Docker Installation


Documentation and processes are being reworked and improved at the moment. It may happen that you miss information. If you face problems, please let us know, we are there to support you. You may also contact us directly if you plan to install Chemotion.


To setup the Chemotion ELN using Docker, Docker and Docker-Compose have to be installed on the host machine. Please refer to your distributions documentation on how this can be achieved. For Ubuntu-based machines, this can be found here.

In addition you need that latest version of our Docker-Compose service description. This file can be found here:

docker-compose.yml (For other releases, check out our repository on DockerHub:

Download this file and place it in a separate folder (further referred to as CHEMOTION_PATH as it will contain all the service description but also Chemotion's configuration and data files):

curl -L -o docker-compose.yml

As a next step, create the necessary folders for configuration, data sharing and the database:

mkdir config shared db-data
chown 1000:1000 config shared db-data

Note: Make sure that the folders are read and writeable by UID 1000:1000.

Running Chemotion#

You are now ready to run the initialization. Please note that this will create a new database and delete any old database that might exist. Therefore it is curical that you do only run this command if you want to create a new instance of Chemotion.

docker-compose run eln init

As the previous command finishes, you are ready to start Chemotion:

docker-compose up

You will see the system logs in your terminal and after the start-up you can access your fresh instance using a browser. The application is running on http://localhost:4000, the seeded administration account is ADM (all caps!) with password PleaseChangeYourPassword.

To start your instance in background mode, use docker-compose up -d. To automagically start your services when the host machine boots, extend the compose file to contain the property restart, for example:

restart: unless-stopped
restart: unless-stopped

Please refer to the Docker documentation on how this property works:

Managing your instance#

To get basic information about your instance, run:

docker-compose run eln info

This will output storage, memory as well as several version information and ensure the fundamentally required runtime is correct.

Setting up a Reverse-Proxy#

To make the installation available to the public, the container's ports should to be forwarded. We suggest to run NGINX as a reverse-proxy either in docker (by extending the Docker-Compose service description file) or stand-alone on the host. The application is (by default) listening on ''.

Todo: NGinx as Revers-Proxy goes here. Mb LE certificates for SSL?


Really short video showing the installation process can be found here: