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Version: Current

User generated content

Uploaded files

There are several use cases for which files can be uploaded and used on the website:

  • each user can have a profile picture
  • a blog post can contain a picture
  • food share points can have a header picture
  • wall posts can contain one or more picture
  • food baskets can contain one or more picture
  • emails can have attachments

All uploads are limited to 1.5 MB per file. While email attachments can be any file type, all other cases are restricted to images only. All of these are optional which means that, for example, a food share point can be created without a header picture. Every uploaded file can only be used for one of the types in the list above.


Adding or changing a picture is always done in two steps:

  1. The clients uploads the file to the POST /api/uploads endpoint. The server will assign a UUID to the file and store it in the data/uploads/ directory. In addition, an entry in the uploads database table is created that links the UUID to the file and its meta data. The UUID is returned to the client and can be used to access the file using the GET /api/uploads/{uuid} endpoint. The database entry also contains a usage id and type. At this point, both values will be null which means that the uploaded file is not yet being used anywhere.
  2. The client asks the server to use the previously created UUID for one of the usage types above. The API endpoint for this depends on the usage type. For example, the PATCH /user/photo endpoint can be used with the UUID in the request body to set the user's profile picture. The server will link the entry in the uploads database table to the profile by setting the usage type and usage id. In this example, the usage type is set to "profile photo" and the usage id is set to the corresponding profile id.

For security, using uploaded files is limited to the user who uploaded it. This means that the second step fails if the UUID was created by another user.


A client can not delete an uploaded file. A file and its corresponding database entry is deleted automatically by the server if

  • a new uploaded file is linked to the same entity. For example, if a file is set as profile picture, the previous picture of that profile is deleted.
  • the linked entity is deleted. For example, if a blog post is deleted, its corresponding picture is also deleted.
  • the linked entity does not exist anymore. This should not happen because of the previous case, but for backwards compatibility it might nevertheless happen sometimes.
  • their usage id and type are not set two days after upload. This can happen if the client only finished step 1 of the upload procedure.

The first two cases happen immediately, while the last two cases are done in the nightly maintenance job.

Backwards compatibility

The sections above describe the ideal case and affects new uploaded files. There are, however, a few exceptions for files that were uploaded earlier. Roughly speaking, there are three versions of uploads:

  • before approximately 2020: Before using the upload API there was a different upload endpoint for each of the use cases. The server created several resized versions of the file, each with a different prefix like '50q' or 'thumbcrop'. All these files were stored in the images/ directory. The "deleting" section above does not apply to these files at all.
  • before May 2024: Since the uploaded API was introduced in 2020, files are stored in the way described above. This was not introduced for all use cases at the same time. Also, the database entries for these files do not have a usage type or id, which means they cannot be linked to the corresponding entity. The fourth case in the "deleting" section does not apply to these files.
  • since May 2024: Tagging of uploaded files was introduced in release "Laugenbrezel". Files that were uploaded after this are treated as described above.