Tachyon is a faster than light image resizing service that runs on AWS. Super simple to set up, highly available and very performant.

Tachyon is built with some strong opinions and assumptions:

  • Runs on AWS (using CloudFront, Lambda and API Gateway.)
  • Expects original image files to be stored on Amazon S3.
  • Only supports simple image resizing, not a full image manipulation service.

Tachyon works best with WordPress, coupled with S3 Uploads and the Tachyon Plugin.

Tachyon only supports serving from S3 buckets you own, on servers you’re running. For other use cases, consider Photon or Imgix.

Why Tachyon?

Tachyon aims at doing one thing well: serving images from S3. It allows resizing those images, cropping, and changing the image quality, but is not intended to be an all-in-one image manipulation server. This keeps the code lightweight and fast.

Tachyon is entirely self-hosted, and relies on AWS infrastructure. This allows you to manage scale as you need, as well as control the cache.


Tachyon comes in two parts: the server to serve images, and the plugin to use it. To use Tachyon, you need to run at least one server, as well as the plugin on all sites you want to use it.

The server is also available as a Docker image, which can be used in production or to set up a local test environment.


Created by Human Made for high volume and large-scale sites, such as Happytables. We run Tachyon on sites with millions of monthly page views, and thousands of sites.

Written and maintained by Joe Hoyle.

Tachyon is inspired by Photon by Automattic. As Tachyon is not an all-purpose image resizer, rather it uses a media library in Amazon S3, it has a different use case to Photon.

Tachyon uses the Sharp library for resizing operations, which in turn uses the great libvips library. Used under the Apache License 2.0.