Self hosted

Chatpad AI: Self-hosted Secure ChatGPT App in Docker

There is no shortage of OpenAI tools and self-hosted apps. However, among the ones I have tried so far, Chatpad AI is arguably the best experience. In case you have not heard about Chatpad AI, this post will take a deep dive look at what Chatpad AI brings to the table and how you can easily spin up a self-hosted secure ChatGPT app in Docker, allowing you to interact with OpenAI’s API on your own terms.

What is Chatpad AI?

Chatpad AI is a free and open-source chat user interface focusing on privacy and providing the best user experience possible. It allows users to download a desktop app and manage their data, such as exporting and importing data and deleting data. As a powerful AI-powered conversational platform UI that wraps its UI around the OpenAI API, Chatpad AI stands out in terms of its approach to user privacy and optimal user experience.

The Power of Chatpad AI

Chatpad AI is not just another UI for ChatGPT users. It’s a tool crafted to deliver a premium quality UI experience. Chatpad AI allows users to interact with the ChatGPT platform in a way that is not just user-friendly but also data-focused. All your data is stored locally, giving users full control over their information. The Chatpad AI app comes in three flavors:

  • Desktop App

  • Web App

  • Self-hosted web app

On the official Github site, you can scroll down on the page, and you will see the Web App & Desktop App available.

Options to download the desktop app and connect to the web app
Options to download the desktop app and connect to the web app

Privacy-focused UI Tool with Chatpad AI

Chatpad AI stands out as a privacy-focused UI tool for the ChatGPT platform. With its emphasis on user privacy, all your data is stored locally, ensuring user information is not collected or tracked. The app is designed with a privacy-focused user interface in mind. This ensures that user privacy is upheld and users retain full power over their data.

Optimal User Experience with Chatpad AI

What sets the Chatpad AI app apart from other tools is its optimal user experience. It’s not just about the interface – it’s about the experience crafted for users. It features a sleek and uncluttered interface, and navigating the Chatpad AI app is simple and smooth.

But the Chatpad AI offers more than just a premium quality UI. It includes a persona selector that enables you to invoke multiple character personas that can inspire creative and enjoyable conversations. Coupled with the saved prompts feature, Chatpad proves to be a more efficient choice than other alternatives.

Data Management with Chatpad AI

When it comes to managing data, the Chatpad AI app shines. With features that allow importing data, users can easily bring in their existing conversations into the platform. As an AI-powered conversational platform, Chatpad AI places a great deal of emphasis on how data is managed. Not only is all your data stored locally, but users also can export and delete their data as they see fit. This level of control over data is one of the many reasons why Chatpad AI is becoming the preferred choice for many ChatGPT users.

The Open Source Advantage of Chatpad AI

Chatpad AI is free and open source. The source code is available on GitHub, allowing anyone to make modifications or contribute to its development. This open-source approach, combined with the privacy-focused design, makes Chatpad AI a tool that truly respects user privacy and data sovereignty. With Chatpad, the power is truly in the hands of the users. It’s more than just a user interface for the ChatGPT platform, and it’s a tool designed to improve the experience of interacting with AI in a way that respects user privacy.

Spinning up Chatpad AI in Docker and Docker Compose

Creating a new Chatpad AI Docker container is super easy and is a one-liner from the official Chatpad AI Github repo:

docker run --name chatpad -d -p 8080:80 ghcr.io/deiucanta/chatpad:latest

Docker Compose code looks like the following:

version: "3"
services:
  chatpad:
    container_name: chatpad
    image: ghcr.io/deiucanta/chatpad:latest
    restart: always
    ports:
      - "8080:80"

Below, we are running the simple Docker run command.

Running the Chatpad AI Docker container using the Docker command line
Running the Chatpad AI Docker container using the Docker command line

You should be able to navigate to your Docker host IP/name and pull up the Chatpad AI app page locally. Super cool!

Navigating to the Chatpad AI self hosted web app
Navigating to the Chatpad AI self hosted web app

API key is needed

You will need to generate and provide your OpenAI API key to initialize the tool.

Setting page where you enter your OpenAI API key
Setting page where you enter your OpenAI API key

API key populated and saved.

