Run PhotoPrism on another computer

I was able to launch a PhotoPrism container on another computer by following these steps.

Let's say that you have 2 computers, the server is the one that already run PhotoPrism, we'll use our local computer as a client to run PhotoPrism.

⚠️ Prerequisites:

  • you have Docker on both computers, you start PhotoPrism with docker-compose
  • the folders mounted in the photoprism container are mounted on your other computer (I use Samba for this):
    • the folder(s) with your media content
    • the storage folder
  • the storage folder is writable by the client too
  • you understand every step below

On your server:

  1. Do a backup just in case
  2. Stop the photoprism container (we don't want parallel accesses to the same database)
  3. Open the port for the database by updating docker-compose.yml, my local network is on the 192.168.1.X range so I use it to not open the port to Internet:
       # …

Restart the photoprism-db container: docker-compose up --detach photoprism-db

On your client:

We have to run PhotoPrism and it needs to access to the same paths than when it's running on the server.

  1. Copy the docker-compose.yml file, keep only the photoprism service
  2. Remove the network
  3. Update the PHOTOPRISM_DATABASE_DSN variable to use the database on the server
  4. Update the volumes:
    1. the part before : has to be updated and correspond to the paths that were mounted in the container
    2. the part after : is kept as is

You should have something like this:

version: '3.7'

    # …
      # …
      PHOTOPRISM_DATABASE_DSN: "photoprism:photoprism@tcp(,utf8&parseTime=true"
      - "/mnt/nas/photos/:/photoprism/originals/"
      - "/mnt/nas/photoprism/storage/:/photoprism/storage" # keep database files

Start the photoprism container: docker-compose up --detach photoprism.

Access to the PhotoPrism instance through the port you defined. You should see the same media than before.

I didn't do any benchmark, but the network may be the bottleneck with this setup.