Public | Automated Build

Last pushed: 2 years ago
Short Description
Based on SteveLTN/https-portal, this image offers also support for ldap
Full Description


HTTPS-PORTAL is a fully automated HTTPS server powered by
Nginx, Let's Encrypt and
Docker. By using it, you can run any existing web
application over HTTPS, with only one extra line of configuration.

The SSL certificates are obtained, and renewed from Let's Encrypt

Docker Hub page:

##Table of Contents


This project is in active development. Use it in production with CAUTION.


HTTPS-PORTAL is shipped as a Docker image. To use it, you need a Linux machine
(either local or remote host) which:

  • Has 80 and 443 port available and exposed.
  • Has Docker Engine installed.
    In addition, Docker Compose is highly
    recommended, for it makes your life easier. Examples in our documents are
    mainly in Docker Compose format.
  • Has all domains you're going to use in the following examples resolving to

Though it is good to have, knowledge about Docker is not required to use

See It Work

Create a docker-compose.yml file with the following content in any directory
of your choice:

  image: steveltn/https-portal
    - '80:80'
    - '443:443'
    DOMAINS: ''
    # STAGE: 'production'

Run docker-compose up command in the same directory. A moment later you'll
have a welcome page running in

Quick Start

This is a more real-world example docker-compose.yml, create it in another

  image: steveltn/https-portal
    - '80:80'
    - '443:443'
    - wordpress
  restart: always
    DOMAINS: ' -> http://wordpress'
    # STAGE: 'production'
    # FORCE_RENEW: 'true'

  image: wordpress
    - db:mysql

  image: mariadb
    MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD: '<a secure password>'

Run docker-compose up -d command. A moment later you'll get a WordPress
running on

In the example above, only the environment variables under https-portal
section are HTTPS-PORTAL specific configurations. This time we added an extra
parameter -d, it will tell Docker Compose to run the apps defined in
docker-compose.yml in background.

Note: STAGE is staging by default, which results in a test
(untrusted) certificate from Let's Encrypt.


Test Locally

You can test HTTPS-PORTAL with your application stack locally.

  # ...
    STAGE: local
    DOMAINS: ''

When doing it, HTTPS-PORTAL will create a self-signed certificate.
This certificated is not likely to be trusted by your browser, but you can
use it to test your docker-compose file, make sure it works with your application

Note that HTTPS-PORTAL only listens to, as you specified in the compose file.
In order to make HTTPS-PORTAL respond to your connection, you need to either:

  • modify your hosts file to have resolving to your docker host


  • set up DNSMasq on your computer/router, this method provides more flexibility

Once you are done testing, you can deploy your application stack to the server.

Automatic Container Discovery

HTTPS-PORTAL is capable of discovering other Docker containers running on the
same host, as long as Docker API socket is accessible within the container.

In order to make it so, launch HTTPS-PORTAL using the following docker-compose.yml.

Notice: Container discovery doesn't work with compose v2 syntax for now, because of an incompatibility between the
new network interface and docker-gen.

  # ...
    - /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock:ro

and launch one or more web applications with:

  # ...
    - '8080:80'
    # tell HTTPS-PORTAL to set up ""

Note that here is no need to link your web service to HTTPS-PORTAL, and you shouldn't put in environment variable DOMAINS of HTTP-PORTAL.

This feature allows you to deploy multiple web applications on the same host
without restarting HTTPS-PORTAL itself or interrupting other application while
adding/removing web applications.

If your web service has more than one port exposed (mind that ports can be exposed in your web service Dockerfile),
use environment variable VIRTUAL_PORT to specify which port accepts HTTP request:

  # ...
    - '8080:80'
    - '2222:22'
    VIRTUAL_PORT: '8080'

Of course container discovery works in combination with ENV specified domains:

  # ...
    - /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock:ro
    DOMAINS: ' -> http://upstream'

Hybrid Setup with Non-Dockerized Apps

Web applications that run directly on host machine instead of in Docker
containers are available at dockerhost.

For instance, if an application accepts HTTP requests on port 8080 of the host
machine, you can start HTTPS-PORTAL by:

  # ...
    DOMAINS: ' -> http://dockerhost:8080'

Multiple Domains

You can specify multiple domains by splitting them with commas:

  # ...
    DOMAINS: ' -> http://wordpress,
    -> http://gitlab'

Serving Static Sites

Instead of forwarding requests to web applications, HTTPS-PORTAL can also serve
(multiple) static sites directly:

  # ...
    DOMAINS: ','
    - /data/https-portal/vhosts:/var/www/vhosts

After HTTPS-PORTAL started, it will create corresponding sub-directories for
each virtual host in /data/https-portal/vhosts directory on the host machine:

│  └── index.html
    └── index.html

You can place your own static files in this directory hierarchy, they will not
be overwritten. You need an index.html to be served as the homepage.

Share Certificates with Other Apps

You can mount an arbitrary host directory to /var/lib/https-portal as a
data volume.

For instance:

  # ...
    - /data/ssl_certs:/var/lib/https-portal

Now your certificates are available in /data/ssl_certs of your host.

Advanced Usage

Configure Nginx through Environment Variables

There are several additional environment variables that you can use to config Nginx.
They are coressponding to the configuration options that you would normally supply in nginx.conf.
The following are the config keys with default values:

SERVER_NAMES_HASH_BUCKET_SIZE=32        # defaults to 32 or 64 based on your CPU
CLIENT_MAX_BODY_SIZE=1M                 # 0 disables checking request body size

Override Nginx Configuration Files

You can override default nginx settings by providing a config segment of
nginx.conf containing a valid server block. The custom nginx configurations
are ERB templates and will be
rendered before usage.

For instance, to override both HTTPS and HTTP settings for,
you can launch HTTPS-PORTAL by:

  # ...
    - /path/to/http_config:/var/lib/nginx-conf/
    - /path/to/https_config:/var/lib/nginx-conf/

This file and this file are the default configuration files used by HTTPS-PORTAL.
You can probably start by copying these files and make modifications on them.

Another example can be found here.

If you want to make an Nginx configuration that will be used by all sites, you can overwrite /var/lib/nginx-conf/default.conf.erb or /var/lib/nginx-conf/default.ssl.conf.erb. These two files will be propagated to each site if the site-specific configuration files are not provided.

How It Works


  • obtains an SSL certificate for each of your subdomains from
    Let's Encrypt.
  • configures Nginx to use HTTPS (and force HTTPS by redirecting HTTP to HTTPS)
  • sets up a cron job that checks your certificates every week, and renew them.
    if they expire in 30 days.

About Rate Limits of Let's Encrypt

Let's Encrypt is in public beta at the moment. According to
this and
this discussion,
the rate limits are

  • 10 registrations per IP per 3 hours.
  • 5 certificates per domain (not sub-domain) per 7 days.

The former is not usually a problem, however the latter could be, if you want
to apply certificates for multiple sub-domains on a single domain. Let's
Encrypt does support SAN certificates, however it requires careful planning
and is hard to automate. So in HTTPS-PORTAL we only deal with CN certificates.

HTTPS-PORTAL stores your certificates in a data volume and will not re-sign
certificates until 30 days before expiration if a valid certificate is found
(you can force renew certificates by using FORCE_RENEW: 'true' environment
variable). However if you play around with the image a lot, you can hit the
limit. That's why STAGE is staging by default, and thus we use the
Let's Encrypt staging server. When you made your experiments and feel
everything is good, you can switch to production mode with STAGE: 'production'.

According to Let's Encrypt, the restrictions will be loosen as the beta goes.


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