Selfhosted Standard Notes with Docker and Traefik

Selfhosted Standard Notes with Docker and Traefik

docker traefik

Standard Notes is a note-taking app that you can use on all major platforms and mobile devices. With Standard Notes, your notes are end-to-end encrypted and therefore protected from prying eyes.

I've been a fan of Standard Notes for a long time. Unfortunately, the annual subscription has always been too expensive for me and I have only used the free version of Standard Notes. Besides the hosted version of Standard Notes, there is also the possibility to install your own self-hosted Standard Notes instance on your server. With all premium features and even for free.

Unfortunately, I haven't found any instructions on how to set up Standard Notes together with Docker and Traefik as a reverse proxy. Therefore I decided to explain my setup to you.

Selfhosted Standard Notes with Docker and Traefik

Preparation

If you don't have docker installed yet, you can find instructions for Ubuntu or Debian. This Guide uses docker-compose to run Traefik, therefore its necessary to also install docker-compose. The two linked guides will help you to setup docker-compose on your own host.

Please also make sure that you already have Traefik installed on your server. If you haven't done that yet, you can find a step by step guide here.

Frist we create a few files and folders to work with. I like my docker setup to be clean and easy, therefore I create a folder for each docker-compose stack I'm running on my host.

mkdir -p /opt/containers/standardnotes
mkdir -p /opt/containers/standardnotes/docker

Now we download the docker-compose sample config provided by Standard Notes.

wget -O /opt/containers/standardnotes/docker-compose.yml https://raw.githubusercontent.com/standardnotes/standalone/main/docker-compose.yml
wget -O /opt/containers/standardnotes/.env https://raw.githubusercontent.com/standardnotes/standalone/main/.env.sample
wget -O /opt/containers/standardnotes/docker/auth.env https://raw.githubusercontent.com/standardnotes/standalone/main/docker/auth.env.sample
wget -O /opt/containers/standardnotes/docker/api-gateway.env https://raw.githubusercontent.com/standardnotes/standalone/main/docker/api-gateway.env.sample

Docker-Compose File

Next up we are changing some lines inside the docker-compose sample file.

vim /opt/containers/standardnotes/docker-compose.yml

To make sure we are always using the latest version of Standard Notes, we need to change the following lines:

image: standardnotes/syncing-server-js:latest
image: standardnotes/syncing-server-js:latest
image: standardnotes/api-gateway:latest
image: standardnotes/auth:latest
image: redis:latest

In the sample config, you will find the exact version instead of ":latest" in each line that needs to be replaced with the above lines.

Traefik Configuration for Standard Notes

vim /opt/containers/standardnotes/docker-compose.yml

And find the following service: api-gateway You then can delete this service block from your docker-compose.yml file and replace it with the following block.

  api-gateway:
    image: standardnotes/api-gateway:latest
    depends_on:
      - auth
      - syncing-server-js
    env_file: docker/api-gateway.env
    environment:
      PORT: 3000
      AUTH_JWT_SECRET: '${AUTH_JWT_SECRET}'
    entrypoint: [
      "./wait-for.sh", "auth", "3000",
      "./wait-for.sh", "syncing-server-js", "3000",
      "./docker/entrypoint.sh", "start-web"
    ]
    networks:
      - standardnotes_standalone
      - proxy
    labels:
      - "traefik.enable=true"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway.entrypoints=http"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway.rule=Host(`notes.yourdomain.tld`)"
      - "traefik.http.middlewares.api-gateway-https-redirect.redirectscheme.scheme=https"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway.middlewares=api-gateway-https-redirect"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway-secure.entrypoints=https"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway-secure.rule=Host(`notes.yourdomain.tld`)"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway-secure.tls=true"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway-secure.tls.certresolver=http"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway-secure.service=api-gateway"
      - "traefik.http.services.api-gateway.loadbalancer.server.port=3000"
      - "traefik.docker.network=proxy"

It's important to replace notes.yourdomain.tld inside the labels part with your own domain name. Don't forget to create the appropriate DNS records for your domain.

