Standard Notes Syncing Server

by standardnotes


Standard Notes Syncing Server

You can run your own Standard Notes server and use it with any Standard Notes app. This allows you to have 100% control of your data. This server is built with Ruby on Rails and can be deployed in minutes.


  • Ruby 2.3+
  • Rails 5
  • MySQL 5.6+ database

Getting started

  1. Clone the project:

    git clone
  2. Create a .env file in the project's root directory. See env.sample for required values.

  3. Initialize the project:

    bundle install
    bundle exec rails db:create db:migrate
  4. Start the server:

    bundle exec rails server


syncing-server uses RSpec for tests.

To execute all of the test specs, run the following command at the root of the project directory:

bundle exec rspec

Code coverage report is available within the coverage directory.

Docker setup

Docker is the quick and easy way to try out Standard Notes. With two commands you'll be up and running.

Standalone instance

The Dockerfile is enough to get you up and running. Once Docker is installed on your system simply run the following commands to get up and running in development mode:

$ docker build -t syncing-server .
$ docker run -d \
  -p 3000:3000 \
  --name my-syncing-server \

You can then access the server via the Desktop application by setting the Sync Server Domain (Under Advanced Options) to http://localhost:3000

Note: ⚠️ This standalone setup is designed for development use only. Please use the docker-compose method below for production instances.

Docker compose

Use the included docker-compose.yml file to build Standard Notes with docker-compose. Once your .env file has been copied and configured, simply run:

docker-compose up -d

This should load the syncing-server and MySQL database containers and run the necessary migrations. You should then be able to reach the server at http://localhost:[EXPOSED_PORT] . For example, if inside of my .env file I set "EXPOSED_PORT=7459" I could reach the syncing-server via http://localhost:7459

To stop the server, cd into this directory again and run docker-compose down

Your MySQL Data will be written to your local disk at /var/lib/mysql - Be sure to back this up in a production instance.

Disable new account registrations

To disable the registration of new user accounts, follow these instructions.

Docker Compose

  1. Edit the file config/routes.rb

  2. Comment out the following lines and save the file

    post "auth" => "api/auth#register"
    post "auth" => "auth#register"`
  3. Run docker-compose down top stop all containers

  4. Run docker-compose build --no-cache app to rebuild the app

  5. Run docker-compose up


You can deploy your own Standard Notes server with one click on Heroku:


Raspberry Pi

You can run your own Standard Notes server on a Raspberry Pi using docker-compose.


  • A Raspberry Pi running Raspbian OS
  • Docker (you can install it using the convenience script)

Getting started

  1. Install libffi and libssl dependencies:

    sudo apt install -y libffi-dev libssl-dev
  2. Install python3 and python3-pip:

    sudo apt install -y python3 python3-pip
  3. Install docker-compose:

    sudo pip3 install docker-compose
  4. Setup your .env file and run:

    docker-compose -f docker-compose.yml -f docker-compose.raspberry-pi.yml up -d

Tested on a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B