Distribusi is a content management system for the web that produces static pages based on the file system.
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Distribusi CMS

PyPI version

distribusi is a content management system for the web that produces static index pages based on folders in the filesystem. It is inspired by the automatic index functions featured in several web servers. It works by traversing the file system and directory hierarchy to automatically list all the files in the directory and providing them with html classes and tags for easy styling.


While a Pip install will pull in Python dependencies, you might need system dependencies. This package requires two underlying packages. Those are python-magic, and pillow. Here are the installation documentation for those packages:

Optional requirements

If you wish to use the --caption flag to add image captions read from EXIF comment metadata you will need a utility called exiftool.

You can install it via your package manager. For other options please consult the website: https://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/

Install It

$ export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/.local/bin
$ pip install --user distribusi

Upgrade It

If you already have it, you can upgrade with:

$ pip install -U distribusi

Use It

Get help with:

$ distribusi --help

Make a distribusi of your home folder:

$ distribusi -d ~/

You will find that you now have an index.html in every folder.

Create a quick gallery for the web:

$ distribusi -d /path/to/my/photos -t

This creates an index.html with base64 encoded thumbnails.

Generate verbose output:

$ distribusi -v

Make an index of the archive page:

$ distribusi -d /var/www/archive/my_event -t -v


Distribusi was first conceptualized as a tool which supported a contribution by Dennis de Bel, Danny van der Kleij and Roel Roscam Abbing to the ruru house organized by Reinaart Vanhoe and the ruangrupa collective during 2016 Sonsbeek Biennale in Arnhem. During the biennale time the ruru house was a lively meeting place with a programme of discussions, workshops, lectures, culinary activities, performances, pop-up markets and even karaoke evenings, where curators and Arnhemmers met.

The contribution consisted of setting up distribusi.ruruhuis.nl (distribusi is bahasa Indonesian for 'distribution') which was a website connected to a server in the space. Rather than a hidden administrative interface, the server was present and visible and an invitation was extended to visitors to use it to publish material online. This was done by inserting a USB-drive into any of the ports. The distribusi script would then turn the contents of that stick it into a website. Once the USB-drive was removed that website was no longer on-line. Over time distribusi.ruruhuis.nl hosted photos, books and movies. The website is now off-line but the tool that was used to make it is still used in Varia



Dianaband used distribusi for https://fragments1444.ink/.

"Individuals collecting fragments each have their own folder. When they put a story, picture, audio, or video file inside a folder, each fragment is assigned a serial number, and gets accumulated in the fragments of hospitality website.The fragments connect us. We hope that we can choose the “nature and attitude” of the medium that mediates our connection." https://fragments1444.ink/about.html

Distribusi verse

An attempt to make distribusi into a web interface that can be operated remotely without any knowlegde of CLI. Trying to somehow combine the ideas of distribusi with the ideas of a tildeverse or Tilde club, but also be neither of these ideas. This project is made for Autonomous Practices at the WDKA in Rotterdam.

See crunk/distribusi-verse for more.


Inspired a re-implementation in Go, see decentral1se/distribusi-go for more.

Change It

You'll need to get a copy of the repository and then do an editable install:

$ git clone https://git.vvvvvvaria.org/varia/distribusi.git && cd distribusi
$ python3 -m venv .venv && source .venv/bin/activate
$ pip install -e .

You're then ready to make your changes and experiment with them.

Release It

You'll need a PyPi account and to be added as a maintainer.

Please ask around @ Varia for who has PyPi access.

$ # ... change the version number in setup.py ... #
$ pip install twine wheel
$ make publish