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After completing this tutorial you'll have your own HedgeDoc instance running. We will use Docker to accomplish this.

HedgeDoc 2 is currently in alpha

Alpha releases come with no guarantees regarding upgradeability. It is very likely that you will need to wipe the database between alpha releases.
Please set up a separate instance to test HedgeDoc 2, there is currently no migration path from HedgeDoc 1.

  1. Open the terminal of the machine you want to install HedgeDoc on.

  2. Check if you have Docker installed by running docker --version. The response should contain some version number greater than 20.10.13. - If not please refer to the Docker install guide to install Docker.

  3. Create a new directory for your HedgeDoc instance: mkdir -p /opt/hedgedoc.

  4. Change into the directory with cd /opt/hedgedoc.

  5. Download these files:

    • curl -o .env
    • curl -o Caddyfile
    • curl -o docker-compose.yml
  6. Open the file .env in the editor of your choice (for example with nano) and edit the following variables:

    • HD_BASE_URL: This should contain the full url you intend to run HedgeDoc on (e.g. for the demo this would be If you just want to run HedgeDoc on your local machine for now https://hedgedoc.localhost should be sufficient for testing.
    • HD_SESSION_SECRET: This should contain a long and random secret for your login sessions. You can generate it with pwgen -s 64 or any other way you see fit.
    • HD_DATABASE_PASS: This should contain a strong password than password for your database. You can again use pwgen -s 64 to generate it.
  7. Start the Docker containers by running docker compose up -d.

  8. Navigate your browser to the url you chose in step 6. Your instance is now ready to use.


This tutorial assumes that you run your HedgeDoc 2 instance on port 80 and 443 (HTTP and HTTPS). If you want to use a custom port, be sure to update your .env file to include the port in the HD_BASE_URL variable as well as update the port bindings in the docker-compose.yml file.
For example, when using the base URL http://localhost:8080, only use the following ports section for the proxy service:

  - "8080:8080"

You can now play around with your HedgeDoc instance and read about next steps as either a new user or an admin.

Next Steps

For Users

For admins


Port already used

Error response from daemon: driver failed programming external connectivity: Bind for
failed: port is already allocated.

If you see this error, it means there is already something running on your machine that uses port 80 or 443. The easiest fix for this is to stop the other application. If you want to run multiple applications on that port on your server you may want to read our guide about reverse proxying.