MusicBrainz Server / Setup

Setup from Docker Compose

This method is recommended as it makes install, setup, and maintenance much easier for you, to the cost of a small overhead compared to the size of the database.

It can be used to:

  • Replicate the MusicBrainz website/web service/database,
  • Test your own app that queries MusicBrainz web service,
  • Develop MusicBrainz Server itself.

See MusicBrainz Docker and its release notes.

Setup from source code

This can potentially be a very laborious and time consuming method of getting a functioning MusicBrainz server. Use it only if you cannot use MusicBrainz Docker for some reason (disk space, development, …).

Get a copy of musicbrainz-server from git:

git clone --recursive musicbrainz-server
cd musicbrainz-server

And follow the instructions in the INSTALL file.


The setup process may look daunting, but please don't let this discourage you; the INSTALL is thorough and contains a lot of information, and we are willing to provide assistance. If you have questions about installing, join us in the #metabrainz IRC channel or post a question on the community forum and we will attempt to help you out.

We recommend that you dive in and give it a try - who knows how far you'll get and what you might learn along the way!


In order to set up a running MusicBrainz server with the full database you will need:

  • A linux box, preferably Ubuntu.
  • 60GB+ of free disk space, (if you are a developer and only want the server code and database structure 2GB+ should do, count 6GB+ if you want sample data).
  • Git knowledge which will enable you to check out the source code.
  • PostgreSQL, Perl, Node.js, and some other dependencies (See all software prerequisites)

As a developer the following knowledge/skills are beneficial:

  • Perl and a number of perl modules, PostgreSQL, React/JSX.
  • How to compile and install packages from source on a Linux box.
  • How to patch existing packages, although we can help you out if you have questions about that.

Note: The server has never been ported to Windows, and we suspect that it would be a fair amount of work to make that happen.

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