Docker container for HandBrake
This is a Docker container for HandBrake.
The GUI of the application is accessed through a modern web browser (no installation or configuration needed on client side) or via any VNC client.
A fully automated mode is also available: drop files into a watch folder and let HandBrake process them without any user interaction.
HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs.
Launch the HandBrake docker container with the following command:
docker run -d \ --name=handbrake \ -p 5800:5800 \ -v /docker/appdata/handbrake:/config:rw \ -v $HOME:/storage:ro \ -v $HOME/HandBrake/watch:/watch:rw \ -v $HOME/HandBrake/output:/output:rw \ jlesage/handbrake
/docker/appdata/handbrake: This is where the application stores its configuration, log and any files needing persistency.
$HOME: This location contains files from your host that need to be accessible by the application.
$HOME/HandBrake/watch: This is where videos to be automatically converted are located.
$HOME/HandBrake/output: This is where automatically converted video files are written.
http://your-host-ip:5800 to access the HandBrake GUI. Files from
the host appear under the
/storage folder in the container.
docker run [-d] \ --name=handbrake \ [-e <VARIABLE_NAME>=<VALUE>]... \ [-v <HOST_DIR>:<CONTAINER_DIR>[:PERMISSIONS]]... \ [-p <HOST_PORT>:<CONTAINER_PORT>]... \ jlesage/handbrake
|-d||Run the container in background. If not set, the container runs in foreground.|
|-e||Pass an environment variable to the container. See the Environment Variables section for more details.|
|-v||Set a volume mapping (allows to share a folder/file between the host and the container). See the Data Volumes section for more details.|
|-p||Set a network port mapping (exposes an internal container port to the host). See the Ports section for more details.|
To customize some properties of the container, the following environment
variables can be passed via the
-e parameter (one for each variable). Value
of this parameter has the format
||ID of the user the application runs as. See User/Group IDs to better understand when this should be set.||
||ID of the group the application runs as. See User/Group IDs to better understand when this should be set.||
||Comma-separated list of supplementary group IDs of the application.||(unset)|
||Mask that controls how file permissions are set for newly created files. The value of the mask is in octal notation. By default, this variable is not set and the default umask of
||TimeZone of the container. Timezone can also be set by mapping
||When set to
||Priority at which the application should run. A niceness value of -20 is the highest priority and 19 is the lowest priority. By default, niceness is not set, meaning that the default niceness of 0 is used. NOTE: A negative niceness (priority increase) requires additional permissions. In this case, the container should be run with the docker option
||When set to
||Width (in pixels) of the application's window.||
||Height (in pixels) of the application's window.||
||When set to
||Password needed to connect to the application's GUI. See the VNC Password section for more details.||(unset)|
||Extra options to pass to the x11vnc server running in the Docker container. WARNING: For advanced users. Do not use unless you know what you are doing.||(unset)|
||HandBrake preset used by the automatic video converter. See the Automatic Video Conversion section for more details.||
||Video container format used by the automatic video converter for output files. This is typically the video filename extension. See the Automatic Video Conversion section for more details.||
||When set to
||Subdirectory of the output folder into which converted videos should be written. By default, this variable is not set, meaning that videos are saved directly into
||Time during which properties (e.g. size, time, etc) of a video file in the watch folder need to remain the same. This is to avoid processing a file that is being copied.||
||Minimum title duration (in seconds). Shorter titles will be ignored. This applies only to video disc sources (ISO file,
||Interval (in seconds) at which the automatic video converter checks for new files.||
||Setting this to
The following table describes data volumes used by the container. The mappings
are set via the
-v parameter. Each mapping is specified with the following
||rw||This is where the application stores its configuration, log and any files needing persistency.|
||ro||This location contains files from your host that need to be accessible by the application.|
||rw||This is where videos to be automatically converted are located.|
||rw||This is where automatically converted video files are written.|
Here is the list of ports used by the container. They can be mapped to the host
-p parameter (one per port mapping). Each mapping is defined in the
<HOST_PORT>:<CONTAINER_PORT>. The port number inside the
container cannot be changed, but you are free to use any port on the host side.
|Port||Mapping to host||Description|
|5800||Mandatory||Port used to access the application's GUI via the web interface.|
|5900||Optional||Port used to access the application's GUI via the VNC protocol. Optional if no VNC client is used.|
Docker Compose File
Here is an example of a
docker-compose.yml file that can be used with
Make sure to adjust according to your needs. Note that only mandatory network
ports are part of the example.
version: '3' services: handbrake: build: . ports: - "5800:5800" volumes: - "/docker/appdata/handbrake:/config:rw" - "$HOME:/storage:ro" - "$HOME/HandBrake/watch:/watch:rw" - "$HOME/HandBrake/output:/output:rw"
Docker Image Update
If the system on which the container runs doesn't provide a way to easily update
the Docker image, the following steps can be followed:
- Fetch the latest image:
docker pull jlesage/handbrake
- Stop the container:
docker stop handbrake
- Remove the container:
docker rm handbrake
- Start the container using the
When using data volumes (
-v flags), permissions issues can occur between the
host and the container. For example, the user within the container may not
exists on the host. This could prevent the host from properly accessing files
and folders on the shared volume.
To avoid any problem, you can specify the user the application should run as.
This is done by passing the user ID and group ID to the container via the
GROUP_ID environment variables.
To find the right IDs to use, issue the following command on the host, with the
user owning the data volume on the host:
Which gives an output like this one:
uid=1000(myuser) gid=1000(myuser) groups=1000(myuser),4(adm),24(cdrom),27(sudo),46(plugdev),113(lpadmin)
The value of
uid (user ID) and
gid (group ID) are the ones that you should
be given the container.
