Example Projects

PSPDFKit Server comes with two example projects — one written in Ruby on Rails, and one written in Node.js — to demonstrate how to integrate PSPDFKit Server with your own backend.

If you’re looking into PSPDFKit for Web and need an activation key, we recommend referring to the Setting Up PSPDFKit Server guide for Server-backed deployment instead.

Once you’re ready to integrate with your own backend, you can set up an instance of PSPDFKit Server using our Deployment guide, which shows you the necessary docker-compose.yml file in detail.

  1. Make sure you have Docker installed and running.

    On macOS, we recommend the most recent version of Docker for Mac.

    On Windows, we recommend the most recent version of Docker for Windows.

    You can use any OS supported by Docker, including popular Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Red Hat, or CentOS.

    Review our Docker guide to learn about all installation options. Reboot after installing Docker.

    Verify that Docker works via typing docker info into a terminal. Ensure that the output includes OSType: linux. If this is missing, revisit the installation instructions. PSPDFKit Server is a Linux-based Docker container and requires a Docker environment capable of running Linux containers.

  2. Pull the pspdfkit image from Docker Hub:

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    docker pull pspdfkit/pspdfkit
    
  3. Get one of our example apps.

    The examples provide docker-compose.yml and Dockerfile files that will work without additional configuration:

    To clone the example to your machine and switch to its directory, run the following commands:

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    git clone https://github.com/PSPDFKit/pspdfkit-server-example-nodejs.git
    cd pspdfkit-server-example-nodejs
    
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    git clone https://github.com/PSPDFKit/pspdfkit-server-example-rails.git
    cd pspdfkit-server-example-rails
    

    ℹ️ Note: If this command doesn’t work, you might need to install Git first.

  4. Run the example:

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    ACTIVATION_KEY=YOUR_ACTIVATION_KEY_GOES_HERE docker-compose up
    
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    set ACTIVATION_KEY=YOUR_ACTIVATION_KEY_GOES_HERE
    docker-compose up
    
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    $env:ACTIVATION_KEY='YOUR_ACTIVATION_KEY_GOES_HERE'
    docker-compose up
    

    You only have to provide the activation key once. After doing so, the server will remain activated until you reset it.

    The example app is now running on http://localhost:3000. It will prompt for a username, but you can enter anything to proceed.

    You can also access PSPDFKit Server’s dashboard at http://localhost:5000/dashboard with the username dashboard and the password secret.

    You can quit the running containers with Ctrl + C.

    If you want to test PSPDFKit for Web on different devices in your local network, you need to edit the PSPDFKIT_SERVER_EXTERNAL_URL environment variable in the docker-compose.yml file and set it to an address that’s reachable from your device.

⚠️ Warning: If you get an error, you might need to install docker-compose separately. If the message is the “ERROR: Couldn’t connect to Docker daemon at http+docker://localunixsocket - is it running?” warning under Linux, check with docker info to see if the service is running. You might need to use sudo for the compose command.

  1. Follow the Getting Started guides for PSPDFKit Instant for Android, iOS, or Web.