Browse tons of pictures stored on a NAS (samba server)

All my pictures are stored on a NAS I can access using samba. I found various way to mount the samba share in /e/ but I’m not quite happy with any of them.

When I mount the share using “Android Samba Client”, it appears in the file manager which is great. However, the gallery app doesn’t recognize this additional storage. In fact, no gallery app I found so far does. Why not? Why can’t I add the folder in the NAS a separate album?

My workaround: Use a file manager to browse the pictures. I even installed another one alongside the default /e/ file manager since I didn’t get thumbnails in this one. But all file managers have this flaw: Their not designed to browse photos. They only show the content of one folder, and not all files, including the ones in sub folders. But this would be important since my pictures are stored in a bunch of folders, on per month. And: File managers don’t sort by EXIF date. I’d like my pictures to be organized by the date they where taken.

So, does anyone have a similar setup and has anyone found a better solution to this? I would appreciate any tip. Thanks a lot.

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I use Solid Explorer (full version) to access Samba shares on my network. It does not show photos from sub-folders, but once you open a folder, it has a Gallery view option that shows thumbnails and can be configured per folder. It also provides access to remote FTP sites and can act as an FTP server for local file transfers to/from your device.

depending on your use case (you want to sort, move or delete images/folders) - you could offer them via http in a dedicated gallery web app if you can install arbitrary runtimes or docker on your NAS

Thank you both, @dirby7 and @tcecyk.

I’ve looked more into samba capable file navigators. I settled for File Manager Plus since I didn’t want to buy the Solid Explorer full version and the ads are quite aggressive.

Using a http based gallery app would be a solution, indeed. But I have to say, I’m overwhelmed by all the choices. The list you posted seems to be very helpful but I’ll have to make my way through.

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gave the list a quick review, simple to more complex and one commercial item. They all have container images you can bringup via docker-compose, but can involve config editing.


  • Files Gallery (I have no affiliation) - it’s a single file drop. Shows a nag screen on browser load and it is opening cdn js. Needs php-gd for the images, but otherwise runs from a php -S localhost:8080 if you want to evaluate if you like the concept of using an http browser for your images. Change localhost to your hostname or local ip to reach it from the phone.

Somewhat related, you might like SyncThing to automatically copy all the photos from your devices to your home file server (and/or a home backup server). From there, I recommend Cobian Reflector to backup to a cloud hosted (s)FTP/WebDav storage service.