Accessing the GUI
Assuming that container's ports are mapped to the same host's ports, the
graphical interface of the application can be accessed via:
A web browser:
http://<HOST IP ADDR>:5800
Any VNC client:
<HOST IP ADDR>:5900
By default, access to the application's GUI is done over an unencrypted
connection (HTTP or VNC).
Secure connection can be enabled via the
variable. See the Environment Variables section for
more details on how to set an environment variable.
When enabled, application's GUI is performed over an HTTPs connection when
accessed with a browser. All HTTP accesses are automatically redirected to
When using a VNC client, the VNC connection is performed over SSL. Note that
few VNC clients support this method. [SSVNC] is one of them.
Here are the certificate files needed by the container. By default, when they
are missing, self-signed certificates are generated and used. All files have
PEM encoded, x509 certificates.
||VNC connection encryption.||VNC server's private key and certificate, bundled with any root and intermediate certificates.|
||HTTPs connection encryption.||Web server's private key.|
||HTTPs connection encryption.||Web server's certificate, bundled with any root and intermediate certificates.|
NOTE: To prevent any certificate validity warnings/errors from the browser
or VNC client, make sure to supply your own valid certificates.
NOTE: Certificate files are monitored and relevant daemons are automatically
restarted when changes are detected.
To restrict access to your application, a password can be specified. This can
be done via two methods:
- By using the
- By creating a
.vncpass_clearfile at the root of the
This file should contains the password in clear-text. During the container
startup, content of the file is obfuscated and moved to
The level of security provided by the VNC password depends on two things:
- The type of communication channel (encrypted/unencrypted).
- How secure access to the host is.
When using a VNC password, it is highly desirable to enable the secure
connection to prevent sending the password in clear over an unencrypted channel.
Access to Optical Drive(s)
By default, a Docker container doesn't have access to host's devices. However,
access to one or more device can be granted with the
--device DEV parameter.
Optical drives usually have
/dev/srX as device. For example, the first drive
/dev/sr0, the second
/dev/sr1, and so on. To allow HandBrake to access
the first drive, this parameter is needed:
To easily find devices of optical drives, start the container and look at its
log for messages similar to these ones:
... [cont-init.d] 95-check-optical-drive.sh: executing... [cont-init.d] 95-check-optical-drive.sh: looking for usable optical drives... [cont-init.d] 95-check-optical-drive.sh: found optical drive /dev/sr0, but it is not usable because is not exposed to the container. [cont-init.d] 95-check-optical-drive.sh: no usable optical drive found. [cont-init.d] 95-check-optical-drive.sh: exited 0. ...
Since HandBrake can decrypt DVD video discs, their conversion can be performed
directly from the optical device. From the graphical interface, click the
Open Source button and browse through the file system to find your optical
drive device (e.g.
Automatic Video Conversion
This container has an automatic video converter built-in. This is useful to
batch-convert videos without user interaction.
Basically, files copied to the
/watch container folder are automatically
converted by HandBrake to a pre-defined video format according to a pre-defined
preset. Both the format and the preset are specified via environment variables:
||"Very Fast 1080p30"|
See the Environment Variables section for details
about setting environment variables.
NOTE: Converted videos are stored to the
/output folder of the container.
NOTE: All default presets, along with personalized/custom ones, can be seen
with the HandBrake GUI.
Multiple Watch Folders
If needed, up to 4 additionnal watch folders can be used:
This is useful in scenarios where videos need to be converted by different
presets. For example, one could use a watch folder for movies and another watch
folder for TV shows, both having different encoding quality requirements.
By default, additional watch folders inherits the same settings has the main one
/watch). A setting for a particular watch folder can be overrided by adding
its index to the corresponding environment variable name.
For example, to set the HandBrake preset used to convert videos in
the environment variable
AUTOMATED_CONVERSION_PRESET_2 is used.
AUTOMATED_CONVERSION_PRESET_3 is used for
/watch3, and so on.
All settings related to the automatic video converter can be overrided for each
additional watch folder:
The automatic video converter supports video discs, in the folllowing format:
- ISO image file.
VIDEO_TSfolder (DVD disc).
BDMVfolder (Blu-ray disc).
Note that folder names are case sensitive. For example,
Bdmv won't be treated as discs, but as normal directories.
Video discs can have multiple titles (the main movie, previews, extras, etc).
In a such case, each title is converted to its own file. These files have the
XX is the title number. For example, if the file
MyMovie.iso has 2 titles, the following files would be generated:
It is possible to ignore titles shorted than a specific amount of time. By
default, only titles longer than 10 seconds are processed. This duration can be
adjusted via the
variable. See the Environment Variables section for
details about setting environment variables.
When the source is a disc folder, the name of the converted video file will
match its parent folder's name, if any. For example:
|Watch folder path||Converted video filename|
Custom actions can be performed using hooks. Hooks are shell scripts executed
by the automatic video converter.
NOTE: Hooks are always invoked via
/bin/sh, ignoring any shebang the
script may have.
Hooks are optional and by default, no one is defined. A hook is defined and
executed when the script is found at a specific location.
The following table describe available hooks:
||Hook executed when the conversion of a video file is terminated.||The first parameter is the status of the conversion. A value of
During the first start of the container, example hooks are installed in
/config/hooks/. Example scripts have the suffix
.example. For example,
you can use
/config/hooks/post_conversion.sh.example as a starting point.
NOTE: Keep in mind that this container has the minimal set of packages
required to run HandBrake. This may limit actions that can be performed in
Support or Contact
Having troubles with the container or have questions? Please
create a new issue.