Docker is a convenient and secure way to install server applications either locally or on a server you control. If you don’t have docker already running on your machine and are macOS user, consider giving OrbStack a try — it’s a super nice docker experience.

Conveniently, SilverBullet is published as a docker image on docker hub. The image comes in two flavors:

  • 64-bit Intel
  • 64-bit ARM (e.g. for Raspberry Pis and Apple Silicon macs)

There is no 32-bit version of Deno, and therefore we cannot offer a 32-bit version of SilverBullet either. Most people run 64-bit OSes these days, an exception may be Raspberry Pis. Recent (RPI 3 and later) can run 64-bit Linux as well, you may have to re-image, though.

A few key things to know about the SilverBullet container image:
  • The container binds to port 3000, so be sure to port-map that, e.g. via -p 3000:3000 (note: the first 3000 is the external port)
  • The container uses whatever is volume-mapped to /space as the space root folder. You can connect a docker volume, or a host folder to this, e.g. -v /home/myuser/space:/space
  • SilverBullet will detect the UNIX owner (UID and GID) of the folder mapped into /space and run the server process with the same UID and GID so that permissions will just magically work. If you’d like to override this UID, set the PUID and PGID environment variables (see Configuration for details).


For your first run, you can run the following:

# Create a local folder "space" to keep files in
mkdir -p space
# Run the SilverBullet docker container in the foreground
sudo docker run -it -p 3000:3000 -v ./space:/space zefhemel/silverbullet

This will run SilverBullet in the foreground, interactively, so you can see the logs and instructions.

If this all works fine, just kill the thing with Ctrl-c (don’t worry, it’s ok).

Now you probably want to run the container in daemon (background) mode, give it a name, and automatically have it restart after you e.g. reboot your machine:

docker run -d --restart unless-stopped --name silverbullet -p 3000:3000 -v ./space:/space zefhemel/silverbullet

There you go!

Note that to get offline mode to work you need to serve SilverBullet with HTTPS, via for example a reverse proxy.


The zefhemel/silverbullet image will give you the latest released version. This is equivalent to zefhemel/silverbullet:latest. If you prefer, you can also pin to a specific release, e.g. zefhemel/silverbullet:0.6.0. If you prefer to live on the bleeding edge, you can use the zefhemel/silverbullet:edge image, which is updated on every commit to the main brain. This is the YOLO option.


You can upgrade SilverBullet as follows:

# Pull the latest version of the image
docker pull zefhemel/silverbullet
# Kill the running container
docker kill silverbullet
# Remove the old container
docker rm silverbullet
# Start a fresh one (same command as before)
docker run -d --restart unless-stopped --name silverbullet -p 3000:3000 -v $PW/space:/space zefhemel/silverbullet

Since this is somewhat burdensome, it is recommended you use a tool like watchtower to automatically update your docker images and restart them. However, if we go there — we may as well use a tool like docker compose to manage your containers, no?

Docker compose

Docker compose is a simple tool to manage running of multiple containers on a server you control. It’s like Kubernetes, but you know, not insanely complex.

Here is a simple compose.yml that runs SilverBullet as well as watchtower, which will check for new SilverBullet upgrades daily (the default) and upgrade automatically.

  • Please replace the password defined in SB_USER with something sensible such as admin:b3stp4ssword3vah
  • This volume uses the ./space directory (that presumably exists) in the same directory as the compose.yml file as the place where SB will keep its space.
  • Check out Configuration for more interesting environment variables you can set.

    image: zefhemel/silverbullet
    restart: unless-stopped
    - SB_USER=admin:admin
      - ./space:/space
      - 3000:3000
    image: containrrr/watchtower
      - /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock

Boot this up via:

docker-compose up -d

And watch for logs with:

docker-compose logs -f