Skip to content

Calibre-Web in Docker

Get your FREE "elfhosted" CalibreWeb instance for demo / trial 🥳

Want to see a live demo, or "kick the tyres" 🚙 before you commit to self-hosting CalibreWeb?

Try out an "ElfHosted" 🧝 instance of CalibreWeb for FREE!

The AutoPirate recipe includes Lazy Librarian, a tool for tracking, finding, and downloading eBooks. However, after the eBooks are downloaded, Lazy Librarian is not much use for organising, tracking, and actually reading them.

Calibre-Web could be described as "Plex (or Emby) for eBooks" - it's a web-based interface to manage your eBook library, screenshot below:

Calibre-Web Screenshot

Of course, you probably already manage your eBooks using the excellent Calibre, but this is primarily a (powerful) desktop application. Calibre-Web is an alternative way to manage / view your existing Calibre database, meaning you can continue to use Calibre on your desktop if you wish.

As a long-time Kindle user, Calibre-Web brings (among others) the following features which appeal to me:

  • Filter and search by titles, authors, tags, series and language
  • Create custom book collection (shelves) Support for editing eBook metadata and deleting eBooks from Calibre library
  • Support for converting eBooks from EPUB to Kindle format (mobi/azw)
  • Send eBooks to Kindle devices with the click of a button
  • Support for reading eBooks directly in the browser (.txt, .epub, .pdf, .cbr, .cbt, .cbz)
  • Upload new books in PDF, epub, fb2 format

Calibre-Web Requirements


Already deployed:



Setup data locations

We'll need a directory to store some config data for Calibre-Web, container, so create /var/data/calibre-web, and ensure the directory is owned by the same use which owns your Calibre data (below)

mkdir /var/data/calibre-web
chown calibre:calibre /var/data/calibre-web # for example

Ensure that your Calibre library is accessible to the swarm (i.e., exists on shared storage), and that the same user who owns the config directory above, also owns the actual calibre library data (including the ebooks managed by Calibre).

Prepare Calibre-Web environment

Create /var/data/config/calibre-web/calibre-web.env, and populate with the following variables


Calibre-Web Docker Swarm config

Create a docker swarm config file in docker-compose syntax (v3), something like the example below:

Fast-track with premix! 🚀

I automatically and instantly share (with my sponsors) a private "premix" git repository, which includes necessary docker-compose and env files for all published recipes. This means that sponsors can launch any recipe with just a git pull and a docker stack deploy 👍.

🚀 Update: Premix now includes an ansible playbook, so that sponsors can deploy an entire stack + recipes, with a single ansible command! (more here)

version: '3'

    image: technosoft2000/calibre-web
    env_file : /var/data/config/calibre-web/calibre-web.env
     - /var/data/calibre-web:/config
     - /srv/data/Archive/Ebooks/calibre:/books
      - internal
      - traefik_public
        # traefik common
        - traefik.enable=true

        # traefikv1
        - traefik.port=8083     

        # traefikv2
        - "traefik.http.routers.calibre.rule=Host(``)"
        - ""
        - "traefik.enable=true"

        # Remove if you wish to access the URL directly
        - "traefik.http.routers.calibre.middlewares=forward-auth@file"

    external: true
    driver: overlay
        - subnet:


Setup unique static subnets for every stack you deploy. This avoids IP/gateway conflicts which can otherwise occur when you're creating/removing stacks a lot. See my list here.


Launch Calibre-Web

Launch the Calibre-Web stack by running docker stack deploy calibre-web -c <path -to-docker-compose.yml>

Log into your new instance at https://**YOUR-FQDN**. You'll be directed to the initial GUI configuraition. Set the first field (Location of Calibre database) to "/books/", and when complete, login using defaults username of "admin" with password "admin123".

Chef's notes 📓

  1. Yes, Calibre does provide a server component. But it's not as fully-featured as Calibre-Web (i.e., you can't use it to send ebooks directly to your Kindle

  2. A future enhancement might be integrating this recipe with the filestore for NextCloud, so that the desktop database (Calibre) can be kept synced with Calibre-Web. 

  3. If you plan to use calibre-web to send .mobi files to your Kindle via email addresses, be sure to add the sending address to the "Approved Personal Documents Email List

Tip your waiter (sponsor) 👏

Did you receive excellent service? Want to compliment the chef? (..and support development of current and future recipes!) Sponsor me on Github / Ko-Fi / Patreon, or see the contribute page for more (free or paid) ways to say thank you! 👏

Employ your chef (engage) 🤝

Is this too much of a geeky PITA? Do you just want results, stat? I do this for a living - I'm a full-time Kubernetes contractor, providing consulting and engineering expertise to businesses needing short-term, short-notice support in the cloud-native space, including AWS/Azure/GKE, Kubernetes, CI/CD and automation.

Learn more about working with me here.

Flirt with waiter (subscribe) 💌

Want to know now when this recipe gets updated, or when future recipes are added? Subscribe to the RSS feed, or leave your email address below, and we'll keep you updated.

Your comments? 💬