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Docker-Compose#

If you have already installed Docker and Docker-Compose, then you can start with step 4.

1. Install Docker#

This can vary depending on the Linux distribution used. The below example is for Ubuntu:

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sudo apt update
sudo apt install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl software-properties-common -y
curl -fsSL https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu/gpg | sudo apt-key add -

# Depending on Version:

# Ubuntu 18.04:
sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu bionic stable"

# Ubuntu 20.04
sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu focal stable"

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade -y
sudo apt install docker-ce -y

2. Optional: Non-root user access#

Run when logged in as the user that should also be allowed to run docker:

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sudo usermod -aG docker ${USER}
su - ${USER}

3. Install Docker-Compose#

This can vary depending on the Linux distribution used. Before proceeding check the latest version of Docker Compose v1 on the repository's release page and replace the 1.29.2 below. Should you wish to use Docker Compose v2 instead you can find detailed instructions here in the Docker documentation.

The example below is for Ubuntu:

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sudo curl -L "https://github.com/docker/compose/releases/download/1.29.2/docker-compose-$(uname -s)-$(uname -m)" -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

4. DNS setup#

Add A record to route the subdomain accordingly:

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Type: A
Name: n8n (or the desired subdomain)
IP address: <IP_OF_YOUR_SERVER>

5. Create docker-compose file#

Create a docker-compose.yml file. Paste the following in the file:

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version: "3"

services:
  traefik:
    image: "traefik"
    restart: always
    command:
      - "--api=true"
      - "--api.insecure=true"
      - "--providers.docker=true"
      - "--providers.docker.exposedbydefault=false"
      - "--entrypoints.web.address=:80"
      - "--entrypoints.web.http.redirections.entryPoint.to=websecure"
      - "--entrypoints.web.http.redirections.entrypoint.scheme=https"
      - "--entrypoints.websecure.address=:443"
      - "--certificatesresolvers.mytlschallenge.acme.tlschallenge=true"
      - "--certificatesresolvers.mytlschallenge.acme.email=${SSL_EMAIL}"
      - "--certificatesresolvers.mytlschallenge.acme.storage=/letsencrypt/acme.json"
    ports:
      - "80:80"
      - "443:443"
    volumes:
      - ${DATA_FOLDER}/letsencrypt:/letsencrypt
      - /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock:ro

  n8n:
    image: n8nio/n8n
    restart: always
    ports:
      - "127.0.0.1:5678:5678"
    labels:
      - traefik.enable=true
      - traefik.http.routers.n8n.rule=Host(`${SUBDOMAIN}.${DOMAIN_NAME}`)
      - traefik.http.routers.n8n.tls=true
      - traefik.http.routers.n8n.entrypoints=web,websecure
      - traefik.http.routers.n8n.tls.certresolver=mytlschallenge
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.SSLRedirect=true
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.STSSeconds=315360000
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.browserXSSFilter=true
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.contentTypeNosniff=true
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.forceSTSHeader=true
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.SSLHost=${DOMAIN_NAME}
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.STSIncludeSubdomains=true
      - traefik.http.middlewares.n8n.headers.STSPreload=true
    environment:
      - N8N_BASIC_AUTH_ACTIVE=true
      - N8N_BASIC_AUTH_USER
      - N8N_BASIC_AUTH_PASSWORD
      - N8N_HOST=${SUBDOMAIN}.${DOMAIN_NAME}
      - N8N_PORT=5678
      - N8N_PROTOCOL=https
      - NODE_ENV=production
      - WEBHOOK_URL=https://${SUBDOMAIN}.${DOMAIN_NAME}/
      - GENERIC_TIMEZONE=${GENERIC_TIMEZONE}
    volumes:
      - ${DATA_FOLDER}/.n8n:/home/node/.n8n

If you are planning on reading/writing local files with n8n (for example, by using the Write Binary File node, you will need to configure a data directory for those files here. If you are running n8n as a root user, add this under volumes for the n8n service:

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      - /local-files:/files

If you are running n8n as a non-root user, add this under volumes for the n8n service:

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      - /home/<YOUR USERNAME>/n8n-local-files:/files

You will now be able to write files to the /files directory in n8n and they will appear on your server in either /local-files or /home/<YOUR USERNAME>/n8n-local-files, respectively.

6. Create .env file#

Create an .env file and change it accordingly.

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# Folder where data should be saved
DATA_FOLDER=/root/n8n/

# The top level domain to serve from
DOMAIN_NAME=example.com

# The subdomain to serve from
SUBDOMAIN=n8n

# DOMAIN_NAME and SUBDOMAIN combined decide where n8n will be reachable from
# above example would result in: https://n8n.example.com

# The user name to use for authentication - IMPORTANT ALWAYS CHANGE!
N8N_BASIC_AUTH_USER=user

# The password to use for authentication - IMPORTANT ALWAYS CHANGE!
N8N_BASIC_AUTH_PASSWORD=password

# Optional timezone to set which gets used by Cron-Node by default
# If not set New York time will be used
GENERIC_TIMEZONE=Europe/Berlin

# The email address to use for the SSL certificate creation
SSL_EMAIL=[email protected]

Note: If you want to use special characters in the password, use quotes. For example, N8N_BASIC_AUTH_PASSWORD="[email protected]$w0rd"

7. Create data folder#

Create the folder which is defined as DATA_FOLDER. In the example above, it is /root/n8n/.

In that folder, the database file from SQLite as well as the encryption key will be saved.

The folder can be created like this:

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mkdir /root/n8n/

8. Start docker-compose#

n8n can now be started via:

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sudo docker-compose up -d

To stop the container:

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sudo docker-compose stop

9. Done#

n8n will now be reachable via the above defined subdomain + domain combination. The above example would result in: https://n8n.example.com

n8n will only be reachable via https and not via http.