At the end of our docker-compose.yml File you need to remove the networks: part and replace it with these lines:

networks:
  standardnotes_standalone:
    name: standardnotes_standalone
  proxy:
    external: true

The network must be identical to the network you used for Traefik. In my case it's proxy. If you followed my instructions for installing Traefik, you can simply copy and paste this part.

Your docker-compose.yml file should now look like this:

version: '3.8'
services:
  syncing-server-js:
    image: standardnotes/syncing-server-js:latest
    depends_on:
      - db
      - cache
    entrypoint: [
      "./wait-for.sh", "db", "3306",
      "./wait-for.sh", "cache", "6379",
      "./docker/entrypoint.sh", "start-web"
    ]
    env_file: .env
    environment:
      PORT: 3000
    restart: unless-stopped
    networks:
      - standardnotes_standalone

  syncing-server-js-worker:
    image: standardnotes/syncing-server-js:latest
    depends_on:
      - db
      - cache
      - syncing-server-js
    entrypoint: [
      "./wait-for.sh", "db", "3306",
      "./wait-for.sh", "cache", "6379",
      "./wait-for.sh", "syncing-server-js", "3000",
       "./docker/entrypoint.sh", "start-worker"
    ]
    env_file: .env
    environment:
      PORT: 3000
    restart: unless-stopped
    networks:
      - standardnotes_standalone

  api-gateway:
    image: standardnotes/api-gateway:latest
    depends_on:
      - auth
      - syncing-server-js
    env_file: docker/api-gateway.env
    environment:
      PORT: 3000
      AUTH_JWT_SECRET: '${AUTH_JWT_SECRET}'
    entrypoint: [
      "./wait-for.sh", "auth", "3000",
      "./wait-for.sh", "syncing-server-js", "3000",
      "./docker/entrypoint.sh", "start-web"
    ]
    networks:
      - standardnotes_standalone
      - proxy
    labels:
      - "traefik.enable=true"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway.entrypoints=http"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway.rule=Host(`notes.yourdomain.tld`)"
      - "traefik.http.middlewares.api-gateway-https-redirect.redirectscheme.scheme=https"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway.middlewares=api-gateway-https-redirect"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway-secure.entrypoints=https"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway-secure.rule=Host(`notes.yourdomain.tld`)"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway-secure.tls=true"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway-secure.tls.certresolver=http"
      - "traefik.http.routers.api-gateway-secure.service=api-gateway"
      - "traefik.http.services.api-gateway.loadbalancer.server.port=3000"
      - "traefik.docker.network=proxy"

  auth:
    image: standardnotes/auth:latest
    depends_on:
      - db
      - cache
      - syncing-server-js
    entrypoint: [
      "./wait-for.sh", "db", "3306",
      "./wait-for.sh", "cache", "6379",
      "./wait-for.sh", "syncing-server-js", "3000",
      "./docker/entrypoint.sh", "start-web"
    ]
    env_file: docker/auth.env
    environment:
      PORT: 3000
      DB_HOST: '${DB_HOST}'
      DB_REPLICA_HOST: '${DB_REPLICA_HOST}'
      DB_PORT: '${DB_PORT}'
      DB_DATABASE: '${DB_DATABASE}'
      DB_USERNAME: '${DB_USERNAME}'
      DB_PASSWORD: '${DB_PASSWORD}'
      DB_DEBUG_LEVEL: '${DB_DEBUG_LEVEL}'
      DB_MIGRATIONS_PATH: '${DB_MIGRATIONS_PATH}'
      REDIS_URL: '${REDIS_URL}'
      AUTH_JWT_SECRET: '${AUTH_JWT_SECRET}'
    networks:
      - standardnotes_standalone

  auth-worker:
    image: standardnotes/auth:latest
    depends_on:
      - db
      - cache
      - auth
    entrypoint: [
      "./wait-for.sh", "db", "3306",
      "./wait-for.sh", "cache", "6379",
      "./wait-for.sh", "auth", "3000",
      "./docker/entrypoint.sh", "start-worker"
    ]
    env_file: docker/auth.env
    environment:
      PORT: 3000
      DB_HOST: '${DB_HOST}'
      DB_REPLICA_HOST: '${DB_REPLICA_HOST}'
      DB_PORT: '${DB_PORT}'
      DB_DATABASE: '${DB_DATABASE}'
      DB_USERNAME: '${DB_USERNAME}'
      DB_PASSWORD: '${DB_PASSWORD}'
      DB_DEBUG_LEVEL: '${DB_DEBUG_LEVEL}'
      DB_MIGRATIONS_PATH: '${DB_MIGRATIONS_PATH}'
      REDIS_URL: '${REDIS_URL}'
      AUTH_JWT_SECRET: '${AUTH_JWT_SECRET}'
    networks:
      - standardnotes_standalone

  db:
    image: mysql:5.6
    environment:
      MYSQL_DATABASE: '${DB_DATABASE}'
      MYSQL_USER: '${DB_USERNAME}'
      MYSQL_PASSWORD: '${DB_PASSWORD}'
      MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD: '${DB_PASSWORD}'
    ports:
      - 3306
    restart: unless-stopped
    command: --default-authentication-plugin=mysql_native_password --character-set-server=utf8 --collation-server=utf8_general_ci
    volumes:
      - ./data/mysql:/var/lib/mysql
      - ./data/import:/docker-entrypoint-initdb.d
    networks:
      - standardnotes_standalone

  cache:
    image: redis:latest
    volumes:
      - ./data/redis/:/data
    ports:
      - 6379
    networks:
      - standardnotes_standalone

networks:
  standardnotes_standalone:
    name: standardnotes_standalone
  proxy:
    external: true

Customize the Environment Files

You may have noticed that in the docker-compose file, many values are specified with a variable. These variables are filled by an environment file.

Now we edit the sample environment files and set our own values.

vim /opt/containers/standardnotes/.env

We need to change the following values.

  • AUTH_JWT_SECRET
  • DB_PASSWORD

For the first one you need to generate a random string:

openssl rand -hex 32
6d1e6f3dffe6629873e08ab33793fbf80cefbf7c9f8a7de848fa03afc0b3310f

For the DB_PASSWORD you can use a random and strong Passwort.

At the end, these two lines should like this:

AUTH_JWT_SECRET=6d1e6f3dffe6629873e08ab33793fbf80cefbf7c9f8a7de848fa03afc0b3310f

[...]

DB_PASSWORD=1cd0a6041f4656ff9455fe

Save your changes and go on with the next .env File. This time we are editing the sample auth.env.

vim /opt/containers/standardnotes/docker/auth.env.

The following lines need to be changed:

  • JWT_SECRET
  • LEGACY_JWT_SECRET
  • PSEUDO_KEY_PARAMS_KEY
  • ENCRYPTION_SERVER_KEY

Please use the openssl command to generate a random string for all four lines.

openssl rand -hex 32

Save your changes. Done.

Start the Standard Notes docker-compose stack

docker-compose -f /opt/containers/standardnotes/docker-compose.yml up -d

You can now visit https://notes.yourdomain.tld/healthcheck to make sure your installation is working. It should display a OK if everything is all right.

Create a Standard Notes Account

Next up you need to create your account on you'r fresh new self-hosted Standard Notes.

The easiest way to do this is to use one of the desktop clients of Standard Notes. I use the Mac client, but you can use whichever client you want.

In the lower left corner of the app, click on Account. A login window will appear. Here we select Register.

standard-notes-register-1

Now it is important that you click on Advanced options at the bottom. Here you have to enter your own domain under which your Standard Notes server runs. For example https://notes.yourdomain.tld.

standard-notes-register-2

Please make sure that you save your password in a safe place. You will not be able to reset it in the future.

That's it, from now on you can log in with your account on all devices.

standard-notes-interface

But remember to always specify your own server under Advanced Options, only then the connection to your own instance will be established.

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