Gallery1:Performance Tips - Gallery Codex
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Gallery1:Performance Tips

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Performance Tips

Gallery performance is very good for small to medium installations. Because of Gallery's architecture, larger numbers of photos and albums can cause certain operations (like viewing the main page) to run slowly. The sizes that trigger slowdowns vary greatly from depending on the capabilities of your server, but it's reasonable to say that over 5,000 photos will begin to get slow on a PIII 800Mhz machine, over 10,000 on a P4 2Ghz machine. There are several things you can do to recover performance in these situations.

  • Disable "Show Album Tree"

Removing this option allows Gallery to generate the index page without having to iterate through many different subalbums, requiring much time.

  • Disable "Accurate Photo Count" (Introduced in 1.4.4-pl2)

Disabling this extremely slow method of counting the number of albums and photos on the main page allows Gallery to generate the index page without recursing through all your albums.

  • Keep albums small

Try to avoid having albums that are huge -- split them further down into subalbums if possible.

  • Cache the main page

This is more involved than the other steps, and requires access to cron. This method will give you the most performance increase. It's also worth noting that if you using caching, the other features that we recommend you disable above don't affect the performance anymore, since the whole page is cached. Gallery, if it finds a certain cache file in its base directory (cache.html), will return the contents of that file (if it's up to date) instead of regenerating the whole main page for every user. To reap the benefits of the cache, add this line to your crontab (crontab -e from the command line)

*/15 * * * * wget -O /path/to/your/gallery/cache.html

This does mean that any updates that affect the main page will take up to 15 minutes to appear for non-logged-in users, but it's a huge performance enhancement.

  • Caching the main page w/ multiple pages

If you have enough top-level albums that they cover multiple pages then you can use this method for caching the main pages. Instead of using wget, use httrack ( Setup a temporary directory some place to create the cached html files in. This httrack command will create the cache.html files:

httrack -s0 "-*" "+**" -N "cache%[set_albumListPage].%t" -O /to/tmp/directory/

Then all you have to do is copy/move over all the cache html files (e.g. cache.html, cache1.html, cache2.html, cache3.html) to your gallery directory.

When you need/want to create new cache files you must delete the old ones first, otherwise you'll just re-cache the old cache html files.

You can use a script and cron to automatically do all this. Here's an example script:

# Remove old cache files
rm /to/html/files/gallery/cache*html
# Clean the tmp directory
rm -rf /to/tmp/directory/*
# Create new cache files
/usr/local/bin/httrack -s0 "-*"  \
   "+**" -N "cache%[set_albumListPage].%t" \
   -O /to/tmp/directory/
# Move over new cache files
mv /to/tmp/directory/cache*html /to/html/files/gallery/

If your main pages don't change often, you can also increase the age of the cache files. The default is 20 minutes, this can be increased by editing the albums.php file. Look for this section:

$cache_stat = @stat($cache_file);
if ($cache_now - $cache_stat[9] < (20 * 60)) {
if ($fp = fopen($cache_file, "rb")) {

and change the second line to something like

if ($cache_now - $cache_stat[9] < (25 * 60 * 60)) {

Which would serve any cache files that are less then 25 hours old.