External Storage

By default, BookWyrm uses local storage for static assets (favicon, default avatar, etc.), and media (user avatars, book covers, etc.), but you can use an external storage service to serve these files. BookWyrm uses django-storages to handle external storage, such as S3-compatible services, Apache Libcloud or SFTP.

S3-compatible Services


Create a bucket at your S3-compatible service of choice, along with an Access Key ID and a Secret Access Key. These can be self hosted, like Ceph (LGPL 2.1/3.0) or MinIO (GNU AGPL v3.0), or commercial (Scaleway, Digital Ocean…).

This guide has been tested against Scaleway Object Storage. If you use another service, please share your experience (especially if you had to take different steps) by filing an Issue on the BookWyrm Documentation repository.

Co Cię czeka

Jeśli rozpoczynasz nową instancję BookWyrm, proces będzie zawierał:

  • Konfigurację usługi pamięci zewnętrznej
  • Aktywację pamięci zewnętrznej na BookWyrm
  • Uruchomienie swojej instancji BookWyrm
  • Aktualizację łącznika instancji

If you already started your instance, and images have been uploaded to local storage, the process will be:

  • Set up your external storage service
  • Copy your local media to external storage
  • Enable external storage on BookWyrm
  • Restart your BookWyrm instance
  • Update the instance connector

BookWyrm Settings

Edit your .env file by uncommenting the following lines:

  • AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID: your access key ID
  • AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY: your secret access key
  • AWS_STORAGE_BUCKET_NAME: your bucket name
  • AWS_S3_REGION_NAME: e.g. "eu-west-1" for AWS, "fr-par" for Scaleway or "nyc3" for Digital Ocean

If your S3-compatible service is Amazon AWS, you should be set. If not, you’ll have to uncomment the following lines:

  • AWS_S3_CUSTOM_DOMAIN: the domain that will serve the assets, e.g. "example-bucket-name.s3.fr-par.scw.cloud" or "${AWS_STORAGE_BUCKET_NAME}.${AWS_S3_REGION_NAME}.digitaloceanspaces.com"
  • AWS_S3_ENDPOINT_URL: the S3 API endpoint, e.g. "https://s3.fr-par.scw.cloud" or "https://${AWS_S3_REGION_NAME}.digitaloceanspaces.com"

Copying local media to external storage

If your BookWyrm instance is already running and media have been uploaded (user avatars, book covers…), you will need to migrate uploaded media to your bucket.

To zadanie wykonywane jest poleceniem:

./bw-dev copy_media_to_s3

Aktywowanie pamięci zewnętrznej dla BookWyrm

To enable the S3-compatible external storage, you will have to edit your .env file by changing the property value for USE_S3 from false to true:


If your external storage is being served over HTTPS (which most are these days), you'll also need to make sure that USE_HTTPS is set to true, so images will be loaded over HTTPS:


Static assets

Then, you will need to run the following command, to copy the static assets to your S3 bucket:

./bw-dev collectstatic

CORS settings

Once the static assets are collected, you will need to set up CORS for your bucket.

Some services like Digital Ocean provide an interface to set it up, see Digital Ocean doc: How to Configure CORS.

If your service doesn’t provide an interface, you can still set up CORS with the command line.

Create a file called cors.json, with the following content:

  "CORSRules": [
      "AllowedOrigins": ["https://MY_DOMAIN_NAME", "https://www.MY_DOMAIN_NAME"],
      "AllowedHeaders": ["*"],
      "AllowedMethods": ["GET", "HEAD", "POST", "PUT", "DELETE"],
      "MaxAgeSeconds": 3000,
      "ExposeHeaders": ["Etag"]

Replace MY_DOMAIN_NAME with the domain name(s) of your instance.

Then, run the following command:

./bw-dev set_cors_to_s3 cors.json

No output means it should be good.

If you are starting a new BookWyrm instance, you can go back to the setup instructions right now. If not, keep on reading.

Restarting your instance

Once the media migration has been done and the static assets are collected, you can load the new .env configuration and restart your instance with:

./bw-dev up -d

If all goes well, your storage has been changed without server downtime. If some fonts are missing (and your browser’s JS console lights up with alerts about CORS), something went wrong here. In that case it might be good to check the headers of a HTTP request against a file on your bucket:

curl -X OPTIONS -H 'Origin: http://MY_DOMAIN_NAME' http://BUCKET_URL/static/images/logo-small.png -H "Access-Control-Request-Method: GET"

Replace MY_DOMAIN_NAME with your instance domain name, BUCKET_URL with the URL for your bucket, you can replace the file path with any other valid path on your bucket.

If you see any message, especially a message starting with <Error><Code>CORSForbidden</Code>, it didn’t work. If you see no message, it worked.

For an active instance, there may be a handful of files that were created locally during the time between migrating the files to external storage, and restarting the app so it uses the external storage. To ensure that any remaining files are uploaded to external storage after switching over, you can use the following command, which will upload only files that aren't already present in the external storage:

./bw-dev sync_media_to_s3

Updating the instance connector

Note: You can skip this step if you're running an updated version of BookWyrm; in September 2021 the "self connector" was removed in PR #1413

In order for the right URL to be used when displaying local book search results, we have to modify the value for the cover images URL base.

Connector data can be accessed through the Django admin interface, located at the url http://MY_DOMAIN_NAME/admin. The connector for your own instance is the first record in the database, so you can access the connector with this URL: https://MY_DOMAIN_NAME/admin/bookwyrm/connector/1/change/.

The field Covers url is defined by default as https://MY_DOMAIN_NAME/images, you have to change it to https://S3_STORAGE_URL/images. Then, click the Save button, and voilà!

You will have to update the value for Covers url every time you change the URL for your storage.