Having finance under control is a good way to correctly manage money and analyze what expenses can be reduced to save. Usually many internet services offer solution to manage your money, but privacy issues raised attention on data saved in cloud, so more and more people look for self hosted solutions able to grant data reside in their home. An answer to this needs is Firefly III
In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to install FireFly III with Docker in a credit card sized, cheap computer: Raspberry PI.
What is Firefly III
Firefly III, a free and open source personal finance manager, aims to get you aware where your money are spent, so that you can organize better your payments and verify where you should look if you want to make saving.
It is self-hosted, meaning that it can run on a home computer or you can alternatively find a hosting service where to install it.
Firefly III installation can be performed on Docker, Kubernetes, LAMP server or via hosting tools (like Softaculous). For this project, I’m going to use Docker procedure on Raspberry PI 3 model A+, but this guide applies also to newer Rasperry PI boards.
What We Need
As usual, I suggest adding from now to your favorite e-commerce shopping cart all needed hardware, so that at the end you will be able to evaluate overall costs and decide if continuing with the project or removing them from the shopping cart. So, hardware will be only:
- Raspberry PI 3 Model A+ (including proper power supply or using a smartphone micro usb charger with at least 3A) or newer Raspberry PI Board
- high speed micro SD card (at least 16 GB, at least class 10)
Check hardware prices with following links:
Make your operatin system up to date, from command line:
sudo apt update -y && sudo apt upgrade -y
curl -fsSL https://get.docker.com -o get-docker.sh sudo sh get-docker.sh sudo usermod -aG docker pi sudo apt install docker-compose
Reboot or reload your profile to get docker privileges to pi user.
Preparing Build and Compose Files
You will need to set your favourite values for some credentials/parameters. It is better to prepare their values from now, so that you will be ready to set them. This tutorial will include following values, so you have to change them with your ones:
- “fireflyiiiDb” (name for database in MariaDB dedicated to your Firefly III)
- “fireflyiiiUser” (user for database access in MariaDB)
- “fireflyiiiPassword” (password for database access in MariaDB)
You will also need an APP_KEY, which needs to be a random string of 32 characters. This APP_KEY can be generated from your terminal with command:
head /dev/urandom | LANG=C tr -dc 'A-Za-z0-9' | head -c 32
Strart preparing the folder where files will be collected. Folder name will be used, by default, from docker compose to name container services. Create and enter it:
mkdir fireflyIII cd fireflyIII
Folder will include following files, which I’m going to show you one by one:
Dockerfile mySqlScript.sql docker-compose.yml .env
This file is used to build MariaDB container from a lite debian base image. Please refer to Create custom MariaDB container article for more detailed info:
FROM debian RUN apt update -y && apt install mariadb-server -y RUN sed -i 's/bind-address/bind-address = 0.0.0.0 #/i' /etc/mysql/mariadb.conf.d/50-server.cnf RUN mkdir /mysql_scripts COPY mySqlScript.sql /mysql_scripts/ RUN /etc/init.d/mysql start && mysql -uroot --password="" -e "source /mysql_scripts/mySqlScript.$ CMD /etc/init.d/mysql start && tail -f /dev/null
Also this script refers to MariaDB custom container creation. It differs from original one because the create database command is issued at start. Consider that this script will run only once at first boot during building process:
CREATE DATABASE fireflyiiiDb; create user fireflyiiiUser@'%' identified by 'fireflyiiiPassword'; grant all privileges on fireflyiiiDb.* to fireflyiiiUser@'%'; flush privileges; quit
This is a mix between MariaDB compose file and Firefly III file.
# My MariaDB # by peppe8o.com version: '3' services: fireflyiii: image: jc5x/firefly-iii:latest volumes: - firefly_iii_upload:/var/www/firefly-iii/storage/upload env_file: .env ports: - 80:8080 depends_on: - fireflyiiidb fireflyiiidb: build: . restart: always volumes: - firefly_iii_db:/var/lib/mysql volumes: firefly_iii_upload: firefly_iii_db:
env file includes all configurations needed by Firefly III service. Get .env file from FireflyIII example file and save it with correct name:
wget -O .env https://raw.githubusercontent.com/firefly-iii/firefly-iii/main/.env.example
Customize .env file:
Identify and change following parameters:
APP_KEY=SomeRandomStringOf32CharsExactly -> change with your random generated APP_KEY
DB_DATABASE=firefly -> change to DB_DATABASE=fireflyiiiDb
DB_USERNAME=firefly -> change to DB_USERNAME=fireflyiiiUser
DB_PASSWORD=secret_firefly_password -> change to DB_PASSWORD=fireflyiiiPassword
You can edit or leave with default values remaining parameters.
Run Firefly III
Finally, start service by issuing following terminal command:
docker-compose up -d
Your Raspberry PI will automatically start from Debian image. It will update the base image and install MariaDB, then using sql script to initialize your database container.
Then, still automatically, it will download all FireFly III packages to initialize related container. Once finished you will have back your terminal prompt. Setup operations could continue also after containers are created, so check Firefly III web container logs with following command:
docker logs fireflyiii_fireflyiii_1
Please, note that if you used a different folder name, you will have firefly service named with folder name before underscore character. Operations should finish when this command results in something similar to following one:
... Updated version. +------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | | | Thank you for installing Firefly III, v5.4.2! | | | | | +------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ Go! AH00558: apache2: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using 172.20.0.3. Set the 'ServerName' directive globally to suppress this message AH00558: apache2: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using 172.20.0.3. Set the 'ServerName' directive globally to suppress this message [Fri Sep 25 23:22:55.451094 2020] [mpm_prefork:notice] [pid 1] AH00163: Apache/2.4.38 (Debian) PHP/7.4.10 configured -- resuming normal operations [Fri Sep 25 23:22:55.451308 2020] [core:notice] [pid 1] AH00094: Command line: 'apache2 -D FOREGROUND'
From here your FireflyIII service should be ready. In your favourite web browser, use Raspberry PI IP address (mine one is 192.168.1.177) for URL. Page will be redirected to Firefly III registration URL (give more minutes in case of connection refused error and try again):
Insert your email address and choose your password (consider that your password must be at least 16 digits, include upper case, symbol, chars and number).
Then click register button. You will be redirected to Firefly III home page:
You are now ready to use your Firefly III service!
For more info and user guide, please refer to Firefly III official documentation page.
At procedure end, it is a good practice entering MariaDB container to change root password for security.
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