Tipi home server manager


Tipi offers numerous well-known applications such as DokuWiki, Home Assistant, Joplin, Jellyfin, Nextcloud, Pi-hole, Plex, Syncthing, or WireGuard. Click on one of the icons to open an info page about the app. In addition to the version, you will find links to the homepage and the license. Click Install and then use the Expose app switch to choose whether you want Tipi to be accessible outside of your own network. For this, the domain you use (either static or DynDNS-based) must have an A record. You can make this decision later on in the application Settings (Figure 4).

In my case, I first installed the File Browser app to be able to access the files on my home server. This was followed by the Mealie recipe database, into which I imported some of my recipes as a test (Figure 5). To see which containers are installed, I also added Portainer (Figure 6). Depending on the app, the installation took between a few seconds and a few minutes and involved just two mouse clicks. The configuration files of the installed apps are stored in the runtipi folder below app-data in the app.env file in your home directory.

Figure 5: Mealie lets you import recipes from popular blogs quite easily. You can also create meal plans and generate shopping lists from the recipes.
Figure 6: If you install a large number of apps in Tipi, it makes sense to use Portainer to manage them.

Tailscale is another app worthy of mention. This is a VPN service that you can install on any device without having to configure any settings (Figure 7). Tailscale sets up WireGuard as a VPN and connects all participating devices in a mesh.

Figure 7: The Tailscale VPN service can be installed on any device without any configuration; it uses WireGuard as a VPN and connects the participating devices in a mesh.


In the main menu under Settings, Tipi lets you know when a new version becomes available. In this case, a single click on Update is all you need; the tool does all the work. It automatically stops, updates, and restarts the containers in the background. Pressing Restart triggers a restart of the Tipi server. The sudo ./scripts/stop.sh command in the runtipi folder stops the application. To remove Tipi completely, you also need to delete the runtipi file. The file contains information about the containers used in the docker-compose.yml file.

Tipi's documentation, while not yet complete, provides support for topics such as customizing apps [6]. A section on sharing apps outside of your home network was missing at the time of publication, but the process does not cause any problems. If you want to share several apps, it makes sense to create subdomains in advance if your domain does not have a wildcard function. During the installation of an app, flip the Expose app switch to share the app, and enter your subdomain name.

Meienberger describes in detail in the documentation how to share Tipi's web server for free via a tunnel courtesy of the Cloudflare CDN provider. This eliminates the need for router-based sharing and for changing DNS records provider-side. Another section explains how to include Tipi in systemd and how to start it at computer boot time.


Tipi is the fastest home server manager I have heard of, thus far. This is true for home network use, where Tipi is up and running after just a few minutes without requiring further expertise to install apps. When it comes to access from outside the home network, basic knowledge of networks and domains is absolutely essential. After all, the security of your server is at stake. The preparations for this are already in place due to the availability of a reverse proxy. You only need to provide your own domain, and subdomains if needed. A DynDNS service is fine for this, and preferably one that has a wildcard function, so that you can simply specify subdomains during the app installation without having to create them up front.

During testing, Tipi worked flawlessly. The project is under constant development, with new apps being added regularly. Besides reading the documentation, support is available on Telegram [7] or Discord [8]. You can also put forward new apps for inclusion in the package.

The Author

Ferdinand Thommes lives and works as a Linux developer, freelance writer, and tour guide in Berlin.

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