Equivalent to Apple Photos

I’m planning to migrate later this year from Apple (MacBook Pro + iPhone XS Max) to Librem (15 + 5).

My main concern is how to manage my photos. While it’s not perfect, Apple Photos and iCloud does a great job of syncing my photos across devices. Also great software for edits and organizing photos.

Would anyone have a recommendation for a Pure OS compatible equivalent? Or, if not, perhaps a workaround?

A nextcloud server will do it for you. You may setup your own server and sync all files you need across any device.


Another option without the need to set up a server might be https://syncthing.net .


As @ubizzium mentionned, I think that the best option is Nextcloud :slight_smile: (even better if you set up your own server at home)

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Additionally, Purism does have plans to begin offering their own hosting services, based on purely open-source software. It’s been mentioned here and there on the Matrix channels, and they were hiring for it a few months ago. Not sure when we can expect the release, but Purism will have an iCloud alternative is the takeaway. What exact functionality it will have remains to be seen, though.


I don’t really use any photo organiser app, but out of my head there are 3 options. Gnome has a Photos app for this and there is shotwell, both i think are similar what i think iphoto does (I retired my last mac in 2012 and havn’t used iphoto much). And than there is darktable which is a more advanced photo organiser and editor and more similar to what adobe lightroom, if that means anything to you.

For the sync part i would say the same as the others. Nextcloud will probably be the go to.

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I do everything Offline, I believe it’s the securest way :slight_smile:
I do automatic backups and synching via a usb cable, with rsync (there are GUIs for rsync such as grsync & luckybackup).

I’ve checked out the app called Syncthing that @kalle.kruse suggested, and it seems like you can do offline synching with it on your local network. It has a great interface and if it supports synching via a usb cable then I’d definitely use it instead of rsync. I wouldn’t sync anything via my local network because this would add some extra risks that can be easily avoided if using a usb cable.

Does anyone know if you can sync two devices with Syncthing via a usb cable?


It’s not FOSS, but Resilio Sync is the best syncing tech I’ve seen and it alleviates the need for a server, while turning any of your computers into one.

If you aren’t really syncing large files, it isn’t that big a plus, but Resilio uses BitTorrent technology and allows all devices already in sync to aid in syncing anything still needing it. This means you can saturate your network for blazingly fast syncing.

It doesn’t require an internet connection either, but can of course sync over the internet if needed.

If there was a FOSS alternative that could do this including block level sync I would love to know about it.

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Syncthing is the Foss alternative you’re looking for.


Hello @beefree . About synching over USB cable I think that may be possible: https://forum.syncthing.net/t/sync-over-ethernet-only-actually-over-usb/10923/2

Does syncthing do block level syncing? Doesnt’ look like it. To me Syncthing looks like a GUI wrapper for rsync with some nifty sharing functionality. Not dissing that, but technology wise Resilio Sync is pretty far beyond that.

Sorry @2disbetter, but I can’t confirm that it’s block level sync for sure. Maybe these two threads would clarify it better than I could:

ST is not a rsync wrapper. It uses bittorrent technology (FAQ). I use it for several years and it’s very good for my needs.

I do have a nextcloud server at home. It is great for syncing all media from my devices to my nextcloud. But it is pretty much useless for photo organizing (there are no organizing functions). Plus it is very slow to load photos making it pretty much useless as gallery as well… You can’t even sort your photos by date…

I am looking forward to a stable version of this: https://github.com/photoprism/photoprism
It looks really promising.

It does use block level sync, one of their protocols is specifically named Block Exchange Protocol and says that it syncs blocks of up to 128kB.

I’ve tried syncing binary files such as large SQLite databases through syncthing and it still performs very well thanks to this.

Syncthing does not use bittorrent technology. It has it’s own protocol which is nicely documented here.

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Sounds great. Have there been any kind of speed comparisons between the two? I know for many being FOSS is above everything else, but for many other things rank higher and it would be good to know if the two programs are comparable with regard to performance.

Also what does the reliability of the client and backend look like? Any here using it that can speak to that?