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Make Joplin work with Nginx Proxy Manager and Duplicati (Docker)

Posted on Oct 24, 2022

I was wondering why Docker apps don’t come as easy to install like Linuxserver’s? Case in point: Joplin.

Well, I really do think Joplin server’s documentation needs a lot more polishing. Fortunately I was able to make it work in my system, even without exposing additional ports to the public, which I’m sharing below.

Why Joplin Server instead of Webdav, Dropbox, OneDrive, NextCloud, etc.

According to Noted:

Docker Compose for Joplin Server

Docker Network

Make sure that you already have a ready Docker Network for your Joplin app and database. This will make sure that you don’t expose additional ports to the public. If you don’t have a dedicated network yet, just run:

sudo docker network create -d bridge examplenetwork

Nginx Proxy Manager

I would assume that you already have the Nginx Proxy Manager installed and it’s running in the same examplenetwork . Now, add a new Proxy Host with your domain name, e.g., then hostname should be joplin_app (container name below) and port 22300.

Install Joplin App and DB

On your favorite directory, just create the docker-compose.yml file, which should contain:

version: '3'

        image: postgres:13
        container_name: joplin_db
            - ./data/postgres:/var/lib/postgresql/data
#        ports:		we don't need this anymore because we're reverse proxying anyway
#            - "5432:5432"
        restart: unless-stopped
            - POSTGRES_PASSWORD=yHZ4TbsyKJI0Xi2sUmXDuz
            - POSTGRES_USER=Barrier1542
            - POSTGRES_DB=Sudden9997
            - examplenetwork
        image: joplin/server:latest
            - db
        container_name: joplin_app
#        ports:		we don't need this anymore because we're reverse proxying anyway
#            - "22300:22300"
        restart: unless-stopped
            - APP_PORT=22300
            - APP_BASE_URL=
            - DB_CLIENT=pg
            - POSTGRES_PASSWORD=yHZ4TbsyKJI0Xi2sUmXDuz
            - POSTGRES_DATABASE=Sudden9997
            - POSTGRES_USER=Barrier1542
            - POSTGRES_PORT=5432
            - POSTGRES_HOST=db
            - examplenetwork 

            external: true

Don’t worry about the usernames and passwords in my sample docker-compose.yml file, they were just randomly generated and not used for production elsewhere.

Then run sudo docker-compose up -d

Did you know that the Joplin docker image alone is worth 1.2GB of storage in your server? Postgres is another 373MB.

Backup with Duplicati

As Joplin populates your /data/postgres folder in the initial setup, as well as along the way as you actually use your server, it creates files and directories with user and group permissions assigned to systemd-coredump. Worse, they are readable and writable by the user only. That is usually fine, until you try backing them up using Duplicati.

The solution: run your Duplicati docker app with root privileges.

I know the rule about not running apps as root. But that’s the only way I see so far that work. Perhaps, Joplin could give us an option to create and update files in the persistent volumes as a regular user. That way, I can run Duplicati as that same user and could access the files for backup.