photon(1) generates photo albums


photon [OPTIONS] [PATH]


Photon generates clean, yet configurable, static HTML photo galleries. All of the work is done from the command line, and the resulting output can easily be configured by changing the template files found in /usr/share/photon/templates.

To create a new template (skin), first create a new directory:

mkdir -p ${HOME}/.photon/templates/my_theme/

Then copy the contents of /usr/share/photon/templates/photonv1/ to this new directory. Photon only needs three files to build pages:


used to display the content of a folder


used to display the page for an image


used to display the page for a movie

If a file is missing, then photon will throw an error and will not run.


Quick start

$ photon -o myoutputdir /photos

Use the gimp plugin

$ photon --resize-plugin=gimp -v -o myoutputdir /photos

Change the size for all images and the thumbnail and keep the original photo

$ photon --sizelist=0,1600x1200,800x600 --thumbsize=320x240 -o myoutputdir /photos

Create a gallery from your custom template (skin)

$ photon -k my_theme -o myoutputdir /photos

See photon help

$ photon --help


-a | --awstats

Insert Javascript for Awstats


Change default value for Awstats script url

-c NAME | --comment

Name of the comment file (default .comments)

-d NUM | --display-columns=NUM

Number of columns in index (default 3)

-E | --no-exif

Don't include EXIF information in HTML file

-f | --force

Overwrite non-image generated files (html, javascript, etc) (default no)

-ff | --force --force

Overwrite image files (default no)

-h | --help

Print this help

-I | --no-index

Do not generate the high level index.html

-J | --no-javascript

Do not use javascript (no shortcuts, ... )

-k | --skin=THEME

Skin selector (default photonv1)


Print out available skins (templates)

-l NUM | --display-lines=NUM

Number of lines in index (default 5)

-m | --movie

Movie mode, include link to movie (*.mov)

-o NAME | --output-directory=NAME

Name of the output directory

-s LIST | --sizelist=LIST

Image sizes (default 0,1024x768,800x600,640x480). Zero, which is the default, uses the original resolution. W x H specifies the width and height of the image in pixels.

-t SIZE | --thumbsize=SIZE

Size of thumbnails (default 160x120)

-v | --verbose

Verbosely print information

-V | --version

Print program version number

-z | --compress

Compress the original image if selected (default copy the image)


Exif window border color (default #008000)


Exif window background color (default #f0fff0)


Exif window text color (default black)


Body background color (default #ccccff)


Image background color (default white)


Exclude files matching PATTERN


Where PLUG is the program used to create thumbnails internal: fastest method (default) gimp: use Gimp>1.x (better quality)


Quality for small image. 0 (bad) and 100 (good)


Quality for big image 0 (bad) and 100 (good)


use PROG for gimp


n/SPACE     Go to the next image (with the same resolution)
p/BACKSPACE Go to the previous image (with the same resolution)
s           Start/Stop the slideshow
+/-         Increase/Decrease by one second the slideshow's period
h           Show shortcut and help
i           Show Exif information
z           Change to the higher resolution [NOT YET IMPLEMENTED]


Written by Luc Saillard, <[email protected]>

Main web site:

This manual page was written by Kevin Coyner <[email protected]> for the Debian project but may be used by others.