I'm interested in a Docker or mail-in-a-box simple image hosting solution. People should be able to install it on an AWS host or the like, create a personal account, then drag and drop / upload images to the appliance and be able to get image links for hot-linking in forums. Only the owner / people with accounts should be able to browse the full set of images.

I'm not looking for a blog. Everything I've seen with using blogs for image hosting is: it's not easy. It's not install software and it works. It's managing a bunch of plugins and no great linking options.

Imgur offers very few features, a very simple interface, but uploads and linking is easy. Imgur also has terms of service that forbid certain usages. Hence the ask.

What's out there?

Looking around here, at first I just saw Joomla hype, but then I started to find Owncloud hype:

File hosting service similar to drop.io (but self-hosted and free/libre)

That looks like an interesting project, but too much and too complicated for what I'm looking for. So: what is there that's "Owncloud lite"? Anyone? Bueller? Imgur continues to make changes that make it less suitable, but an easy to deploy an use alternative remains elusive.

2 Answers 2


I've just installed Nextcloud (Owncloud fork). I'm a sysadmin and I didn't find it too complicated, even if I installed from source. I mean, if you look at self-hosted solutions I assume you know what you are doing, and installing Nextcloud is no different than installing Wordpress or similar things, it's only another PHP web application, so you have to go through the usual steps:

  • create a folder for it
  • configure Apache
  • install dependencies (all documented here and most already installed on common web servers)
  • create a database and give access
  • browse the app main page, provide the few needed configuration strings and you are done

What on earth can get easier than that if it is self hosted?

  • Except for DNS, mailinabox is super easy to set up: mailinabox.email/guide.html . There's no "configure apache", there's no identify and install missing dependencies, there's no "create a database and give access". Instead it's "get one of these suitable VMs, (complicated DNS for email), run this one liner, browse to app page. Nextcloud is going to have too many bells and whistles after install, too. I want something easy enough for people who are not sysadmins to find easy. Nov 9, 2018 at 16:02
  • Self hosting a image sharing service without being a sysadmin is asking for trouble. I'm glad there's nothing that easy. Mar 2, 2019 at 8:08
  • Non-self-hosting means you are at the whims of providers who change terms down the road. Mar 4, 2019 at 22:21
  • 100% agree. So both choices (self hosting without knowledge and using 3rd party service) lead to trouble. The way out is self hosting WITH knowledge, hence my answer. Mar 5, 2019 at 6:31

A few years later I've found that Chevereto (at obvious dot-com) is a pretty effective Imgur clone and designed for self hosting. Finding a free version of the source is a bit tricky now, the author is trying to steer people to the paid version. To get the easy install experience one needs to use the more official route.

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