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redoubt is a simple, yet powerful & secure express based server. 🏰
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README.md

redoubt 🏰

redoubt is a simple, yet powerful & secure express based server.

Why?

I recently came to realize that most of my projects incorporating a web server end up containing the exact same server boilerplate code:

  • A JSON Body Parser
  • A URL Encoded Parser
  • A static file directory somewhere
  • An (optional) cookie based session storage
  • Proper compression for all files & data
  • And last but not least SSL certificates

The first four are rather trivial to set up, the last one would travidionally be a bit tricky and/or costly.

Thankfully, Let's Encrypt is giving aways certificates, so we've got free, automatically renewed certificates built in.

Quick Start

Install the library into your project:

npm i redoubt

You are ready to set up your server:

const Redoubt = require("redoubt");
const path = require("path");
const fs = require("fs");

const server = new Redoubt({
  // The name of your server
  name: "my-redoubt-server",
  // Let's Encrypt will issue our certificates(We need to specify some details about our domain)
  certs: "letsEncrypt",
  agreeGreenlockTos: true,
  domains: ["patrick-sachs.de"],
  webmasterMail: "the-webmaster-mail@patrick-sachs.de"
  // We also serve some static files
  staticFiles: { from: path.resolve(__dirname, "./static"), serve: "/" },
  // The cookie on the client side(contains the session ID) is obfuscated with this secret.
  cookieSecret: "maggots-at-the-party",
});
// Express app exposed via "app" - Set up your actual server here!
server.app.get("/api/data", (req, res) => res
  .json({ values: ["express", "test"] })
  .end());
// Let's rock! 🤘
server.listen();

The code above is an example for a production server. Production servers using certs: "letsEncrypt" need a public FQDN in order for Let's Encrypt to be able to issue certificates to it.

For development server, we can either set isDevelopment: true, or use manually created certificates:

certs: {
  cert: fs.readFileSync(path.resolve(__dirname, "./server.crt")),
  key: fs.readFileSync(path.resolve(__dirname, "./key.pem")),
  allowUnsigned: true
},

See the /example/index.js file for a complete development server example.

All properties

Key Description Type Default/Required
name The name of your server. Currently only used for the name of the session cookie, but this might change in the future. string ✔️ Required
domains The domain names the Let's Encrypt certificates should be issued against. The first value is your primary domain. Must all be valid, resolvable FQDNs. Simply pass localhost in a development envrionment. string[] ✔️ Required
webmasterMail The mail of the webmaster. Used by Let's Encrypt to conact you when something related to your certificates happens(about to be renewed...). string ✔️ Required
cookieSecret This secret is used to obfuscate the session ID of the user saved in the cookie. Only the ID of the session is saved on the client side, not the actual data. If this secret is weak or compromised in any other way users can trivially pose as other users and access their session data. string ✔️ Required
isDevelopment If this server running in development mode? Development mode servers do not compress, do not request valid SSL certificates and trust invalid SSL certificates. boolean false
ssl The certificates your server uses. You can either use Let's Encrypt or your your own certificates(e.g. if you are running in a company internal network). Keep in mind that when using manually generated certificates, key and cert must contain the certificate & key file contents, not their file paths. `"none" "letsEncrypt"
letsEncryptCertDirectory When using Let's Encrypt certificates, this is where they will be stored. Must be a directory with write access. string "./.certs/"
agreeGreenlockTos The greenlock library used to create the Let's Encrypt certificates requires you to explictly accept their TOS. boolean false
staticFiles Allows you to serve static files. File location on your server is specified in from, and URL users will be able to access them from in serve. `{ from: string, serve: string } null`
maxPayloadSize The max size in bytes a single JSON or URL encoded request to the server can have. number 100 * 1024
debug Allows to to specify your own debug function(Or disable debug by passing null). By default the console is used. `((level: string, ...args: any[]) => void) null`

Questions

  • I'm getting an error about greenlock TOS! - Please read about the agreeGreenlockTos option.
  • My development server is "Not Secure"! - This is expected. Let's Encrypt can't issue certificates for localhost. As long as the domains option if correct on your production server it will work there.
  • I don't want to use port 443 & 80! - The listen(https: number, http: number | null) function allows you to customize the ports. You can also pass null as second parameter to disable the HTTP server redirection.
  • How do I access the user session data? - See the express-session documentation: https://www.npmjs.com/package/express-session

Contributing

Feel free to go ahead and do so. I'm very open when it comesto PRs, Issues and Feature Requests.

This project is written in TypeScript and has a very minimal setup and configuration.

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