Sep 29, 2022

I don’t participate on social media sites, but I do want to be able to easily share public photos with friends. This site works, but i wanted something built for photos with album support and options to make some public or private.

The Self Hosted show has talked a lot about photo sharing solutions. In episode 28 they mention Lychee. The Self Hosted show has talked a lot about photo sharing solutions. In episode 28 they mention Lychee. This is a very simple, open source photo album server that fit what I was looking for perfectly.

As usual, I found a great docker implementation by the good people over at, complete with a docker-compose file which required very little tweaking.

version: "3"
    container_name: lychee_mariadb
    restart: always
      - ./mariadb-lychee/data:/config
      - MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=rootpassword
      - MYSQL_DATABASE=lychee
      - MYSQL_USER=lychee
      - MYSQL_PASSWORD=dbpassword
      - PGID=1000
      - PUID=1000
      - TZ=America/Chicago
    container_name: lychee
    restart: always
      - mariadb-lychee
      - ./config:/config
      - ./pictures:/pictures
      - DB_HOST=mariadb-lychee
      - DB_USERNAME=lychee
      - DB_PASSWORD=dbpassword
      - DB_DATABASE=lychee
      - DB_PORT=3306
      - PGID=1000
      - PUID=1000
      - TZ=America/Chicago
      - 80:80

Easy, simple, no big deal.

The trick as always is to get nginx and ssl working with the docker container.

I sort of had a blueprint for how to set this up from my healthchecks deployment. It was easy to copy/paste/edit the config.

server {
    listen 80;
	listen [::]:80;

	location / {
	    proxy_pass; # lychee docker

Yep, its that easy. Then all it needed was to be put through certbot to enable SSL and its done.

Lychee is pretty great so far. Super easy to manage and control albums, sharing, users, etc. The minimalist interface is just what I wanted. It has a cool feature where it will import a photo given a direct link to the file. I can see this being useful to make grabbing images from the internet easily. It has fairly obvious dropbox integration, which i dont use, but I’m interested to see what other platforms the might be able to pull from.

Check it out