thumbd

Node.js/AWS/ImageMagick-based image thumbnailing service.

npm install thumbd
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Thumbd

Build Status: Build Status

Thumbd is an image thumbnailing server built on top of Node.js, SQS, S3, and ImageMagick.

You can easily run Thumbd on Heroku. Simply set the appropriate environment variables with config:set and deploy using the Procfile provided.

Setup

apt-get install imagemagick
npm install thumbd

Thumbd requires the following environment variables to be set:

  • AWS_KEY the key for your AWS account (the IAM user must have access to the appropriate SQS and S3 resources).
  • AWS_SECRET the AWS secret key.
  • AWS_REGION the AWS Region of the bucket. Defaults to: us-east-1.
  • BUCKET the bucket to download the original images from. The thumbnails will also be placed in this bucket.
  • CONVERT_COMMAND the ImageMagick convert command. Defaults to convert.
  • REQUEST_TIMEOUT how long to wait in milliseconds before aborting a remote request. Defaults to 15000.
  • S3_ACL the acl to set on the uploaded images. Must be one of private, or public-read. Defaults to private.
  • S3_STORAGE_CLASS the storage class for the uploaded images. Must be either STANDARD or REDUCED_REDUNDANCY. Defaults to STANDARD.
  • SQS_QUEUE the queue name to listen for image thumbnailing.
    • As of version 2.0.0, the integer identifier from the queue URL is no longer required.

You can export these variables to your environment, or specify them when running the thumbd CLI.

Personally, I set these environment variables in a .env file and execute thumbd using Foreman.

Server

The thumbd server:

  • listens for thumbnailing jobs on the queue specified.
  • downloads the original image from our thumbnailng S3 bucket, or from an HTTP(s) resource.
    • HTTP resources are prefixed with http:// or https://.
    • S3 resources are a path to the image in the S3 bucket indicated by the BUCKET environment variable.
  • Uses ImageMagick to perform a set of transformations on the image.
  • uploads the thumbnails created back to S3, with the following naming convention: [original filename excluding extension]_[thumbnail suffix].jpg

Assume that the following thumbnail job was received over SQS:

{
    "original": "example.png",
    "descriptions": [
        {
            "suffix": "tiny",
            "width": 48,
            "height": 48
        },
        {
            "suffix": "small",
            "width": 100,
            "height": 100,
            "background": "red"
        },
        {
            "suffix": "medium",
            "width": 150,
            "height": 150,
            "strategy": "bounded"
        }
    ]
}

Once thumbd processes the job, the files stored in S3 will look something like this:

  • /example.png
  • /example_tiny.jpg
  • /example_small.jpg
  • /example_medium.jpg

Client

Submit thumbnailing jobs from your application by creating an instance of a thumbd client (clients will soon be offered for other languages).

var Client = require('./thumbd').Client,
    client = new Client({
        awsKey: 'AWS-KEY',
        awsSecret: 'AWS-SECRET',
        awsRegion: 'AWS-REGION',
        sqsQueue: 'thumbnailing-queue',
        s3Bucket: 'thumbnails'
    });

var destination = '/example/awesome.jpg';

client.upload('/tmp/awesome.jpg', destination, function(err) {
    if (err) throw err;
    client.thumbnail(destination, [{suffix: 'small', width: 100, height: 100, background: 'red', strategy: 'matted'}]);
});

Thumbnail Descriptions

The descriptions received in the thumbnail job describe the way in which thumbnails should be generated.

description accepts the following keys:

  • suffix a suffix describing the thumbnail.
  • width the width of the thumbnail.
  • height the height of the thumbnail.
  • background background color for matte.
  • format what should the output format of the image be, e.g., jpg, gif, defaults to jpg.
  • strategy indicate an approach for creating the thumbnail.
    • matted maintain aspect ratio, places image on width x height matte.
    • bounded (default) maintain aspect ratio, don't place image on matte.
    • fill both resizes and zooms into an image, filling the specified dimensions.
  • quality the quality of the thumbnail, in percent. e.g. 90.

CLI

Starting the server:

thumbd server --aws_key=<key> --aws_secret=<secret> --sqs_queue=<sqs queue name> --bucket=<s3 thumbnail bucket> [--aws_region=<region>] [--tmp_dir=</tmp>] [--s3_acl=<private or public-read>] [--s3_storage_class=<STANDARD or REDUCED_REDUNDANCY>]

Manually submitting an SQS thumbnailing job (useful for testing purposes):

thumbd thumbnail --remote_image=<path to image s3 or http> --descriptions=<path to thumbnail description JSON file> --aws_key=<key> --aws_secret=<secret> --sqs_queue=<sqs queue name> [--aws_region=<region>]
  • remote_image indicates the S3 object to perform the thumbnailing operations on.
  • thumbnail_descriptions the path to a JSON file describing the dimensions of the thumbnails that should be created (see example.json in the data directory).

Production Notes

At Attachments.me, thumbd thumbnails tens of thousands of images a day. There are a few things you should know about our production deployment:

Thumbd in Production

  • thumbd was not designed to be bullet-proof:
    • it is run with an Upstart script, which keeps the thumbnailing process on its feet.
  • Node.js is a single process, this does not take advantage of multi-processor environments.
    • we run an instance of thumbd per-CPU on our servers.
  • we use Foreman's export functionality to simplify the process of creating Upstart scripts.
  • be midful of the version of ImageMagick you are running:
    • make sure that you build it with the appropriate extensions for images you would like to support.
    • we've had issues with some versions of ImageMagick, we run 6.6.2-6 in production.
  • Your SQS settings are important:
    • setup a visibility-timeout/message-retention value that allows for a reasonable number of thumbnailing attempts.
    • we use long-polling to reduce the latency time before a message is read.
  • in production, thumbd runs on Node 0.8.x. It has not been thoroughly tested with Streams 2.

The Future

thumbd is a rough first pass at creating an efficient, easy to deploy, thumbnailing pipeline. Please be liberal with your feature-requests, patches, and feedback.

Copyright (c) 2012 Attachments.me. See LICENSE.txt for further details.

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