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Pleroma-Docker (Unofficial)

Pleroma is a selfhosted social network that uses OStatus/ActivityPub.

This repository dockerizes it for easier deployment.

#include <LICENSE>

 * This repository comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY
 * I am not responsible for burning servers, angry users, fedi drama,
 * thermonuclear war, or you getting fired because your boss saw your NSFW posts.
 * Please do some research if you have any concerns about included
 * features or the software used by this script ***before*** using it.
 * You are choosing to use this setup, and if you point the finger at me for
 * messing up your instance, I will laugh at you.


If this setup is a bit overwhelming there are a lot of other great dockerfiles or guides from the community. A few are linked below. This list is not exhaustive and not ordered.



  • 500mb of free HDD space
  • m4 and awk in remotely recent versions
  • git, curl, or wget if you want smarter build caches and commands like ./pleroma mod
  • jq and dialog if you want to use ./pleroma mod
  • Bash 4.0+ (fancy scripting stuff)
  • Docker 18.06.0+ and docker-compose 1.22.0-rc1+ (We need compose file format 3.7+ for init:)


  • Clone this repository
  • Create a config.exs and .env file
  • Run ./pleroma build and ./pleroma up
  • Profit!


Run ./pleroma build again and start the updated image with ./pleroma up.

You don’t need to stop your pleroma server for either of those commands.


Pleroma maintenance is usually done with mix tasks. You can run these tasks in your running pleroma server using ./pleroma mix [task] [arguments...]. If you need to fix some bigger issues you can also spawn a shell with ./pleroma enter.


Add your customizations (and their folder structure) to custom.d/. They will be copied into the right place when the container starts. You can even replace/patch pleroma’s code with this, because the project is recompiled at startup if needed.

In general: Prepending custom.d/ to pleroma’s customization guides should work all the time.
Check them out in the official pleroma wiki.

For example: A custom thumbnail now goes into custom.d/priv/static/instance/thumbnail.jpeg instead of priv/static/instance/thumbnail.jpeg.


Works exactly like customization, but we have a neat little helper here.

Use ./pleroma mod [regex] to mod any file that ships with pleroma, without having to type the complete path.


All the pleroma options that you put into your *.secret.exs now go into config.exs.

.env stores config values that need to be known at orchestration time.
They should be self-explaining but here’s some bonus info on important ones:


A folder that will be bind-mounted into the container.
This is where pleroma and postgres will store their data.


Values: true / false

By default pleroma-docker deploys a postgresql container and links it to pleroma’s container as a zero-config data store. If you already have a postgres database or want to host it on a physically different machine, set this value to false. Make sure to edit the config :pleroma, Pleroma.Repo variables in config.exs when doing that.

Reverse Proxy (SCRIPT_USE_PROXY)

Values: traefik / nginx / apache / manual

Pleroma is usually run behind a reverse-proxy.
Pleroma-docker gives you multiple options here.


In traefik-mode we will generate a pleroma container with traefik-compatible labels. These will be picked up at runtime to dynamically create a reverse-proxy configuration. This should ‘just work’ if watch=true and exposedByDefault=false are set in the [docker] section of your traefik.conf. SSL will also ‘just work’ once you add a matching [[]] entry in there.


In nginx-mode we will generate a bare nginx container that is linked to pleroma. The nginx container is absolutely unmodified and expects to be configured by you. The nginx file in Pleroma’s Repository is a good starting point.

We will mount your configs like this:

custom.d/server.nginx -> /etc/nginx/nginx.conf
custom.d/vhost.nginx -> /etc/nginx/conf.d/pleroma.conf

To reach your pleroma container from inside nginx use proxy_pass http://pleroma:4000;.

Set SCRIPT_PORT_HTTP and SCRIPT_PORT_HTTPS to the ports you want to listen on.
Specify the ip to bind to in SCRIPT_BIND_IP. These values are required.

The container only listens on SCRIPT_PORT_HTTPS if SCRIPT_ENABLE_SSL is true.

Apache / httpd

Just like nginx-mode this starts an unmodified apache server that expects to be configured by you.
Again Pleroma’s Config is a good starting point.

We will mount your configs like this:

custom.d/server.httpd -> /usr/local/apache2/conf/httpd.conf
custom.d/vhost.httpd -> /usr/local/apache2/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf

To reach your pleroma container from inside apache use ProxyPass [loc] http://pleroma:4000/.


The container only listens on SCRIPT_PORT_HTTPS if SCRIPT_ENABLE_SSL is true.


In manual mode we do not create any reverse proxy for you. You’ll have to figure something out on your own.

If SCRIPT_BIND_IN_MANUAL is true we will forward pleroma:4000 to ${SCRIPT_BIND_IP}:${SCRIPT_PORT_HTTP}.


Values: true / false

If you want to use SSL with your Apache or NGINX containers you’ll need a certificate. Certificates need to be placed into custom.d and will be bind-mounted into the server’s container at runtime.

We will mount your certs like this:

custom.d/ssl.crt -> /ssl/ssl.crt
custom.d/ssl.key -> /ssl/ssl.key

You can reference them in Apache like this:

<VirtualHost *:443>
    SSLEngine on
    SSLCertificateFile "/ssl/ssl.crt"
    SSLCertificateKeyFile "/ssl/ssl.key"

And in NGINX like this:

listen 443 ssl;
ssl_certificate     /ssl/ssl.crt;
ssl_certificate_key /ssl/ssl.key;

In traefik-mode and manual-mode these files and the SCRIPT_ENABLE_SSL value are ignored.