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Setting up Tube Archivist with Docker#

Tube Archivist requires Docker. Please make sure that Docker is installed and running on your computer before continuing. Docker is required because Tube Archivist depends on three main components split up into separate containers. Solutions that do not utilize the containers are largely untested and unsupported.

For minimal system requirements, the Tube Archivist stack needs around 2GB of available memory for a small testing setup and around 4GB of available memory for a mid to large sized installation. Minimum requirements for CPU are usually expected to be dual core with 4 threads, with better performance coming from quad core and higher, and more available threads.


For arm64: Tube Archivist is built as a multi-architecture (multi-arch) container, same for Redis. Elasticsearch should use the official image for arm64 support. Other architectures are not supported.


ARM64 builds are essentially untested, as none of the devs have access to any ARM64 devices. There are regular unstable builds, for both architecture platforms. Help with testing to verify things are working as expected, also on ARM64.

Save the docker-compose.yml file from the Tube Archivist repository somewhere permanent on your system, keeping it named docker-compose.yml. You'll need to refer to it whenever starting this application.


Tube Archivist is a Python application that displays and serves your video collection, built with Django.

  • Serves the interface on port 8000
  • Needs a volume for the video archive linked to /youtube.
  • Needs a volume to save application data linked to /cache.
  • The environment variables ES_URL and REDIS_HOST are needed to tell Tube Archivist from where Elasticsearch and Redis respectively are accessible.
  • The environment variables HOST_UID and HOST_GID allows Tube Archivist to chown the video files to the main host system user instead of the container user.
    • These variables are optional and not setting them will disable that functionality. That might be needed if the underlying filesystem doesn't support chown, like NFS.
  • Set the environment variable TA_HOST to match with the expected ways you will access your Tube Archivist instance.
    • This can be a domain like, a subdomain like or an IP address like
    • If you are running Tube Archivist behind a SSL reverse proxy, specify the protocol (https://).
    • You can add multiple hostnames separated with a space.
    • Any wrong configurations here will result in a Bad Request (400) response.
  • Change the environment variables TA_USERNAME and TA_PASSWORD to create the initial credentials.
  • ELASTIC_PASSWORD is the password for Elasticsearch. The environment variable ELASTIC_USER is optional and only if you want to change the username from the default, elastic.
  • Optionally, set ES_SNAPSHOT_DIR to change the folder where ES is storing its snapshots. When changing the location, make sure you have persistence of the new location. That is an absolute path from inside the ES container.
  • Set ES_DISABLE_VERIFY_SSL, a boolean value, to disable SSL verification for connections to ES, e.g. for self-signed certificates.
  • For the scheduler to know what time it is, set your timezone with the TZ environment variable, defaults to UTC.
  • Set ENABLE_CAST, a boolean value, to enable sending videos to your cast-ready devices, read more.

Configuring Tube Archivist#

Edit the following values in your local docker-compose.yml file:

Under tubearchivist->environment:

  • HOST_UID: the UID of a local user, for if you want Tube Archivist to create files with a specific UID. Remove if default UID is acceptable or required.
  • HOST_GID: the GID of a local group, same as the HOST_UID.
  • TA_HOST: change it to match the address of the machine you're running this on. This can be an IP address or a domain name.
  • TA_PASSWORD: pick a password to use when logging in.
  • ELASTIC_PASSWORD: pick a password for the Elasticsearch service. You won't need to type this yourself, but it does need to match with the archivist-es reference.
  • TZ: your time zone. If you don't know yours, you can look it up here.

Under archivist-es->environment:

  • "ELASTIC_PASSWORD=verysecret": change verysecret to match the ELASTIC_PASSWORD you picked above.

By default, Docker will store all data, including downloaded data, in its own data-root directory (which you can find by running docker info and looking for the "Docker Root Dir"). If you want to use other locations, you can replace the media:, cache:, redis:, and es: volume names with absolute paths; if you do, remove them from the volumes: list at the bottom of the file.

Use the latest (the default) or a named semantic version tag for the Docker images. The unstable tag is for intermediate testing, and, as the name implies, is unstable and not be used on your main installation but in a testing environment.

Port Collisions#

If you have a collision on port 8000, best solution is to use Docker's HOST_PORT and CONTAINER_PORT distinction: For example, to change the interface to port 9000, use 9000:8000 in your docker-compose.yml file under tubearchivist->port.

Should that not be an option, the TA container takes these two additional environment variables:

  • TA_PORT: To actually change the port where nginx listens, make sure to also change the ports value in your docker-compose.yml file.
  • TA_UWSGI_PORT: To change the default uwsgi port from 8080, which is used for container internal networking between uwsgi, serving the django application, and nginx.

Changing any of these two environment variables will change the files nginx.conf and uwsgi.ini at startup, using sed in your container.


Elasticsearch Version

Tube Archivist depends on Elasticsearch 8.

Use bbilly1/tubearchivist-es to automatically get the recommended version, or use the official image with the version tag in the docker-compose.yml file.

Use the official Elasticsearch image for arm64.

Elasticsearch stores the video metadata and enables searchable functionality for all fields. Elasticsearch is also used to keep track of the download queue.

  • Needs to be accessible over the default port 9200
  • Needs a volume to store persistent data linked to /usr/share/elasticsearch/data

Follow the documentation for additional installation details and options.

Elasticsearch on a custom port#

Should you need to change the port for Elasticsearch to, for example 9500, follow these steps:

  • Set the environment variable http.port=9500 for the ES container
  • Change the expose value for the ES container to match your port number
  • For the TA container, change the ES_URL environment variable, i.e. ES_URL=http://archivist-es:9500



You most likely can't use the same Redis instance between other services, especially if they also use Celery as a task scheduler.

Redis functions as a cache and temporary link between the application and the file system. Redis is used to store and display messages and configuration variables.

  • Needs to be accessible over the default port 6379
  • Needs a volume to allow configuration persistence linked to /data.

Redis on a custom port#

For some environments, it might be required to run Redis on a non-standard port. For example, to change the Redis port to 6380, set the following values:

  • For the TA container, set the REDIS_PORT environment variable, i.e. REDIS_PORT=6380
  • For the archivist-redis service, change the ports to 6380:6380
  • Additionally, set the following value to the archivist-redis service: command: --port 6380 --loadmodule /usr/lib/redis/modules/

Start the application#

From a terminal, cd into the directory you saved the docker-compose.yml file in and run docker compose up --detach. The first time you do this, Docker will download the appropriate images, which can take an additional minute or so.

You can follow the logs with docker compose logs -f. Once it's ready, it will print something like celery@1234567890ab ready. At this point you should be able to go to http://your-host:8000 and log in with the TA_USER/TA_PASSWORD credentials.

You can bring the application down by running docker compose down in the same directory.


If you're still having trouble, join us on discord and come to the #support channel.