Sigal is yet another simple static gallery generator. It’s written in Python and it allows to build a static gallery of images with the following features:

  • process directories recursively,
  • generate HTML pages using jinja2 templates,
  • relative links for a portable output,
  • parallel processing,
  • MIT licensed.

The idea behind Sigal is to ease the use of the javascript librairies like galleria. These librairies do a great job to display the images, Sigal does what is missing: resize images, create thumbnails, generate html pages.

Sigal is currently compatible only with python 2. It will be ported to python 3 when PIL/Pillow will be available for python 3.

Links :

  • Latest documentation on the website
  • Source, issues and pull requests on Github
  • Releases on PyPI

Themes & Demo

Sigal comes with two themes, based on the colorbox and galleria Javascript libraries:


Install the extension with one of the following commands:

$ easy_install sigal

or alternatively if you have pip installed:

$ pip install sigal


  • Argh
  • Jinja2
  • Python Imaging Library (PIL / Pillow)
  • Python Markdown

How to Use

To get started, just run sigal init which will copy an example configuration file in the current directory. All configuration values have a default; values that are commented out serve to show the default. Default values are specified when modified in this example config file.

After adapting the configuration to your needs, put your images in a sub-directory and run sigal build <your images directory>. The next time you run sigal build, only the new images will be processed. Use the -f flag to force the reprocessing of all the images.

To visualize your gallery, you can use sigal serve which runs a basic web server. This server should only be used for local browsing, not in production. Another option is to use the index_in_url = True setting, which will add index.html to the urls to allow browsing without a server.

Help of the sigal build command

$ sigal build [-h] [-d] [-v] [-f] [-c CONFIG] [-t THEME]
        input_dir [output_dir]

Required arguments:

Input directory

Optional arguments:

Output directory (default: _build/)
-h, --help
Show this help message and exit
-f, --force
Force the reprocessing of existing images and thumbnails
-v, --verbose
Show all messages
-d, --debug
Show all message, including debug messages
-c CONFIG, --config CONFIG
Configuration file (default: <input_dir>/
-t THEME, --theme THEME
Specify a theme directory, or a theme name for the themes included with Sigal
-n NCPU, --ncpu NCPU
Number of cpu for parallel execution (default: 1)


The configuration must be set in a file in the current directory. It can also be specified with the -c flag. An example file with explanations on the settings is available in sigal/templates/ and is shown below. This file is copied to the current directory with the sigal init commmand.

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
# All configuration values have a default; values that are commented out serve
# to show the default. Default values are specified when modified in this
# example config file

# Theme :
# - colorbox (default), galleria, or the path to a custom theme directory
theme = 'galleria'

# Size of resized image
img_size = (800, 600)

# Generate thumbnails
# make_thumbs = True

# Subdirectory of the thumbnails
# thumb_dir = 'thumbnails'

# Prefix and/or suffix for thumbnail names (default: '')
# thumb_prefix =
# thumb_suffix = '.tn'

# Thumbnail size (default: (200, 150))
# For the galleria theme, use 280 px for the width
# For the colorbox theme, use 200 px for the width
thumb_size = (280, 210)

# Crop the image to fill the box
# thumb_fit = True

# Keep original image (default: False)
# keep_orig = True

# Subdirectory for original images
# orig_dir = 'original'

# Jpeg options
# jpg_options = {'quality': 85,
#                'optimize': True,
#                'progressive': True}

# Add index.html to the URLs
# index_in_url = False

# A list of links (tuples (title, URL))
# links = [('Example link', ''),
#          ('Another link', '')]

# Add a copyright text on the image (default: '')
# copyright = "An example copyright message"

# Google Analytics tracking code (UA-xxxx-x)
# google_analytics = ''

Album information

Information on an album can be given in a file using the markdown syntax, named :

Title: Another example gallery
Thumbnail: test2.jpg

And a *cool* description.

If this file does not exist the directory’s name is used for the title, and the first image of the directory is used as thumbnail.


Version 0.3.3

Released on 2013-03-20.

  • Catch exception when PIL fails to read the exif metadata.

Version 0.3.2

Released on 2013-03-14.

  • Bugfix for PNG files which don’t have exif metadata.
  • Move unit tests to py.test.
  • Fix images path in colorbox theme.
  • Group package meta in a module.

Version 0.3.1

Released on 2013-03-11.

  • Fix the path of the sample config file (which was not included in the previous release).

Version 0.3

Released on 2013-03-04.

  • Fix packaging issues.
  • New setting index_in_url to optionally add index.html to the URLs.
  • New setting links to specify a list of links.
  • Use EXIF info to fix orientation.
  • Replace the jpg_quality setting with a dict of options.
  • Manage directories with only sub-directories and add some checks.
  • Change the command-line interface to use sub-commands: init, build and serve.
  • Parallel processing.

Version 0.2

Released on 2012-12-20.

  • Improve the bundled themes (update galleria, new colorbox theme).
  • Improve the CLI (new arguments, nicer output).
  • Change the licence to MIT.
  • Change the description file to a markdown syntax file.
  • Change the settings file to a python file, and add more settings.

Version 0.1

Released on 2012-05-13.

First public release.

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