Instance configuration

General configuration is achieved using two type of settings.

Environment variables

Those are located in your .env file, which you should have created during installation.

Options from this file are heavily commented, and usually target lower level and technical aspects of your instance, such as database credentials.


You should restart all Funkwhale processes when you change the values on environment variables.

Instance settings

Those settings are stored in database and do not require a restart of your instance after modification. They typically relate to higher level configuration, such your instance description, signup policy and so on.

You can edit those settings directly from the web application, assuming you have the required permissions. The URL is /manage/settings, and you will also find a link to this page in the sidebar.

If you plan to use acoustid and external imports (e.g. with the youtube backends), you should edit the corresponding settings in this interface.


If you have any issue with the web application, a management interface is also available for those settings from Django’s administration interface. It’s less user friendly, though, and we recommend you use the web app interface whenever possible.

The URL should be /api/admin/dynamic_preferences/globalpreferencemodel/ (prepend your domain in front of it, of course).

Configuration reference


Determine how emails are sent.

Default: consolemail://

Possible values:

  • consolemail://: Output sent emails to stdout

  • dummymail://: Completely discard sent emails

  • smtp:// Send emails via SMTP via on port 25, without encryption, authenticating as user “user” with password “password”

  • smtp+ssl:// Send emails via SMTP via on port 465, using SSL encryption, authenticating as user “user” with password “password”

  • smtp+tls:// Send emails via SMTP via on port 587, using TLS encryption, authenticating as user “user” with password “password”


The email address to use to send email.

Default: Funkwhale <noreply@yourdomain>


Both the forms Funkwhale <noreply@yourdomain> and noreply@yourdomain work.


Default: None

The path on your server where Funkwhale can import files using in-place import. It must be readable by the webserver and Funkwhale api and worker processes.

On docker installations, we recommend you use the default of /music for this value. For non-docker installation, you can use any absolute path. /srv/funkwhale/data/music is a safe choice if you don’t know what to use.


This path should not include any trailing slash


You need to adapt your reverse-proxy configuration to serve the directory pointed by MUSIC_DIRECTORY_PATH on /_protected/music URL.



When using Docker, the value of MUSIC_DIRECTORY_PATH in your containers may differ from the real path on your host. Assuming you have the following directive in your docker-compose.yml file:

  - /srv/funkwhale/data/music:/music:ro

Then, the value of MUSIC_DIRECTORY_SERVE_PATH should be /srv/funkwhale/data/music. This must be readable by the webserver.

On non-docker setup, you don’t need to configure this setting.


This path should not include any trailing slash


Default: nginx

The type of reverse-proxy behind which Funkwhale is served. Either apache2 or nginx. This is only used if you are using in-place import.

User permissions

Funkwhale’s permission model works as follows:

  • Anonymous users cannot do anything unless configured specifically

  • Logged-in users can use the application, but cannot do things that affect the whole instance

  • Superusers can do anything

To make things more granular and allow some delegation of responsibility, superusers can grant specific permissions to specific users. Available permissions are:

  • Manage instance-level settings: users with this permission can edit instance settings as described in Instance settings

  • Manage library: users with this permission can import new music in the instance

  • Manage library federation: users with this permission can ask to federate with other instances, and accept/deny federation requests from other instances

There is no dedicated interface to manage users permissions, but superusers can login on the Django’s admin at /api/admin/ and grant permissions to users at /api/admin/users/user/.

Front-end settings

We offer a basic mechanism to customize the behaviour and look and feel of Funkwhale’s Web UI. To use any of the options below, you will need to create a custom JSON configuration file and serve it on https://yourinstanceurl/settings.json.

On typical deployments, this url returns a 404 error, which is simply ignored.


First, create the settings file:

cd /srv/funkwhale/

# create a directory for your configuration file
# you can use a different name / path of course
mkdir custom

# populate the configuration file with default values
cat <<EOF > custom/settings.json
  "additionalStylesheets": [],
  "defaultServerUrl": null

Once the settings.json file is created, you will need to serve it from your reverse proxy.

If you are using nginx, add the following snippet to your vhost configuration:

location /settings.json {
    alias /srv/funkwhale/custom/settings.json;

On apache, add the following to your vhost configuration:

Alias /settings.json /srv/funkwhale/custom/settings.json

Then reload your reverse proxy.

At this point, visiting https://yourinstanceurl/settings.json should serve the content of the settings.json file.


The settings.json file must be a valid JSON file. If you have any issue, try linting the file with a tool such as to detect potential syntax issues.

Available configuration options

Your settings.json can contain the following options:



Example value



Array of URLs

["https://test/theme.css"] (default: [])

A list of stylesheets URL (absolute or relative) that the web UI should load. see the “Theming” section below for a detailed explanation



"" (default: null)

The URL of the API server this front-end should connect with. If null, the UI will use the value of VUE_APP_INSTANCE_URL (specified during build) or fallback to the current domain

Missing options or options with a null value in the settings.json file are ignored.


To theme your Funkwhale instance, you need:

  1. A CSS file for your theme, that can be loaded by the front-end

  2. To update the value of additionalStylesheets in your settings.json file to point to your CSS file URL

cd /srv/funkwhale/custom
nano settings.json
# append
# "additionalStylesheets": ["/front/custom/custom.css"]
# to the configuration or replace the existing value, if any

# create a basic theming file changing the background to red
cat <<EOF > custom.css
body {
  background-color: red;

The last step to make this work is to ensure your CSS file is served by the reverse proxy.

On nginx, add the following snippet to your vhost config:

location /custom {
    alias /srv/funkwhale/custom;

On apache, use the following one:

Alias /custom /srv/funkwhale/custom

<Directory "/srv/funkwhale/custom">
  Options FollowSymLinks
  AllowOverride None
  Require all granted

Once done, reload your reverse proxy, refresh Funkwhale in your web browser, and you should see a red background.


You can reference external urls as well in additionalStylesheets, simply use the full urls. Be especially careful with external urls as they may affect your users privacy.


Loading additional stylesheets and CSS rules can affect the performance and usability of your instance. If you encounter issues with the interfaces and use custom stylesheets, try to disable those to ensure the issue is not caused by your customizations.