The Pydio Cells image is a container designed to be used in a Docker environment. It only contains what is strictly necessary to run your server.

Run as stand-alone container

Pydio Cells needs a MySQL/MariaDB Database with a privileged user.

Launch a test instance with:

docker run -d --network=host pydio/cells

Enter your database credentials to finalise the configuration at https://localhost:8080 and you are good to go.

If your server has a public IP address and no restriction on the chosen port (firewall...), your instance is also directly exposed at https://<YOUR-SERVER-IP-ADDRESS>:8080.

Before you go live, you probably want to configure persistent data in a docker volume. Assuming you also have a registered domain name (FQDN) for your server, you could go with:

FQDN=<Put Your FQDN here>
docker run -d  -v /home/user/cells_dir:/var/cells -e CELLS_SITE_BIND=:443 -e CELLS_SITE_EXTERNAL=https://$FQDN --network=host pydio/cells


  • -d: run in the background
  • -v /home/user/cells_dir:/var/cells: mount a local folder as Cells working directory
  • -e CELLS_SITE_BIND=:443: use standard reserved port for HTTPS (must be unused, typically by a webserver)
  • -e CELLS_SITE_EXTERNAL=https://$FQDN: (optional) explicitely declare your domain
  • --network=host: directly use the host network, to easily connect to the DB

Run with Docker Compose

Below is a vanilla configuration to run Pydio Cells with docker compose:

version: '3.7'

    image: pydio/cells:latest
    restart: unless-stopped
    ports: ["8080:8080"]
      - cellsdir:/var/cells
      - data:/var/cells/data

    image: mysql:8
    restart: unless-stopped
      MYSQL_DATABASE: cells
      MYSQL_USER: pydio
      MYSQL_PASSWORD: P@ssw0rd
    command: [mysqld, --character-set-server=utf8mb4, --collation-server=utf8mb4_unicode_ci]
      - mysqldir:/var/lib/mysql

    data: {}
    cellsdir: {}
    mysqldir: {}

Note: with this configuration file, in the web installer, use:

  • Host Name: mysql
  • DB User: pydio
  • DB Password: P@ssw0rd

and let the other parameters unchanged to configure the DB connection.

Go further


The default commands when running the image are:

  • cells configure if no installation is found
  • cells start otherwise

If you specify a command, it willd be executed instead, e.g:

docker run pydio/cells cells version
# or to log in a running container with id 5fe... 
docker exec 5fe /bin/sh

Data layout

Below is a list of important files and data present in the volume:

  • /var/cells: main working dir
  • /var/cells/pydio.json: main configuration file
  • /var/cells/data: data
  • /var/cells/logs: logs
  • /var/cells/certs: certificate management
  • /var/cells/services: services information

Environment variables

As previously seen, when launching the image, the start (or configure on 1st launch) command is called: it means that all flags are settable with their associated ENV var, using upper case and CELLS_ prefix.

Below is an extract of relevant ENV variables that you can pass to the container.

Name Value Default
CELLS_SITE_EXTERNAL http(s)://url-to-access (none)
CELLS_WORKING_DIR path in the container /var/cells
CELLS_LOG a valid log level info

More examples

We gather some relevant sample configuration in our main code base. Find the example that suits you and fine tune your setup.

Cells Sync

The Cells Sync Desktop Application might require an additional port, for example if you run behind a reverse proxy that performs TLS termination. In such case:

  • First read this, Setup Cells Server for Cells Sync
  • Make sure to start a container with this env set CELLS_GRPC_EXTERNAL
  • Expose the port that you previously set with CELLS_GRPC_EXTERNAL


Assuming that port 33060 is the port chosen for gRPC, the command should have those two additional parameters,

  • -e CELLS_GRPC_EXTERNAL=33060 (sets the env variable)
  • -p 33060:33060 (exposes the port)

The entire command should look like this:

docker run -d -e CELLS_SITE_EXTERNAL= -e CELLS_SITE_BIND= -e CELLS_GRPC_EXTERNAL=33060 -p 33060:33060 -p 8080:8080 pydio/cells
Back to top