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A minimalist, easy-to-host service for sharing images and other files


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PicoShare is a minimalist service that allows you to share files easily.

PicoShare demo

Why PicoShare?

There are a million services for sharing files, but none of them are quite like PicoShare. Here are PicoShare's advantages:

  • Direct download links: PicoShare gives you a direct download link you can share with anyone. They can view or download the file with no ads or signups.
  • No file restrictions: Unlike sites like imgur, Vimeo, or SoundCloud that only allow you to share specific types of files, PicoShare lets you share any file of any size.
  • No resizing/re-encoding: If you upload media like images, video, or audio, PicoShare never forces you to wait on re-encoding. You get a direct download link as soon as you upload the file, and PicoShare never resizes or re-encodes your file.

Run PicoShare

From source

PS_SHARED_SECRET=somesecretpass PORT=4001 \
  go run cmd/picoshare/main.go

From Docker

To run PicoShare within a Docker container, mount a volume from your local system to store the PicoShare sqlite database.

docker run \
  --env "PORT=4001" \
  --env "PS_SHARED_SECRET=somesecretpass" \
  --publish 4001:4001/tcp \
  --volume "${PWD}/data:/data" \
  --name picoshare \

From Docker + cloud data replication

If you specify settings for a Litestream-compatible cloud storage location, PicoShare will automatically replicate your data.

You can kill the container and start it later, and PicoShare will restore your data from the cloud storage location and continue as if there was no interruption.


docker run \
  --publish "${PORT}:${PORT}/tcp" \
  --env "PORT=${PORT}" \
  --name picoshare \


  • Only run one Docker container for each Litestream location.
    • PicoShare can't sync writes across multiple instances.

Using Docker Compose

To run PicoShare under docker-compose, copy the following to a file called docker-compose.yml and then run docker-compose up.

version: "3.2"
    image: mtlynch/picoshare
      - PORT=4001
      - PS_SHARED_SECRET=dummypass # Change to any password
      - 4001:4001
    command: -db /data/store.db
      - ./data:/data


Command-line flags

Flag Meaning Default Value
-db Path to SQLite database "data/store.db"

Environment variables

Environment Variable Meaning
PORT TCP port on which to listen for HTTP connections (defaults to 4001).
PS_BEHIND_PROXY Set to "true" for better logging when PicoShare is running behind a reverse proxy.
PS_SHARED_SECRET (required) Specifies a passphrase for the admin user to log in to PicoShare.

Docker environment variables

You can adjust behavior of the Docker container by specifying these Docker-specific variables with docker run -e:

Environment Variable Meaning
LITESTREAM_BUCKET Litestream-compatible cloud storage bucket where Litestream should replicate data.
LITESTREAM_ENDPOINT Litestream-compatible cloud storage endpoint where Litestream should replicate data.
LITESTREAM_ACCESS_KEY_ID Litestream-compatible cloud storage access key ID to the bucket where you want to replicate data.
LITESTREAM_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY Litestream-compatible cloud storage secret access key to the bucket where you want to replicate data.
LITESTREAM_RETENTION The amount of time Litestream snapshots & WAL files will be kept (defaults to 72h).

Docker build args

If you rebuild the Docker image from source, you can adjust the build behavior with docker build --build-arg:

Build Arg Meaning Default Value
litestream_version Version of Litestream to use for data replication 0.3.9

PicoShare's scope and future

PicoShare is maintained by Michael Lynch as a hobby project.

Due to time limitations, I keep PicoShare's scope limited to only the features that fit into my workflows. That unfortunately means that I sometimes reject proposals or contributions for perfectly good features. It's nothing against those features, but I only have bandwidth to maintain features that I use.


PicoShare is easy to deploy to cloud hosting platforms:

Tips and tricks

Reclaiming reserved database space

Some users find it surprising that when they delete files from PicoShare, they don't gain back free space on their filesystem.

When you delete files, PicoShare reserves the space for future uploads. If you'd like to reduce PicoShare's usage of your filesystem, you can manually force PicoShare to give up the space by performing the following steps:

  1. Shut down PicoShare.
  2. Run sqlite3 data/store.db 'VACUUM' where data/store.db is the path to your PicoShare database.

You should find that the data/store.db should shrink in file size, as it relinquishes the space dedicated to previously deleted files. If you start PicoShare again, the System Information screen will show the smaller size of PicoShare files.