How to self-host and deploy Piwik using Docker with https support

This is a very quick and easy to follow guide about how to self-host and deploy your own Piwik instance using Docker with support for https. I recommend using CoreOS to run your Docker containers, but any OS that is capable of running Docker should work.

In this guide you will:

  • Install Docker Compose (which is not installed by default on CoreOS).
  • Download Piwik and get it ready.
  • Prepare your containers.
  • Run your Docker containers.

What you need before continuing:

  • A CoreOS instance.

You do not need a powerful server. I am running Piwik on a 512mb VM on Vultr.
You can also use any other OS running Docker, and the process should be similar.

To run Piwik I use:

  • CoreOS (you knew that already).
  • Docker (you also knew that already).
  • MariaDB as the DB backend.
  • Caddy as the web server.

Deploying Piwik

  1. Connect to your CoreOS instance via ssh
    • I connect as core user, which is the default non-root user for CoreOS.
      ssh [email protected]
  2. Install Docker Compose.
    • CoreOS does not have Docker Compose installed by default, but getting it is easy
      sudo mkdir -p /opt/bin
      sudo curl -L`uname -s`-`uname -m` -o /opt/bin/docker-compose
      sudo chmod +x /opt/bin/docker-compose
    • Check the version you are downloading, at the time of writing 1.17.0 was the latest one, but it will change.
  3. Download Piwik and get it ready.
    • This will put the latest version of Piwik in /srv/pwk. I use pwk instead of piwik as the directory name so that I don't accidentally override or extract something on top of it.
      cd /srv
      sudo wget
      sudo unzip -d /srv
      sudo mv /srv/piwik /srv/pwk
    • PHP runs as user 82 inside the Docker container, so we make user 82 the owner of the pwk files.
      sudo chown -R 82:82 /srv/pwk/
  4. Prepare your containers.
    • Copy my piwik-docker repo, where I have a docker-compose file ready to be used.
      cd /srv
      sudo wget -O
      sudo unzip -d /srv
      sudo mv /srv/piwik-docker-master /srv/Docker
      sudo rm
    • Duplicate and edit the .env files with the necessary environmental variables.
      sudo cp /srv/Docker/caddy/.env.example /srv/Docker/caddy/.env
      sudo cp /srv/Docker/mariadb/.env.example /srv/Docker/mariadb/.env
      • The Caddy container needs two environmental variables to run, the domain from which you will serve Piwik, and an email to associate to the SSL certificate it will get for you from Let's Encrypt.
        # /srv/Docker/caddy/.env
        [email protected]
      • The MariaDB container needs four environmental variables.
        # /srv/Docker/mariadb/.env
  5. Run your Docker containers.
    • Everything is now ready for Piwik to run. The following commands will build and start all the Docker containers and will make sure they are always running. Your instances will be automatically started after a reboot.
      cd /srv/Docker
      docker-compose build
      docker-compose up -d

You should now be able to access and install your own instance of Piwik via your domain (the one you set on /srv/Docker/caddy/.env).

Database connection

When installing Piwik you will be prompted for your database connection information, make sure you use mariadb as your "Database Server".

Piwik 3.2.0 Database Setup


If you are experiencing any troubles, you can check the logs for each of the docker instances by running any of the following commands:

# Caddy logs
docker logs -f docker_caddy_1

# PHP (Piwik) logs
docker logs -f docker_php-fpm_1

# MariaDB logs
docker logs -f docker_mariadb_1


All your Piwik data is located within /srv with the following structure:

  • /srv/caddy: Caddy configuration for SSL certificates.
  • /srv/pwk: Piwik itself, with its configuration files.
  • /srv/mariadb: MariaDB data and configuration files.

The most important folder of all is /srv/mariadb/datadir, so keep regular backups of that (you've been warned!).
The second most important folder is /srv/pwk, especially if you've installed plugins or made changes to the Piwik config files.

Installation and usage

Piwik installation is simple, and they have a reasonably good installation guide.

I hope you enjoy using Piwik. If you have any problems with the deployment, let me know.

Nov. 7, 2017