Setting Up and Customizing BookStack on Raspberry Pi

bookstack raspberry pi

BookStack is an excellent open-source platform for organizing and storing your documentation. Hosting it on a Raspberry Pi is a cost-effective way to keep your documentation accessible and well-organized. This guide will take you through the process of installing, configuring, and customizing BookStack on your Raspberry Pi, ensuring you get the most out of this powerful tool.

Equipment Needed

Essential Equipment

To set up BookStack on your Raspberry Pi, you’ll need the following:

  1. Raspberry Pi: Preferably a Raspberry Pi 4 for better performance.
  2. Micro SD Card: At least 8GB, pre-installed with a 64-bit version of Raspberry Pi OS.
  3. Power Supply: A reliable power source for your Raspberry Pi.
  4. Ethernet Cable or Wi-Fi Adapter: For internet connectivity.

Optional Equipment

These items are not mandatory but can enhance your setup:

  1. Raspberry Pi Case: For protection and cooling.
  2. USB Mouse and Keyboard: For direct interaction.
  3. HDMI Cable and Monitor: For a visual interface.

Using a 64-bit operating system is crucial as BookStack requires it for compatibility with its Docker container.

Installing BookStack on Raspberry Pi

bookstack raspberry pi

Preparing Your Raspberry Pi

Update and Upgrade the System:

sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade -y

Install Docker: Follow the Raspberry Pi Docker installation guide to install Docker on your Raspberry Pi. Docker simplifies the process of running and managing BookStack.

Create Directories for BookStack:

sudo mkdir -p /opt/stacks/bookstack cd /opt/stacks/bookstack

Writing and Configuring the Docker Compose File

Create and Edit the Compose File:

sudo nano compose.yaml

Add the following configuration:

services: bookstack: image: container_name: bookstack environment: - PUID=1000 - PGID=1000 - TZ=<TIMEZONE> - APP_URL=<APPURL> - DB_HOST=bookstack_db - DB_PORT=3306 - DB_USER=bookstack - DB_PASS=<DBPASSWORD> - DB_DATABASE=bookstackapp volumes: - ./data:/config ports: - 6875:80 restart: unless-stopped depends_on: - bookstack_db bookstack_db: image: container_name: bookstack_db environment: - PUID=1000 - PGID=1000 - TZ=<TIMEZONE> - MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=<DBPASSWORD> - MYSQL_DATABASE=bookstackapp - MYSQL_USER=bookstack - MYSQL_PASSWORD=<DBPASSWORD> volumes: - ./db:/config restart: unless-stopped

Replace <TIMEZONE>, <APPURL>, and <DBPASSWORD> with your specific details.

Starting and Accessing BookStack

Start BookStack:

docker compose up -d

Access BookStack:

Find your Raspberry Pi’s IP address:

hostname -I

Open your web browser and go to:


Initial Login:

  • Default username: [email protected]
  • Default password: password
  • Change the default password immediately after logging in.

Advanced Customization and Features

Custom Themes and Styles

BookStack allows for visual customization through themes. Here’s how to apply a custom theme:

  1. Find or Create a Custom Theme: Look for themes on sites like GitHub or create your own.
  2. Apply the Theme: Upload the theme files to the appropriate directory and configure BookStack to use the new theme in its settings.

Integrating with Other Tools

BookStack can integrate with various tools to enhance its functionality. Here’s how to connect it with Slack:

  1. Create a Slack App: Set up an incoming webhook in Slack.
  2. Configure BookStack: Add the webhook URL to BookStack’s settings to receive notifications.

Backup and Maintenance

Regular Backups

Automated backups are crucial for data integrity. Use the following command to create a backup script:

sudo crontab -e

Add the backup script to run daily or weekly, ensuring your data is safe.

System Maintenance

Keep your system and Docker containers updated to avoid security vulnerabilities and ensure optimal performance. Regularly check for updates and apply them.

Some Quick FAQ:

Q1: Can I access BookStack remotely?

Yes, you can access BookStack remotely by configuring port forwarding on your router and accessing it via your public IP address.

Q2: How can I secure my BookStack installation?

To secure BookStack, use HTTPS with a valid SSL certificate and regularly update your Docker containers to patch security vulnerabilities.

Q3: Is it possible to migrate BookStack data to another server?

Yes, you can migrate BookStack by backing up your data and database, transferring them to the new server, and restoring them using the backup files.

Final Thoughts

Hosting BookStack on your Raspberry Pi is a cost-effective way to manage your documentation. With this guide, you can install, customize, and maintain BookStack efficiently. Explore the advanced features and integrations to make the most out of this powerful tool. Feel free to share your experiences and ask questions in the comments below.

Erik D

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