API key entered and selecting the OpenAI model
API key entered and selecting the OpenAI model

Docker-Compose with Traefik

If you want to secure your Chatpad AI app self-hosted installation, you will want to use a reverse proxy like Traefik to do this.

Using Docker Compose and Traefik, you can use Lets Encrypt or self-signed certificates to secure your Chatpad AI app traffic.

chatpad:
    container_name: chatpad
    image: ghcr.io/deiucanta/chatpad:latest
    restart: always
    networks:
      traefik:
        ipv4_address: 172.19.0.16
    labels:
      - "traefik.enable=true"
      - "traefik.http.routers.chatpad.rule=Host(`chat.example.com`)"
      - "traefik.http.routers.chatpad.tls=true"
      - "traefik.http.routers.chatpad.entrypoints=websecure"
      - "traefik.http.services.chatpad.loadbalancer.server.port=80"

Frequently Asked Questions about Chatpad AI

1. What Makes it Different from Other AI-Powered Conversational Platforms?

It is a unique AI-powered conversational platform. Unlike many other platforms, it is a free and open-source tool. It offers an optimal user experience with its user-friendly system and premium-quality UI. But what truly sets it apart is its privacy-focused approach. All your data is stored locally, meaning you have full control over your information. Moreover, the app doesn’t collect or track any user data, ensuring that your privacy is upheld at all times​​.

2. How Can I Start Using the Chatpad AI App?

Starting with the app is simple. The application comes in three flavors – a Desktop App, a Web App, and a Self-hosted web app. All you need to do is download the app, enter your ChatGPT API key, and you can start creating new chats with ChatGPT. The app provides a privacy-focused UI tool that makes interacting with the ChatGPT platform a seamless and enjoyable experience​2​.

3. How Does Chatpad AI Enhance the ChatGPT User Interface?

It offers an enhanced experience for ChatGPT users with its unique features. The persona selector’s standout feature lets users choose from various character personas for more creative and enjoyable conversations. Another noteworthy feature is the saved prompts option, which allows users to store pre-written messages. These can be reused in future chats, saving time and improving efficiency. With these and other features, the app provides an experience crafted for users that goes beyond a typical ChatGPT user interface​.

4. Is Chatpad AI Really Free?

Yes, it is free for anyone to use without any constraints. It is a free and open-source software, and its source code is accessible on GitHub. This allows anyone to make modifications or contribute to its development. This commitment to being free and open source is a testament to the dedication to user privacy and data sovereignty​. Remember, you will have to pay for the OpenAI API access you use.

5. Can I Import My Existing Conversations into Chatpad AI?

Absolutely! One of the key features of is its focus on data management. Users can import their existing data into the platform, ensuring a seamless transition. In addition to importing data, all your data is stored locally, and users can also export and delete their data as they wish. These data management features give users complete control over their data, making it an ideal tool for privacy-conscious users​​.

6. What’s New in the Latest Versions of Chatpad AI?

It is continually improving to provide the best experience for its users. In the latest versions of the app, users can expect enhancements in user experience and privacy, with all data still stored locally. Stay tuned to the official website or GitHub repository for announcements about updates to ensure you’re using the latest and best version of the app​.

Self-host your ChatGPT chats now!

Chatpad AI is more than just an AIpowered conversational platform. It is a tool that provides a great user experience while ensuring user privacy, and you can self-host it in Docker in your home lab. From its data management features to its privacy-focused UI tool, it represents a significant step forward in how users interact with ChatGPT.

Storing all your data locally and not collecting or tracking user information upholds user privacy while providing a great way to interact with the OpenAI API. With its premium quality UI and innovative features like the persona selector and saved prompts, it beats the experience you get with ChatGPT Plus and most likely will save you money over a ChatGPT Plus subscription. The fact that it’s free and open source only adds to its appeal.

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Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee is the Senior Writer, Engineer and owner at Virtualizationhowto.com and has over two decades of experience in Information Technology. Having worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as in various industries, Brandon has extensive experience in various IT segments and is a strong advocate for open source technologies. Brandon holds many industry certifications, loves the outdoors and spending time with family.

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