Setup Ghiro

Ghiro is supposed to run on a GNU/Linux native system. For the purpose of this documentation, we choose latest Ubuntu LTS Server as reference system for the commands examples, although Ghiro works on any GNU/Linux distribution. Probably Ghiro could work on other systems like MacOSX but this is not tested and out of scope of this documentation.


Ghiro has the following requirements:

  • MongoDB: you need to run a MongoDB database (at least release 2.0)
  • Python: that’s how we roll (only Python 2.x, at least release 2.7)
  • Python-magic: for MIME extraction
  • Python 2.x bindings for gobject-introspection libraries, required by Gexiv2
  • Gexiv2: for metadata extraction (at least release 0.6.1)
  • Pillow (Python Imaging library - PIL fork): for image manipulation
  • Python-dateutil: for datetime manipulation
  • Pymongo: driver for MongoDB (at least release 2.5)
  • Django: for web interface (at least release 1.5, suggested django 1.6.x)
  • Chardet: for text encoding detection
  • Pdfkit: used for PDF report generation (at least release 0.4)
  • Wkhtmltopdf: used by pdfkit

If you choose MySQL or PostgrSQL as database you have to install their additional drivers.

Ghiro web application is tested and working on the following browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10
  • Mozilla Firefox 24
  • Opera 17
  • Safari 7
  • IOS 7 for Ipad and Iphone

Getting started

Download and extract

Download Ghiro as explained in this documentation, if you download the stable package extract it. Enter in the Ghiro folder.


If you don’t have already it, install MongoDB with the following command (run as root or with sudo):

apt-get install mongodb

Ghiro works with SQLite although it is strongly suggested to use MySQL or PostgreSQL as database. If SQLite is used, Ghiro will automatically decrease processing pallellism to one because SQLite does not support concurrent operations. Optionally, as an example, you can install MySQL with the following command (run as root or with sudo):

apt-get install mysql-server

Install required libraries with the following commands (run as root or with sudo):

apt-get install python-pip build-essential python-dev python-gi
apt-get install libgexiv2-2 gir1.2-gexiv2-0.10 wkhtmltopdf
apt-get install libtiff4-dev libjpeg8-dev zlib1g-dev libfreetype6-dev
apt-get install liblcms2-dev libwebp-dev tcl8.5-dev tk8.5-dev python-tk

The wkhtmltopdf tool used for PDF report generation needs a X server running, if you don’t have one just install XFVB and configure wkhtmltopdf to use it with:

apt-get install xvfb
printf '#!/bin/bash\nxvfb-run --server-args="-screen 0, 1024x768x24" /usr/bin/wkhtmltopdf $*' > /usr/bin/
chmod a+x /usr/bin/
ln -s /usr/bin/ /usr/local/bin/wkhtmltopdf

Install updated libraries via pip with the following commands (run as root or with sudo):

pip install -r requirements.txt


The default databases are SQLite3 and MongoDB (you need to have it listening on localhost). If you need to change this see the configuration chapter below.

First of all you need to create an empty database with the following command (inside Ghiro’s root):

python syncdb

You will be asked to create a superuser for administration, choose yes and fill all the required fields.


To start the web interface run the following command (inside Ghiro’s root):

python manage runserver

A web server running Ghiro will be available on If you need to listen expose Ghiro to all addresses or change the port (in this example is 9000) run the following command (inside Ghiro’s root):

python manage runserver

To start processing images you have to start the processing deamon, run the following command (inside Ghiro’s root):

python process


Ghiro works pretty well with default options, which are SQLite3 as relational database and use MongoDB installed and listening on local host. If you want to change any setting the configuration file is located in ghiro/ The default settings will fit all common user needs.

