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01 May, 2024

What is Audiobookshelf ?

Audiobookshelf is a self-hosted audiobook and podcast server.

Audiobookshelf Features

  • Fully open-source, including the android & iOS app (in beta)
  • Stream all audio formats on the fly
  • Search and add podcasts to download episodes w/ auto-download
  • Multi-user support w/ custom permissions
  • Keeps progress per user and syncs across devices
  • Auto-detects library updates, no need to re-scan
  • Upload books and podcasts w/ bulk upload drag and drop folders
  • Backup your metadata + automated daily backups
  • Progressive Web App (PWA)
  • Chromecast support on the web app and android app
  • Fetch metadata and cover art from several sources
  • Chapter editor and chapter lookup (using Audnexus API)
  • Merge your audio files into a single m4b
  • Embed metadata and cover image into your audio files (using Tone)
  • Basic ebook support and ereader
    • Epub, pdf, cbr, cbz
    • Send ebook to device (i.e. Kindle)
  • Open RSS feeds for podcasts and audiobooks

Is there a feature you are looking for? Suggest it

Join us on Discord or Matrix

Android App (beta)

Try it out on the Google Play Store

iOS App (beta)

Beta is currently full. Apple has a hard limit of 10k beta testers. Updates will be posted in Discord/Matrix.

Using Test Flight: https://testflight.apple.com/join/wiic7QIW (beta is full)

Build your own tools & clients

Check out the API documentation

Library Screenshot

Organizing your audiobooks

Directory structure and folder names are important to Audiobookshelf!

See documentation for supported directory structure, folder naming conventions, and audio file metadata usage.

Install Audiobookshelf

See install docs

Reverse Proxy Set Up

Important! Audiobookshelf requires a websocket connection.

Note: Subfolder paths (e.g. /audiobooks) are not supported yet. See issue

NGINX Proxy Manager

Toggle websockets support.

NGINX Web socket

NGINX Reverse Proxy

Add this to the site config file on your nginx server after you have changed the relevant parts in the <> brackets, and inserted your certificate paths.

Terminal window
listen 443 ssl;
server_name <sub>.<domain>.<tld>;
access_log /var/log/nginx/audiobookshelf.access.log;
error_log /var/log/nginx/audiobookshelf.error.log;
ssl_certificate /path/to/certificate;
ssl_certificate_key /path/to/key;
location / {
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
proxy_set_header Host $host;
proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";
proxy_http_version 1.1;
proxy_pass http://<URL_to_forward_to>;
proxy_redirect http:// https://;

Apache Reverse Proxy

Add this to the site config file on your Apache server after you have changed the relevant parts in the <> brackets, and inserted your certificate paths.

For this to work you must enable at least the following mods using a2enmod:

  • ssl
  • proxy
  • proxy_http
  • proxy_balancer
  • proxy_wstunnel
  • rewrite
Terminal window
<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
<VirtualHost *:443>
ServerName <sub>.<domain>.<tld>
ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
ProxyPreserveHost On
ProxyPass / http://localhost:<audiobookshelf_port>/
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP:Upgrade} websocket [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP:Connection} upgrade [NC]
RewriteRule ^/?(.*) "ws://localhost:<audiobookshelf_port>/$1" [P,L]
# unless you're doing something special this should be generated by a
# tool like certbot by let's encrypt
SSLCertificateFile /path/to/cert/file
SSLCertificateKeyFile /path/to/key/file

Some SSL certificates like those signed by Let’s Encrypt require ACME validation. To allow Let’s Encrypt to write and confirm the ACME challenge, edit your VirtualHost definition to prevent proxying traffic that queries /.well-known and instead serve that directly:

Terminal window
<VirtualHost *:443>
# ...
# create the directory structure /.well-known/acme-challenges
# within DocumentRoot and give the HTTP user recursive write
# access to it.
DocumentRoot /path/to/local/directory
ProxyPreserveHost On
ProxyPass /.well-known !
ProxyPass / http://localhost:<audiobookshelf_port>/
# ...

SWAG Reverse Proxy

See LinuxServer.io config sample

Synology NAS Reverse Proxy Setup (DSM 7+/Quickconnect)

  1. Open Control Panel

    • Navigate to Login Portal > Advanced.
  2. General Tab

    • Click Reverse Proxy > Create.
    Reverse Proxy Nameaudiobookshelf
  3. Source Configuration

    Access Control ProfileLeave as is
    • Example Hostname: audiobookshelf.mydomain.synology.me
  4. Destination Configuration

    HostnameYour NAS IP
  5. Custom Header Tab

    • Go to Create > Websocket.
    • Configure Headers (leave as is):
    Header NameValue
  6. Advanced Settings Tab

    • Leave as is.

Traefik Reverse Proxy

Middleware relating to CORS will cause the app to report Unknown Error when logging in. To prevent this don’t apply any of the following headers to the router for this site:

  • accessControlAllowMethods
  • accessControlAllowOriginList
  • accessControlMaxAge

From @Dondochaka and @BeastleeUK

Example Caddyfile - Caddy Reverse Proxy

subdomain.domain.com {
encode gzip zstd
reverse_proxy <LOCAL_IP>:<PORT>


Below is a generic HAProxy config, using audiobookshelf.YOUR_DOMAIN.COM.

To use http2, ssl is needed.

# ... (your global settings go here)
mode http
# ... (your default settings go here)
frontend my_frontend
# Bind to port 443, enable SSL, and specify the certificate list file
bind :443 name :443 ssl crt-list /path/to/cert.crt_list alpn h2,http/1.1
mode http
# Define an ACL for subdomains starting with "audiobookshelf"
acl is_audiobookshelf hdr_beg(host) -i audiobookshelf
# Use the ACL to route traffic to audiobookshelf_backend if the condition is met,
# otherwise, use the default_backend
use_backend audiobookshelf_backend if is_audiobookshelf
default_backend default_backend
backend audiobookshelf_backend
mode http
# ... (backend settings for audiobookshelf go here)
# Define the server for the audiobookshelf backend
server audiobookshelf_server
backend default_backend
mode http
# ... (default backend settings go here)
# Define the server for the default backend
server default_server

pfSense and HAProxy

For pfSense the inputs are graphical, and Health checking is enabled.

Frontend, Default backend, access control lists and actions

Access Control lists
audiobookshelfHost starts with:audiobookshelf.

The condition acl names needs to match the name above audiobookshelf.

ActionParametersCondition acl names
Use Backendaudiobookshelfaudiobookshelf


The Name needs to match the Parameters above audiobookshelf.

Server list:
audiobookshelfHost starts with:audiobookshelf.
Health checking:

Health checking is enabled by default. Http check method of OPTIONS is not supported on Audiobookshelf. If Health check fails, data will not be forwared. Need to do one of following:

  • To disable: Change Health check method to none.
  • To make Health checking function: Change Http check method to HEAD or GET.