagick program installed (included with most modern Linux distributions). You can live without it only if all of your pictures have embedded thumbnails and you have the "exif" program mentioned below. You would also have to disable the creation of "medium-sized" images. To see if you have it installed, try running the command 'convert'.
  • [Recommended] You must have the 'xv' program installed (also easy to find). You could also use another picture viewer by changing the configuration at the top of the script. If you don't need to view your pictures (i.e. you already know what they are), you don't need any picture viewer.
  • [Optional] You can use 'jpegtrans' for lossless rotation of images instead of ImageMagick.
  • [Optional] To handle EXIF data (extended information within JPEG images created by digital cameras), you need the "exif" program. This program also allows for the thumbnails to be retrieved from the EXIF headers instead of being generated (when possible), which saves time. I recommend exif version 0.5 and libexif 0.5.6. I have had problems with older versions of the library (infinite loops). See the libexif site for more details.
  • [Optional] The "exiftags" program can be used in addition to the "exif" program. This program provides more detailed EXIF information, particularly for Canon, Fuji, Nikon, and Olympus cameras. See the the exiftags homepage for more information.
  • [Optional] The "jhead" program allows AutoScrapbook to embed picture descriptions within the JPEG headers which means the description will always stay with the picture, and it means fewer hidden files are required. The homepage is here.
  • [Optional] The "iptc" program allows AutoScrapbook to extract IPTC data if it is embedded in the pictures. The image description can be pulled from IPTC data, the file can be renamed using the IPTC name field, and the location information can be used on the generated web page. The homepage is here.


To use the program, simply download the program below and place it somewhere on your system. If your Perl interpreter is not in /usr/bin/perl, you will have to edit the first line of the file.

Edit the program and change the settings for "YourEmail" and "YourName".

Then, simply run the program with a directory name as a parameter. If no parameter is given, the program will look for the 'pics' directory under your current directory.

For each directory, you will be asked for a short name and a description. For each image in the directory, you will given a chance to rename the image, and asked for a description for the image. The image will display on your screen in a separate window for 10 seconds so you can see what you are describing.

If at any time you make a mistake, simply hit CTRL-C right away and run the program again. It won't re-ask you anything you finished answering last time.

The existing directory structure of your pictures is maintained and use to organize the resulting website. This website is placed in the directories along with your pictures and is completely static. This means it can be pushed to any web server once the pages have been generated, or it can be generated directly on the web server if it is running Linux or other UNIX-like operating systems.

The original pictures themselves are not touched by default. One exception is if you edit the program to allow picture renaming/deletion/rotation, and then you choose to do one of these operations to a picture, it will be modified (obviously). The other exception is if you have the "jhead" program installed, it will be used to replace any existing description embedded within the JPEG image with your new picture descriptions. The image itself will never be touched (unless you chose to rotate it) and the EXIF data will not be modified or lost.

If you add or delete pictures or directories, simply re-run the program. It will detect the changes and ask you the appropriate questions.


You can download Version 5.0 (February 25, 2006) Here.

Also, if you want to make backup CDs out of your images, check out ImageBackup.

This page last modified Sat Feb 25 00:10:39 2006 Copyright 2020 Kirk Bauer