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Self-hosted photo and video backup solution directly from your mobile phone.


  • Create a directory of your choice (e.g. ./immich-app) to hold the docker-compose.yml and .env files.
mkdir ./immich-app
cd ./immich-app
  • Download docker-compose.yml, example.env and optionally the hwaccel.yml files:

wget -O docker-compose.yaml
wget -O .env
- Tweak those files with these thoughts in mind: - immich won't respect your upload media directory structure, so until you trust the software copy your media to the uploads directory. - immich is not stable so you need to disable the upgrade from watchtower. The easiest way is to pin the latest stable version in the .env file. - Populate custom database information if necessary. - Populate UPLOAD_LOCATION with your preferred location for storing backup assets. - Consider changing DB_PASSWORD to something randomly generated

  • From the directory you created in Step 1, (which should now contain your customized docker-compose.yml and .env files) run:
docker compose up -d

Configure smart search for other language

You can change to a multilingual model listed here by going to Administration > Machine Learning Settings > Smart Search and replacing the name of the model.

Choose the one that has more downloads. For example, if you'd want the immich-app/XLM-Roberta-Large-Vit-B-16Plus model, you should only enter XLM-Roberta-Large-Vit-B-16Plus in the program configuration. Be careful not to add trailing whitespaces.

Be sure to re-run Smart Search on all assets after this change. You can then search in over 100 languages.

External storage

If you have an already existing library somewhere immich is installed you can use an external library. Immich will respect the files on that directory.

It won't create albums from the directory structure. If you want to do that check this or this solutions.

My personal workflow

I've tailored a personal workflow given the next thoughts:

  • I don't want to expose Immich to the world, at least until it's a stable product.
  • I already have in place a sync mechanism with syncthing for all the mobile stuff
  • I do want to still be able to share some albums with my friends and family.
  • I want some mobile directories to be cleaned after importing the data (for example the camera/DCIM), but others should leave the files as they are after the import (OsmAnd+ notes).

Ingesting the files

As all the files I want to ingest are sent to the server through syncthing, I've created a cron script that copies or moves the required files. Something like:


echo 'Updating the OsmAnd+ data'
rsync -auhvEX --progress /data/apps/syncthing/data/Osmand/avnotes /data/media/pictures/unclassified

echo 'Updating the Camera data'
mv /data/apps/syncthing/data/camera/Camera/* /data/media/pictures/unclassified/

echo 'Cleaning laptop home'
mv /data/media/downloads/*jpeg /data/media/downloads/*jpg /data/media/downloads/*png /data/media/pictures/unclassified/

Where :

  • /data/media/pictures/unclassified is a subpath of my external library.
  • The last echo makes sure that the program exits with a return code of 0. The script is improbable as it only takes into account the happy path, and I'll silently miss errors on it's execution. But as a first iteration it will do the job.

Then run the script in a cron and log the output to journald:

0 0 * * * systemd-cat -t archive_fotos /bin/bash /usr/local/bin/ 

Make sure to configure the update library cron job to run after this script has ended.

Sharing content


Keyboard shortcuts

You can press ? to see the shortcuts. Some of the most useful are:

  • f: Toggle favourite
  • Shift+a: Archive element


Create albums from a directory structure using external library

As it's not yet supported alvistar has created immich-albums

Immich Albums is a tool designed to create albums in Immich from a folder structure. Assets needs to be loaded as external library in Immich then you can launch script to create albums.


  • Clone the repository:
git clone
  • Navigate to the project directory:
cd immich-albums
  • Install dependencies:
poetry install
  • Activate virtual environment:
 poetry shell
  • Test installation:
im --help


The following are required arguments:

  • --api-key: Immich API key
  • --api-host: Immich API host. Example: https://localhost:22283/api
  • --original-path: Path to local albums
  • --replace-path: Path as seen by Immich host

Original path is the path to your local albums. If for example your albums are stored in /home/user/albums and you mounted that path under docker as /mnt/albums you need to pass /home/user/albums as --original-path and /mnt/albums as --replace-path.


Api host should be the API endpoint of your Immich instance.

Example: https://localhost:22283/api

cd /home/user/albums im --api-key YOUR_API_KEY --api-host YOUR_API_HOST --original-path /home/user/albums --replace-path /mnt/albums .

Edit an image metadata

You can't do it directly through the interface yet, use exiftool instead.

This is interesting to remove the geolocation of the images that are not yours

Fix a file date on a external library

You can change the dates directly by touching the file.

touch -d YYYYMMDD path/to/file
If a file is modified outside of Immich, the changes will not be reflected in immich until the library is scanned again. There are different ways to scan a library depending on the use case:

  • Scan Library Files: This is the default scan method and also the quickest. It will scan all files in the library and add new files to the library. It will notice if any files are missing (see below) but not check existing assets
  • Scan All Library Files: Same as above, but will check each existing asset to see if the modification time has changed. If it has, the asset will be updated. Since it has to check each asset, this is slower than Scan Library Files.
  • Force Scan All Library Files: Same as above, but will read each asset from disk no matter the modification time. This is useful in some cases where an asset has been modified externally but the modification time has not changed. This is the slowest way to scan because it reads each asset from disk.

Due to aggressive caching it can take some time for a refreshed asset to appear correctly in the web view. You need to clear the cache in your browser to see the changes. This is a known issue and will be fixed in a future release. In Chrome, you need to open the developer console with F12, then reload the page with F5, and finally right click on the reload button and select "Empty Cache and Hard Reload".

In my case I had to see in which albums I added the files that were of the date 2023-07-02 so I used this command to build the touch -d iterative command.

import requests
import os

base_url = ""
directory = "directory/to/correct"
original_path = "/server/path/for/external/library/"
replace_path = "/docker/path/for/external/library"
albums = {}

payload = {}
headers = {
    "Accept": "application/json",
    "Cookie": "XXXX",

def get_asset_by_original_path(path):
    response = requests.request(
        "GET", f"{base_url}/assets?originalPath={path}", headers=headers, data=payload
    return response.json()[0]

for filename in os.listdir(f"{original_path}/{directory}"):
    full_path = f"{original_path}/{directory}/{filename}"
    if os.path.isfile(full_path):
        replaced_path = full_path.replace(original_path, replace_path)
        # print(f"searching for: {replaced_path}")
        asset = get_asset_by_original_path(replaced_path)
        asset_id = asset["id"]
        if asset_id is not None:
            if "2023-07-02" in asset["fileCreatedAt"]:
                # print("Bad date")
                album_data = requests.request(
                for album in [album["albumName"] for album in album_data]:
                    albums.setdefault(album, [])

for album, archives in albums.items():
    print(f'{album}: {" ".join(archives)}')

Rotate pictures or videos

Until Image rotation is supported you have to manually rotate the media. For videos the best way I've found is to:

  • Annotate the file paths on two lists clockwise and counterclockwise.
  • Run the script on those paths (-c for counterclockwise and without argument for clockwise)
  • Run the script to correct the dates of the archivesj

Not there yet

There are some features that are still lacking: