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Setup Using Docker Compose

Before you start, make sure you have Docker installed on your system. It is available for Mac, Linux and Windows. Developers may skip this and move on to the Developer Guide.

We plan to provide a single binary.


Windows users may need to disable the WSL 2 based engine in Docker Settings > General to mount drives other than C:. Please use this docker-compose.yml example to get started and increase the Docker memory limit to 4 GB or more, as the default of 2 GB may reduce indexing performance or cause restarts.


macOS users should increase the Docker memory limit to 4 GB or more, as the default of 2 GB may reduce indexing performance or cause restarts. Please use this docker-compose.yml example to get started.


All commands may have to be prefixed with sudo when not running as root. Note that this will change the home directory ~ to /root in your configuration. Kernel security modules such as SELinux have been reported to cause issues.

Raspberry Pi

An image for the Raspberry Pi is available as well.

Step 1: Configure

Download our docker-compose.yml file (right click and Save Link As... or use wget) to a folder of your choice, and change the configuration as needed:


Change Password

Please change PHOTOPRISM_ADMIN_PASSWORD so that PhotoPrism starts with a secure initial password. Never use photoprism, or other easy-to-guess passwords, on a public server. A minimum length of 4 characters is required.

Your personal photo and video collection will be mounted from ~/Pictures by default, where ~ is a placeholder for your home directory. We'll refer to this as the originals folder.

You may mount any folder accessible from your computer, including network drives. Note that PhotoPrism won't be able to see folders that have not been mounted. Multiple folders can be indexed by mounting them as sub-folders of /photoprism/originals:

  - "~/friends:/photoprism/originals/friends"
  - "/media/photos:/photoprism/originals/media"

The import folder points to ~/Import by default, so that you can easily access it. If you don't need this feature, e.g. because you manage all files manually or use a different tool for importing, you can safely remove the volume. Using import is strictly optional.

Settings, index, sidecar files, and thumbnails will be put in storage by default. You may use an anonymous volume or absolute path instead, just don't remove it completely so that you don't lose your index and albums after restarting or upgrading the container.

Read-Only Mode

Running PhotoPrism in read-only mode disables all features that require write permissions, like importing, uploading, renaming, and deleting files. You may enable it by setting PHOTOPRISM_READONLY to "true". In addition, you may mount the originals folder with :ro flag so that Docker blocks write operations.


Make sure there is enough disk space available and verify file system permissions before starting to index: The originals folder must be readable, while storage must be readable and writeable.

Step 2: Start the server

Open a terminal, go to the folder in which you saved the config file and run this command to start the server:

docker-compose up -d

Now open http://localhost:2342/ in a Web browser to see the user interface and sign in using the password set in PHOTOPRISM_ADMIN_PASSWORD. You may change it in Settings, or using the photoprism passwd command in a terminal. A minimum length of 4 characters is required.

The port and other basic settings may be changed in docker-compose.yml. Remember to stop and re-create the container whenever configuration values have been changed:

docker-compose stop photoprism
docker-compose up -d photoprism

Step 3: Index your library

Go to Library in our Web UI to start indexing or importing. Alternatively, you may run this command in a terminal to index all files in your originals folder:

docker-compose exec photoprism photoprism index

While indexing, a JPEG sidecar file may automatically be created for RAW, HEIF, TIFF, PNG, BMP, and GIF files. It is required for classification and resampling. By default, it will be created in the storage folder, so that your originals can be mounted read-only. You may configure PhotoPrism to store it in the same folder, next to the original, instead.

Pictures will become visible one after another. You can watch the indexer working in the terminal, or the Logs tab in Library.

Your photos and videos can now be browsed, organized in albums, and shared with others. You may continue using your favorite tools, like Photoshop or Lightroom, to edit, add and delete files in the originals folder. Run photoprism index, or go to Library and click Start, to update the index as needed.

Easy, isn't it?

Reducing Server Load

If you're running out of memory - or other system resources - while indexing, please limit the number of workers by setting PHOTOPRISM_WORKERS to a value less than the number of logical CPU cores in docker-compose.yml. Also make sure your server has swap configured so that indexing doesn't cause restarts when there are memory usage spikes. As a measure of last resort, you may additionally disable image classification using TensorFlow.

Command Reference

The help command shows a complete list of commands and config options. Use the --help flag to see a detailed command info like docker-compose exec photoprism photoprism backup --help.

Action Command
Start docker-compose up -d
Stop docker-compose stop
Update docker-compose pull
View Logs docker-compose logs --tail=25 -f
Open Terminal docker-compose exec photoprism bash
Show Help docker-compose exec photoprism photoprism help
Show Config docker-compose exec photoprism photoprism config
Reset Database docker-compose exec photoprism photoprism reset
Backup Database docker-compose exec photoprism photoprism backup -a -i
Restore Database docker-compose exec photoprism photoprism restore -a -i
Index Originals docker-compose exec photoprism photoprism index
Import Files docker-compose exec photoprism photoprism import

Complete Rescan

photoprism index --all will re-index all originals, including already indexed and unchanged files. This may be necessary after upgrading, especially to new major versions.