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Running PhotoPrism with Docker

If you're not sure, try using Docker Compose first as it requires remembering less command line parameters, and is generally easier to start with for beginners.


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.

Step 1: Start the server

Open a terminal and run this command after replacing ~/Pictures with the folder containing your personal photo and video collection:

docker run -d \
  --name photoprism \
  --security-opt seccomp=unconfined \
  --security-opt apparmor=unconfined \
  -p 2342:2342 \
  -e PHOTOPRISM_ADMIN_PASSWORD="please_change" \
  -v /photoprism/storage \
  -v ~/Pictures:/photoprism/originals \

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.

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.

This is a simplified configuration compared to our Docker Compose example:

  • The /photoprism/import folder is not mounted so that you can't easily access it from your host machine. Uploading files or mounting it via WebDAV is still possible.
  • Settings, index, sidecar files, and thumbnails will be put in /photoprism/storage. You may also mount this path to a local folder instead of an anonymous volume.

The default port 2342 and other configuration values may be changed as needed, see Config Options for details.

Multiple folders can be indexed by mounting them as sub-folders of /photoprism/originals:

-v ~/Example:/photoprism/originals/Example

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 adding -e PHOTOPRISM_READONLY="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: Index your library

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

docker exec -ti 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. 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.

Step 3: When you're done...

You can stop the server and start it again using the following commands:

docker stop photoprism
docker start photoprism

To remove the container completely:

docker rm -f photoprism

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 exec -ti photoprism photoprism backup --help.

Action Command
Update docker pull photoprism/photoprism:latest
Remove Container docker rm -f photoprism
View Logs docker logs --tail=25 -f photoprism
Open Terminal docker exec -ti photoprism bash
Show Help docker exec -ti photoprism photoprism help
Show Config docker exec -ti photoprism photoprism config
Reset Database docker exec -ti photoprism photoprism reset
Backup Database docker exec -ti photoprism photoprism backup -a -i
Restore Database docker exec -ti photoprism photoprism restore -a -i
Index Originals docker exec -ti photoprism photoprism index
Import Files docker exec -ti 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.