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Developer(s)GNU Project[1][2]
Initial release2 June 2011; 11 years ago (2011-06-02)
Stable release
0.12.0[3] Edit this on Wikidata / 18 September 2021; 16 months ago (18 September 2021)
Written inPython, SQL
PlatformLinux,[4] macOS,[4] Microsoft Windows[4]
Available inEnglish, Spanish, German, Dutch, Esperanto, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Slovak, Romanian[5]
TypeWeb server, media hosting and sharing
LicenseAGPLv3, CC0 for site design[6]

GNU MediaGoblin (also shortened to MediaGoblin or GMG) is a free, decentralized Web platform (server software) for hosting and sharing many forms of digital media.[7][8] It strives to provide an extensible, federated, and freedom-respectful software replacement to major media publishing services such as Flickr, DeviantArt, and YouTube.[9][10]


The origins of GNU MediaGoblin date back to 2008, when a gathering was held at the Free Software Foundation in order to discuss the path that Internet communities should take. The answer was that restrictive and centralized structures were both technically and ethically doubtful, and may harm the typical fairness and availability of the Internet.[8] Several projects have since appeared to prevent this, including,, Diaspora, among others.

The MediaGoblin project remains in active development.

MediaGoblin development history
Release Version Date Notable features or events
0.12.0 2021-09-18 Bugfix in media processing[11]
0.11.0 2021-03-10 Transition to Python 3[12]
0.10.0 2020-05-01 New plugin for displaying video subtitles and support for transcoding and displaying video in multiple resolutions[13]
0.9.0 2016-03-26
  • Python 3 support (now supports Python 2.7, Python 3.4 or later)
  • OAuth security improvements
  • Internal improvements for federation (improved database layout and particularly in permitting generic relations, comments, etc.)
  • Improved collection handling
  • Bugfixes[14]
0.8.0 2015-06-04 Improved client to server API[15]
0.7.0 2014-08-26
  • Implemented base API
  • Incorporated skeleton for a more responsive layout
  • Sandy Seventies Speedboat theme
  • Command-line batch uploading
  • Experimental 'blog' media type and a metadata plugin[16]
0.6.0 2013-12-03
  • Web-based administration for user permissions
  • Media complaint handling
  • Non-interactive uploads
  • LDAP authentication
  • User-specific Disk quota
0.5.0 2013-09-05
  • Pluggable authentication system (including OpenID and Mozilla Persona)
  • Pluggable media handling
  • Comment notifications
0.4.0 2013-06-17
0.3.3 2013-03-12 Interface and API enhancements; avoiding unneeded processing of some videos
0.3.2 2012-12-20 Support for 3D models, collections, and API
2012-10 to 2012-11-09 A crowdfunding campaign was launched via the Free Software Foundation[18][19][20]
0.3.1 2012-08-24 Theming support
2011-03 Software development begins[21]

Design and features[edit]

MediaGoblin is part of GNU,[1] and its code is released under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License;[6] meaning that it adheres to the principles of free and open-source software. The copyright on everything else (e.g. design, logo) is given to the public domain. Christine Lemmer Webber, the core developer, came up with the name "MediaGoblin" which also makes a pun with the pronunciation of "gobbling".[22]

The main page displays an upper banner with MediaGoblin's typeface and an authentication section for users. The remaining space is left to show thumbnails of the latest posted works. Each user owns a personal profile comprised by two vertical sections – one for uploads arranged as a gallery and another with a customizable text box. For displaying media, the platform focuses on the work itself rather than overstocking with options and buttons; nonetheless, comments can be added under the artwork description. Some other features like tags, metadata, theming, Creative Commons licensing and GPS support can be enabled as separate plug-ins to enrich the usage of GNU MediaGoblin.[23]

MediaGoblin licensing options, featuring Big Buck Bunny.

The platform successfully hosts and displays many sorts of media:

  • As of version 0.3.1 it includes support for plain text (ASCII art), images (PNG and JPEG).
  • HTML5 capabilities are widely used to play video and/or audio contained in WebM format; while FLAC, WAV and MP3 uploads are automatically transcoded to Vorbis audio and then encapsulated into WebM.[24]
  • 3D models support (preview and renderization) was added on 22 October 2012 and is achieved by means of HTML5 Canvas, Thingiview, WebGL and Blender.[25][26]


Gavroche, the mascot of GNU MediaGoblin.

The project mascot is a purple goblin called Gavroche wearing clothing that resembles a stereotypical artist costume.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About GNU MediaGoblin — GNU MediaGoblin unknown documentation". Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Mediagoblin homepage". Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  3. ^ "MediaGoblin 0.12.0 released"; author name string: Ben Sturmfels; publication date: 18 September 2021; retrieved: 6 October 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "MediaGoblin Wiki". MediaGoblin Team. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  5. ^ "GNU MediaGoblin localization - Transifex - Gitorious". Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b "MediaGoblin". Archived from the original on 17 July 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  7. ^ "FSF Directory". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  8. ^ a b "MediaGoblin documentation". GNU MediaGoblin. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  9. ^ "MediaGoblin". GNU MediaGoblin. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  10. ^ "Mediagoblin, el próximo gran proyecto GNU". Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  11. ^ Sturmfels, Ben. "MediaGoblin 0.12.0: Potions". Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  12. ^ Sturmfels, Ben. "MediaGoblin 0.11.0: Punky Magmalian". Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  13. ^ Sturmfels, Ben. "MediaGoblin 0.10.0 released| MediaGoblin". Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  14. ^ "MediaGoblin 0.9.0: The Three Goblineers" (Press release). 26 March 2016.
  15. ^ "MediaGoblin 0.8.0: A Gallery of Fine Creatures" (Press release). 4 June 2015.
  16. ^ "MediaGoblin 0.7.0: Time Traveler's Delight" (Press release). 26 August 2014.
  17. ^ "MediaGoblin 0.4.0 adds document support". The H Open. 18 June 2013. Archived from the original on 26 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  18. ^ Bruce Byfield (2012). "MediaGoblin: Saving the Internet Through Federation". Linux Magazine Online. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  19. ^ "FSF rallies support for GNU MediaGoblin to make media publishing free "as in freedom"" (Press release). Free Software Foundation. 11 October 2012. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  20. ^ "Support". 22 February 1999. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  21. ^ "Version 0.1.0 - Living the Dream". GNU MediaGoblin. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  22. ^ "Original Design Decisions". MediaGoblin. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  23. ^ "Take the tour! Here's what MediaGoblin offers- Living the Dream". GNU MediaGoblin. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  24. ^ "MediaGoblin 0.3.0: Rise of the RoboGoblins". GNU MediaGoblin. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  25. ^ "MediaGoblin now with 3d support: MediaGoblin community and Lulzbot team up". GNU MediaGoblin. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  26. ^ "Media Types — GNU MediaGoblin unknown documentation". Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  27. ^ "Free Software Supporter, Issue 57, December 2012". Free Software Foundation. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2012.

External links[edit]