Running the Lychee Photo Management App on the Raspberry Pi

In this tutorial, we will show you how to self-host the Lychee photo management system on your Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi Lychee

Lychee is a free and open-source web-based photo management tool that you can easily self-host on your Raspberry Pi in minutes.

This tool gives you a very easy-to-use interface to manage photos without sacrificing looks. While it might not be as feature packed as tools like Photoprism or Immich, it is excellent for those wanting a simple photo manager.

Using this photo management tool, you can move, rename, describe, and even delete your photos in seconds. The key to this feeling better than just using your file browser is the software interface, which is designed so you can easily navigate through all of your photos.

In addition, if you have your Raspberry Pi exposed to the internet, you can easily use Lychee to share photos or entire albums with the public. If you only want a particular person to access a shared album, you can even set a password.

The Pi makes an excellent choice for hosting tools like this photo manager as it uses very little power and is affordable to keep running 24/7.

By the end of this tutorial, you will have an easy-to-use photo tool that you can access from any web browser.

Before continuing, you must have a Raspberry Pi with a 64-bit operating system installed. Lychee only provides ARM64 builds.


Below is a list of equipment we used when setting up Lychee on our Raspberry Pi.



This tutorial was last tested on a Raspberry Pi 5 running the latest version of Raspberry Pi OS Bookworm 64-bit.

Installing Lychee on the Raspberry Pi

In the following steps, we will walk you through the process of getting Lychee installed and running on the Raspberry Pi.

To make this whole process significantly easier, we will be using Docker. Docker allows us to install software like Lychee without worrying too much about its dependencies.

Preparing your Raspberry Pi to Run Lychee

1. Before we install and run the Lychee photo management app, we must complete a few tasks.

The first is to ensure our Raspberry Pi is up to date. We can update the package list cache and upgrade any out-of-date packages using the following two commands.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

2. After updating your Raspberry Pi, your next step is to install the Docker runtime.

Follow our guide on installing Docker before continuing with this tutorial. If you already have Doker installed, skip straight to the next step.

3. With Docker installed, we will need to create a directory to store the Compose file for Lychee on our Raspberry Pi.

We will also set up the Lychee container to store its files within this directory.

You can create a directory at “/opt/stacks/lycheeusing the mkdir command below.

sudo mdkir -p /opt/stacks/lychee

4. Now that we have created a directory to store everything, we must change to it.

You can change directories on Linux by using the cd command.

cd /opt/stacks/lychee

Writing a Compose File to Run Lychee on the Raspberry Pi

5. To write the Compose file for Lychee on the Raspberry Pi, you will want to use the command below. We use the nano text editor as it is one of the easiest to use.

A Compose file is like a set of instructions for Docker to follow when setting up and running software like Lychee. It is easier to manage than purely using commands.

sudo nano compose.yaml

If you want a better way of managing Docker containers on your Raspberry Pi, we highly recommend checking out Dockge.

6. In this new file, type in the following lines.

While you fill out this file, ensure that you replace the following placeholders.

  • : Replace this with a secure password that will be used for the database’s root user.
  • : Replace this placeholder with a password that Lychee will use to interact with the database. This password is separate from the root user.
  • : You must specify a time zone using the TZ Identifier. You can find a list of valid values by visiting Wikipedia and looking in the “TZ Identifier” column.

    For example, my region’s valid time zone identifier is “Australia/Hobart“.

  • : This is one of the most important options to set, as it controls how URLs are handled in Lychee.

    You must replace this with the path you intend on accessing Lychee through.

    For example, our IP address is, and Lychee is running off port 90, so we used the following URL:

version: '3'

    container_name: lychee_db
    image: mariadb:10
      - MYSQL_DATABASE=lychee
      - MYSQL_USER=lychee
      - 3306
      - mysql:/var/lib/mysql
      - lychee
    restart: unless-stopped

    image: lycheeorg/lychee
    container_name: lychee
      - 90:80
      - ./conf:/conf
      - ./uploads:/uploads
      - ./sym:/sym
      - ./logs:/logs
      - lychee
      - PHP_TZ=
      - TIMEZONE=
      - APP_URL=
      - DB_CONNECTION=mysql
      - DB_HOST=lychee_db
      - DB_PORT=3306
      - DB_DATABASE=lychee
      - DB_USERNAME=lychee
      - DB_PASSWORD=
      - STARTUP_DELAY=30
    restart: unless-stopped
      - lychee_db



7. Once you have finished filling out the Compose file, you can save and quit by pressing CTRL + X, Y, and then ENTER.

Starting up the Lychee Photo Management Tool

8. One significant advantage of using Docker is that it makes running and managing software like Lychee straightforward on your Raspberry Pi.

To start the Lychee container, you must run the following command. Docker will handle downloading the latest version of the container and then run it.

docker compose up -d

Since we use the “-d” option, Docker will detach from the terminal once Lychee has successfully started.

Accessing the Lychee Web Interface

9. To access the Lychee web interface, you will need to know your Raspberry Pi’s IP address.

The easiest way to get the IP assigned to your Pi is to use the hostname command.

hostname -I

10. Once you know your IP address, you only need to go to the following address in your favorite web browser.

Ensure that you replace “” with your IP.


11. The first time you access the Lychee web interface, you will be asked to create an admin account. Fill in the username and password you want to use to access Lychee (1.).

After filling out your login details, click the “Create admin account” button (2.).

Set up Admin Account for Lychee on the Raspberry Pi

12. If everything worked correctly, you should see a message saying your admin account has been created.

To continue using your Raspberry Pi’s Lychee installation, click the “Open Lychee” button.

Open Lychee

13. You can now use the account you just created to log in to the Lychee web interface (1.).

Once you have filled out your information, click the “Sign In” button (2.).

Login to your Admin Account

14. Below, you can see that we now have Lychee up and running on our Raspberry Pi, and we have uploaded some of our photos.

To upload photos, click the plus (+) icon in the top-right corner.

Lychee running on the Raspberry Pi with photos uploaded

Updating Lychee on your Raspberry Pi

Lychee is updated fairly often, but luckily, Docker makes updating to the latest release a straightforward process.

All we need to do is change to the directory where we wrote the Compose file and tell it to download the newest release.

1. Your first step is to change to where we wrote the Compose file earlier in this guide.

You can change to this directory using the following command within the terminal.

cd /opt/stacks/lychee

2. Once you are in the right place, we can tell Docker to pull the latest Lychee image to our Raspberry Pi.

docker compose pull

3. If a new version is downloaded, Lychee will automatically move over to it when we restart the container.

Luckily, using the same command we used to start Lychee in the first place will detect the new version and restart the container for us.

docker compose up -d


By this point in the tutorial, you will have the Lychee photo management tool running on your Raspberry Pi.

This tool is a great way to manage your photos from one central location easily.

Please feel free to drop a comment below if you have had any problems installing this tool on your Pi.

If you found this project to be helpful, we recommend you explore our many other Raspberry Pi projects.

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