This guide walks you through the process of installing the self-hosted backend of Standard Notes. While writing this guide, we used a server running Ubuntu 22.04, with 2GB RAM and 1 CPU.
This is Version 2 of our self-hosted setup, released in February 2023. If you began self-hosting prior to this, you are using the "legacy" setup.
Version 2 features only 4 total containers (compared to 13 for legacy) and an over 65% reduction in memory usage (570MB in V2 vs. 1.7GB in legacy for the primary container(s)). Migration instructions from legacy to V2 can be found here.
Configure Docker using the most up to date installation instructions on the Docker website.
Running Standard Notes services requires specifying certain environment variables. You can find them in our Docker entrypoint file
Create a folder where you want to store your working files. We will refer to this folder as your working directory.
.env file in your working directory. Then copy our example values to your file:
curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/standardnotes/server/main/.env.sample > .env
This file contains only the minimum variables required for functioning. You can view the full listing of in-use env vars here.
.env file and make sure the values for the variables in the
KEYS section are properly set. You can run the following command in order to generate a key value for each of the required environment variable:
openssl rand -hex 32
Copy the LocalStack bootstrap script and place it in your working directory. Ensure the file has executable permissions:
curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/standardnotes/server/main/docker/localstack_bootstrap.sh > localstack_bootstrap.sh
chmod +x localstack_bootstrap.sh
Copy the docker-compose.yml file to a file called
docker-compose.yml in your working folder:
curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/standardnotes/server/main/docker-compose.example.yml > docker-compose.yml
(Optional) You can customize your setup in the docker-compose.yml file to your liking. For example, in the
server service you can edit the port mappings (
ports property) to whatever fits your needs.
Change the database password:
openssl rand -hex 12
DB_PASSWORD to this value in
MYSQL_PASSWORD to this value in
After you've finished your edits run the following command:
docker compose pull && docker compose up -d
It will take a moment for the infrastructure to spin up. You can monitor the logs of all services by running the following command:
tail -f logs/*.log
If you encounter issues, check the error logs:
tail -f logs/*.err.
After the infrastructure is up and running, you can check it's available by visiting
http://localhost:3000 in your browser.
Before updating your server, please make sure you have a backup of your data. You can find instructions on how to backup your data here.
After you've made sure you have a backup of your data, you need to stop the server by running the following command:
docker compose down
First, you need to update the following files:
docker-compose.yml - latest version available here
.env - latest version available here
localstack_bootstrap.sh - latest version available here
After you've updated the files, run the following commands:
docker compose pull
docker compose up -d
You are now running the latest version of the server.
By default, the server will run on port
3000 and the files server will run on port
3125. If you have a different service running on these ports, you can customize the port on which you want to run the infrastructure by editing the docker-compose.yml file.
.env file you can add the
PUBLIC_FILES_SERVER_URL environment variable to point the final public-facing URL of your files server. For example, if you are self-hosting on a server on your local network which you know has an IP of 10.0.1.2, set this value to http://10.0.1.2:3125. Read more about configuring your setup for files.
Head over to Securing HTTP traffic of your Sync server for more information on how to set up a reverse proxy.
In the account menu, choose
Advanced options. Under "Sync Server", select Custom, then enter the address of your new server. Then, register for a new account or log in to an existing account and begin using your private new secure Standard Notes server!
You can use your new server with the Standard Notes desktop or mobile app. You will not be able to use app.standardnotes.com with your new server. For web-app access, you'll need to self-host the web app.
Learn more about how to unlock client-side advanced features when using official Standard Notes client distributions.