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Kavita Reader in Docker Swarm

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So you've just watched a bunch of superhero movies, and you're suddenly inspired to deep-dive into the weird world of comic books? You're already rocking AutoPirate with Mylar and NZBGet to grab content, but how to manage and enjoy your growing collection?

Kavita Screenshot

Kavita Reader is a "rocket fueled self-hosted digital library which supports a vast array of file formats". Primarily used for cosuming Manga (but quite capable of managing ebooks too), Kavita's killer feature is an OPDS server for integration with other mobile apps such as Chunky on iPad, and the ability to save your reading position across multiple devices.

There's a public demo available too!

Kavita Requirements


Already deployed:


  • Traefik Forward Auth or Authelia to secure your Traefik-exposed services with an additional layer of authentication

  • AutoPirate components (specifically Mylar), for searching for, downloading, and managing comic books


Setup data locations

First we create a directory to hold the kavita database, logs and other persistent data:

mkdir /var/data/kavita

Kavita Docker Swarm config

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

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version: "3.2" #

    image: kizaing/kavita:latest
    env_file: /var/data/config/kavita/kavita.env
      - /var/data/kavita:/kavita/config
        # traefik
        - traefik.enable=true

        # traefikv1
        - traefik.port=8000     

        # traefikv2
        - "traefik.http.routers.kavita.rule=Host(``)"
        - "traefik.http.routers.kavita.entrypoints=https"
        - "" 

        # uncomment for traefik-forward-auth (1)
        # - "traefik.http.routers.radarr.middlewares=forward-auth"

        # uncomment for authelia (2)
        # - "traefik.http.routers.radarr.middlewares=authelia"

      - traefik_public

    external: true
  1. Uncomment to protect Kavita with an additional layer of authentication, using Traefik Forward Auth
  2. Uncomment to protect Kavita with an additional layer of authentication, using Authelia


Avengers Assemble!

Launch the Kavita stack by running docker stack deploy kavita -c <path -to-docker-compose.yml>

Log into your new instance at https://YOUR-FQDN. Since it's a fresh installation, Kavita will prompt you to setup a username and password, after which you'll be able to setup your library, and tweak all teh butt0ns!

Chef's notes πŸ““

  1. Since Kavita doesn't need to communicate with any other local docker services, we don't need a separate overlay network for it. Provided Traefik can reach kavita via the traefik_public overlay network, we've got all we need. ↩

  2. There's an active subreddit for Kavita ↩

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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.

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