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nginx-proxy sets up a container running nginx and docker-gen. docker-gen generate reverse proxy configs for nginx and reloads nginx when containers they are started and stopped.

See Automated Nginx Reverse Proxy for Docker for why you might want to use this.

This fork is from jwilder.

About this fork

This fork is adding the following:

  • Use the official Nginx Docker image (Stable version for production)
  • Hidding the Nginx version number (server_tokens)
  • Adding the possibility to define change the default size of uploads (client_max_body_size)
  • Allow to mount a volume to /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ in order to check the genenrated Nginx configuration file
  • Adding TLS (SSL) support
  • Basic Auth

You can fetch the image from

The original features


To run it:

$ docker run -d -p 80:80 -v /var/run/docker.sock:/tmp/docker.sock zedtux/nginx-proxy

Then start any containers you want proxied with an env var

$ docker run -e  ...

Provided your DNS is setup to forward to the a host running nginx-proxy, the request will be routed to a container with the VIRTUAL_HOST env var set.

Multiple Ports

If your container exposes multiple ports, nginx-proxy will default to the service running on port 80. If you need to specify a different port, you can set a VIRTUAL_PORT env var to select a different one. If your container only exposes one port and it has a VIRTUAL_HOST env var set, that port will be selected.

Multiple Hosts

If you need to support multipe virtual hosts for a container, you can separate each entry with commas. For example,,, and each host will be setup the same.

Separate Containers

nginx-proxy can also be run as two separate containers using the jwilder/docker-gen
image and the official nginx image.

You may want to do this to prevent having the docker socket bound to a publicly exposed container service.

To run nginx proxy as a separate container you'll need to have nginx.tmpl on your host system.

First start nginx with a volume:

$ docker run -d -p 80:80 --name nginx -v /tmp/nginx:/etc/nginx/conf.d -t nginx

Then start the docker-gen container with the shared volume and template:

$ docker run --volumes-from nginx \
    -v /var/run/docker.sock:/tmp/docker.sock \
    -v $(pwd):/etc/docker-gen/templates \
    -t docker-gen -notify-sighup nginx -watch --only-published /etc/docker-gen/templates/nginx.tmpl /etc/nginx/conf.d/default.conf

Finally, start your containers with VIRTUAL_HOST environment variables.

$ docker run -e  ...

TLS (SSL) Support

In the case you have a TLS (or the SSL) certificate you can easily use it with nginx.

Create a directory on your server where you will upload the .crt and .key files to be used:

$ mkdir /etc/docker/my-app/ssl/
$ cp ~/my-app.* /etc/docker/my-app/ssl/
$ ls -al /etc/docker/my-app/ssl/
total 4
-rw-r--r-- 4 root root 4096 Nov 15 18:01 my-app.crt
-rw-r--r-- 4 root root 4096 Nov 15 18:01 my-app.key

Run the nginx image with a volume to this folder and with the port 443:

$ docker run -d -p 80:80 -p 443:443 -v /etc/docker/my-app/ssl/:/etc/nginx/ssl/ -v /var/run/docker.sock:/tmp/docker.sock zedtux/nginx-proxy

Now when you will start you application, just set the variable SSL_FILENAME:

$ docker run -e VIRTUAL_HOST=my-app.domain.tld -e SSL_FILENAME=my-app username/imagename

You should then be able to access https://my-app.domain.tld/.

Basic Auth

Basic Auth coupled with HTTPS can be a simple way to secure the access to an URL.

First of all prepare a folder where to store the .htpasswd files and generate one:

$ mkdir /etc/docker/nginx/htpasswd/
$ htpasswd -c /etc/docker/nginx/htpasswd/my-app.htpasswd zedtux
New password:
Re-type new password:
Adding password for user zedtux

Run the nginx image with a volume in order to mount this folder in the nginx container:

$ docker run -d -p 80:80 -p 443:443 -v /etc/docker/nginx/htpasswd/:/etc/nginx/htpasswd/ -v /var/run/docker.sock:/tmp/docker.sock zedtux/nginx-proxy

Now start your application container passing the HTPASSWD_FILENAME variable:

$ docker run -e -e HTPASSWD_FILENAME=my-app username/imagename

Accessing should ask you for a login and password.

Docker registry

The Docker registry requires to have 2 URLs without the Basic Auth in order to work properly.
You just have to define the variable DOCKER_REGISTRY in order to fix it:

$ docker run -d -e VIRTUAL_HOST=registry.domain.tld -e HTPASSWD_FILENAME=registry -e DOCKER_REGISTRY=true registry
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