Following is the default ghiro/ file:

from settings import *

    'default': {
        # Engine type. Ends with 'postgresql_psycopg2', 'mysql', 'sqlite3' or 'oracle'.
        'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.sqlite3',
        # Database name or path to database file if using sqlite3.
        'NAME': 'db.sqlite',
        # Credntials. The following settings are not used with sqlite3.
        'USER': '',
        'PASSWORD': '',
        # Empty for localhost through domain sockets or '' for localhost through TCP.
        'HOST': '',
        # Set to empty string for default port.
        'PORT': '',
        # Set timeout (avoids SQLite "database is locked" errors).
        'timeout': 300,

# MySQL tuning.
# "init_command": "SET storage_engine=INNODB",

# Mongo database settings
MONGO_URI = "mongodb://localhost/"
MONGO_DB = "ghirodb"

# Max uploaded image size (in bytes).
# Default is 150MB.
MAX_FILE_UPLOAD = 157286400

# Allowed file types.
ALLOWED_EXT = ['image/bmp', 'image/x-canon-cr2', 'image/jpeg', 'image/png',
               'image/x-canon-crw', 'image/x-eps', 'image/x-nikon-nef',
               'application/postscript', 'image/gif', 'image/x-minolta-mrw',
               'image/x-olympus-orf', 'image/x-photoshop', 'image/x-fuji-raf',
               'image/x-panasonic-raw2', 'image/x-tga', 'image/tiff', 'image/pjpeg',
               'image/x-x3f', 'image/x-portable-pixmap']

# Override default secret key stored in
# Make this unique, and don't share it with anybody.

# Language code for this installation. All choices can be found here:

    # ("Your Name", ""),


# Allow verbose debug error message in case of application fault.
# It's strongly suggested to set it to False if you are serving the
# web application from a web server front-end (i.e. Apache).
DEBUG = True

# A list of strings representing the host/domain names that this Django site
# can serve.
# Values in this list can be fully qualified names (e.g. '').
# When DEBUG is True or when running tests, host validation is disabled; any
# host will be accepted. Thus it's usually only necessary to set it in production.

# Automatically checks once a day for updates.
# Set it to False to disable update check.

If you change the configuration after the first setup, before editing this file you have to stop both Ghiro’s web interface and processing deamon, you may restart them after the edit.

If you changed any setting related to the database configuration you have to re-build your database with the command (inside Ghiro’s root):

python syncdb

Running Ghiro as service

If you want to run Ghiro as a service you have to get rid of Django web server and run Ghiro inside a web server (i.e. Apache).


We do not suggest SQLite3 for production environment, please go for MySQL or PostgreSQL. In this example we are going to show you how to configure Ghiro with MySQL.

Setup MySQL and Python drivers with the following command (run as root or with sudo):

apt-get install mysql-server python-mysqldb

Go through the wizard and set MySQL password. Configure Ghiro to use MySQL as explained in configuration paragraph.

Apache as a front-end

Now we are going to configure Apache as a front end for Ghiro’s django application.

Setup Apache and mod_wsgi with the following command (run as root or with sudo):

apt-get install apache2 libapache2-mod-wsgi

An example of virtual host configuration is the following (Ghiro is extracted in /var/www/ghiro/ in this example):

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
    WSGIProcessGroup ghiro
    WSGIDaemonProcess ghiro processes=5 threads=10 user=nobody group=nogroup python-path=/var/www/ghiro/ home=/var/www/ghiro/ display-name=local
    WSGIScriptAlias / /var/www/ghiro/ghiro/
    Alias /static/ /var/www/ghiro/static/
    <Location "/static/">
        Options -Indexes

    ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log

    # Possible values include: debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit,
    # alert, emerg.
    LogLevel warn

    CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

Restart apache. Now the web application is listening on port 80/tcp, just put the IP address in your browser.

Run the processor with upstart

You can automatically run the processor with upstart.

Create the file ghiro.conf in /etc/init/ with the following content:

description     "Ghiro"

start on started mysql
stop on shutdown
        chdir /var/www/ghiro/
        exec /usr/bin/python process
end script

To stop the processor use the following command (run as root or with sudo):

service ghiro stop

To start the processor use the following command (run as root or with sudo):

service ghiro start