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PairDrop is a sublime alternative to AirDrop that works on all platforms. Send images, documents or text via peer to peer connection to devices in the same local network/Wi-Fi or to paired devices.


Supported Architectures

We utilise the docker manifest for multi-platform awareness. More information is available from docker here and our announcement here.

Simply pulling should retrieve the correct image for your arch, but you can also pull specific arch images via tags.

The architectures supported by this image are:

Architecture Available Tag
x86-64 amd64-<version tag>
arm64 arm64v8-<version tag>

Application Setup

Web UI is accessible at http://SERVERIP:PORT. It is strongly recommended to run PairDrop via a reverse proxy, served over HTTPS, if you are making it publicly available. In this configuration you must ensure that the X-Forwarded-For header is being set correctly, otherwise all clients will be mutually visible.

Most proxies will set this header automatically but may require additional configuration if you are using something like Cloudflare Proxy.

Custom STUN/TURN Servers

To specify custom STUN/TURN servers for PairDrop clients to use, create a JSON config file in a mounted path and use the RTC_CONFIG environment variable to point to it.

You can use as a starting point.

Note on Websocket fallback

Enabling WS_FALLBACK provides a fallback if the peer to peer WebRTC connection is not available to the client.

This is especially useful if you connect to your instance via a VPN as most VPN services block WebRTC completely in order to hide your real IP address.

Warning: All traffic sent between devices using this fallback is routed through the server and therefor not peer to peer! Traffic routed via this fallback is readable by the server and uses the server's bandwidth.


To help you get started creating a container from this image you can either use docker-compose or the docker cli.

    container_name: pairdrop
      - PUID=1000
      - PGID=1000
      - TZ=Etc/UTC
      - RATE_LIMIT=false #optional
      - WS_FALLBACK=false #optional
      - RTC_CONFIG= #optional
      - DEBUG_MODE=false #optional
      - 3000:3000
    restart: unless-stopped

docker cli (click here for more info)

docker run -d \
  --name=pairdrop \
  -e PUID=1000 \
  -e PGID=1000 \
  -e TZ=Etc/UTC \
  -e RATE_LIMIT=false `#optional` \
  -e WS_FALLBACK=false `#optional` \
  -e RTC_CONFIG= `#optional` \
  -e DEBUG_MODE=false `#optional` \
  -p 3000:3000 \
  --restart unless-stopped \


Containers are configured using parameters passed at runtime (such as those above). These parameters are separated by a colon and indicate <external>:<internal> respectively. For example, -p 8080:80 would expose port 80 from inside the container to be accessible from the host's IP on port 8080 outside the container.

Ports (-p)

Parameter Function
3000 http gui

Environment Variables (-e)

Env Function
PUID=1000 for UserID - see below for explanation
PGID=1000 for GroupID - see below for explanation
TZ=Etc/UTC specify a timezone to use, see this list.
RATE_LIMIT=false Set to true to limit clients to 100 requests per 5 min
WS_FALLBACK=false Set to true to enable websocket fallback if the peer to peer WebRTC connection is not available to the client (see App Setup notes).
RTC_CONFIG= Path to a json file containing custom STUN/TURN config (see App Setup notes)
DEBUG_MODE=false Set to true to debug the http server configuration by logging clients IP addresses used by PairDrop to STDOUT. See here for more info. Do not use in production!

Volume Mappings (-v)

Volume Function

Miscellaneous Options

Parameter Function

Environment variables from files (Docker secrets)

You can set any environment variable from a file by using a special prepend FILE__.

As an example:

-e FILE__MYVAR=/run/secrets/mysecretvariable

Will set the environment variable MYVAR based on the contents of the /run/secrets/mysecretvariable file.

Umask for running applications

For all of our images we provide the ability to override the default umask settings for services started within the containers using the optional -e UMASK=022 setting. Keep in mind umask is not chmod it subtracts from permissions based on it's value it does not add. Please read up here before asking for support.

User / Group Identifiers

When using volumes (-v flags), permissions issues can arise between the host OS and the container, we avoid this issue by allowing you to specify the user PUID and group PGID.

Ensure any volume directories on the host are owned by the same user you specify and any permissions issues will vanish like magic.

In this instance PUID=1000 and PGID=1000, to find yours use id your_user as below:

id your_user

Example output:

uid=1000(your_user) gid=1000(your_user) groups=1000(your_user)

Docker Mods

Docker Mods Docker Universal Mods

We publish various Docker Mods to enable additional functionality within the containers. The list of Mods available for this image (if any) as well as universal mods that can be applied to any one of our images can be accessed via the dynamic badges above.

Support Info

  • Shell access whilst the container is running:

    docker exec -it pairdrop /bin/bash
  • To monitor the logs of the container in realtime:

    docker logs -f pairdrop
  • Container version number:

    docker inspect -f '{{ index .Config.Labels "build_version" }}' pairdrop
  • Image version number:

    docker inspect -f '{{ index .Config.Labels "build_version" }}'

Updating Info

Most of our images are static, versioned, and require an image update and container recreation to update the app inside. With some exceptions (noted in the relevant, we do not recommend or support updating apps inside the container. Please consult the Application Setup section above to see if it is recommended for the image.

Below are the instructions for updating containers:

Via Docker Compose

  • Update images:

    • All images:

      docker-compose pull
    • Single image:

      docker-compose pull pairdrop
  • Update containers:

    • All containers:

      docker-compose up -d
    • Single container:

      docker-compose up -d pairdrop
  • You can also remove the old dangling images:

    docker image prune

Via Docker Run

  • Update the image:

    docker pull
  • Stop the running container:

    docker stop pairdrop
  • Delete the container:

    docker rm pairdrop
  • Recreate a new container with the same docker run parameters as instructed above (if mapped correctly to a host folder, your /config folder and settings will be preserved)

  • You can also remove the old dangling images:

    docker image prune

Image Update Notifications - Diun (Docker Image Update Notifier)


We recommend Diun for update notifications. Other tools that automatically update containers unattended are not recommended or supported.

Building locally

If you want to make local modifications to these images for development purposes or just to customize the logic:

git clone
cd docker-pairdrop
docker build \
  --no-cache \
  --pull \
  -t .

The ARM variants can be built on x86_64 hardware using multiarch/qemu-user-static

docker run --rm --privileged multiarch/qemu-user-static:register --reset

Once registered you can define the dockerfile to use with -f Dockerfile.aarch64.


  • 31.01.24: - Rebase to Alpine 3.19.
  • 30.05.23: - Rebase to Alpine 3.18.
  • 06.03.23: - Run npm install as non-root user.
  • 20.02.23: - Initial Release.