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docker-pulls-badge Continuous testing and deployment

A docker image with only the bare essentials needed to run koel. It includes apache and a php runtime with required extensions.

See the Changelog to keep track of changes to the image.

⚠ Image changed to phanan/koel on 2022-04-15

This repository no longer updates hyzual/koel. The latest version is now at phanan/koel:latest.


This container does not include a database. It requires another container to handle the database.

Since Koel supports many databases you are free to choose any Docker image that hosts one of those databases.

koel/docker (this image) has been tested with MySQL and PostgreSQL.

Run with docker-compose and MySQL

docker-compose is the easiest way to get started. It will start both the database container and this image. Clone this repository and edit docker-compose.mysql.yml. Make sure to replace passwords !

Check out the ./docker-compose.mysql.yml file for more details.

Then run docker-compose:

docker-compose -f ./docker-compose.mysql.yml up -d

Run with docker-compose and PostgreSQL

Clone this repository and edit docker-compose.postgres.yml. Make sure to replace passwords !

Check out the ./docker-compose.postgres.yml file for more details.

Then run docker-compose:

docker-compose -f ./docker-compose.postgres.yml up -d

First run

On the first run, you will need to:

  1. Generate APP_KEY
  2. Create an admin user
  3. Initialize the database

All these steps are achieved by running koel:init once:

Replace <container_name_for_koel> in the command by the actual container name.

docker exec --user www-data -it <container_name_for_koel> bash
# Once inside the container, you can run commands:
$ php artisan koel:init --no-assets

--no-assets option tells the init command to skip building the front-end assets, as they have been generated by Koel's "Release" GitHub action.

Default admin account

From v5.1.0, Koel no longer asks for a username, email and password for the admin account. Instead, it creates one automatically with the following credentials: email: password: KoelIsCool

Make sure to change this unsecure password with the user interface (click on your profile picture) or by running the following command:

docker exec -it <container_name_for_koel> php artisan koel:admin:change-password

Run manually with MySQL

Create a docker network. It will be shared by Koel and its database.

docker network create --attachable koel-net

Create a database container. Here we will use mysql.

docker run -d --name database \
    -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=<root_password> \
    -e MYSQL_DATABASE=koel \
    -e MYSQL_USER=koel \
    -e MYSQL_PASSWORD=<koel_password> \
    --network=koel-net \
    -v koel_db:/var/lib/mysql \

Create the koel container on the same network so they can communicate

docker run -d --name koel \
    -p 80:80 \
    -e DB_CONNECTION=mysql \
    -e DB_HOST=database \
    -e DB_DATABASE=koel \
    -e DB_USERNAME=koel \
    -e DB_PASSWORD=<koel_password> \
    --network=koel-net \
    -v music:/music \
    -v covers:/var/www/html/public/img/covers \
    -v search_index:/var/www/html/storage/search-indexes \

The same applies for the first run. See the First run section.

How to bind-mount the .env file

To be sure to preserve APP_KEY you can choose to bind-mount the .env file to your host:

# On your host, create an `.env` file:
touch .env
# Then, you can bind-mount it directly in the container.
docker run -d --name koel \
    -p 80:80 \
    --mount type=bind,source="$(pwd)"/.env,target=/var/www/html/.env \
docker exec --user www-data -it koel bash
# In the container, init
$ php artisan koel:init --no-assets

Pass environment variables

Once you have generated an APP_KEY you can provide it as environment variables to your container to preserve it.

# Run a container just to generate the key
docker run -it --rm phanan/koel bash
# In the container, generate APP_KEY
$ php artisan key:generate --force
# Show the modified .env file
$ cat .env
# Copy the APP_KEY variable
$ exit

You can then provide the variables to your real container:

docker run -d --name koel \
    -p 80:80 \
    -e APP_KEY=<your_app_key> \
# Even better, write an env-file in your host and pass it to the container
docker run -d --name koel \
    -p 80:80 \
    --env-file .koel.env \

Scan media folders

Whenever the music in /music changes, you will need to manually scan it before koel is able to play it. Run the following command:

docker exec --user www-data <container_name_for_koel> php artisan koel:sync

Populate the search indexes

If you were running a version of Koel prior to v5.0.2, the search mechanism has changed and needs a step to index songs, albums and artists. Run the following command:

docker exec --user www-data <container_name_for_koel> php artisan koel:search:import

For all new songs, the search index will be automatically populated by php artisan koel:sync. No need to run the php artisan koel:search:import again 🙂.

Useful environment variables

See .env.example for reference.

  • DB_CONNECTION: mysql OR pgsql OR sqlsrv OR sqlite-persistent. Corresponds to the type of database being used with Koel.
  • DB_HOST: database. The name of the Docker container hosting the database. Koel needs to be on the same Docker network to find the database by its name.
  • DB_USERNAME: koel. If you change it, also change it in the database container.
  • DB_PASSWORD: The password credential matching DB_USERNAME. If you change it, also change it in the database container.
  • DB_DATABASE: koel. The database name for Koel. If you change it, also change it in the database container.
  • APP_KEY: A base64-encoded string, generated by php artisan koel:init or by php artisan key:generate.
  • FORCE_HTTPS: If set to true, all URLs redirects done by koel will use https. If you have set up a reverse-proxy in front of this container that supports https, set it to true.
  • MEMORY_LIMIT: The amount of memory in MB for the scanning process. Increase this value if php artisan koel:sync runs out of memory.
  • LASTFM_API_KEY and LASTFM_API_SECRET: Enables integration. See
  • SPOTIFY_CLIENT_ID and SPOTIFY_CLIENT_SECRET: Enables Spotify integration. See



/music will contain the music library. Keep in mind that koel needs to scan music before it's able to play it.


/var/www/html/storage/search-indexes will contain the search indexes. Searching songs, albums and artists leverages this to provide results.



Only HTTP is provided. Consider setting up a reverse-proxy to provide HTTPS support.



Apache's root directory. All koel files will be here. If you exec into the container, this will be your current directory.