Web Server Proxy. DEPRECATED. Use: https://github.com/docker-scripts/wsproxy
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Web Server Proxy

If we want to host several domains/subdomains on the same webserver we can use name-based virtual hosting. If we need to host these domains/subdomains in different webservers, each one in its own docker container, there is a problem because the ports 80/443 can be used (exposed to the host) only by one of the containers.

In such a case the Reverse Proxy module of apache2 comes to the rescue. We can have a docker container with apache2 that forwards all the http requests to the other containers (webservers), behaving like a kind of http gateway or hub. This is what wsproxy does.


  • Get the code from github: git clone https://github.com/docker-build/wsproxy

  • Create a workdir:

    mkdir wsproxy1
    cd wsproxy1
    ln -s ../wsproxy .
  • Build the image and create a container:

    cp wsproxy/utils/config.sh .
    vim config.sh
  • Create the containers of each webserver using commands like this:

    docker run -d --name=ws1 --hostname=test1.example.org webserver-1
    docker run -d --name=ws2 --hostname=test2.example.org webserver-2

    Note that no HTTP ports are exposed to the host (for example using options -p 80:80 -p 443:443).

  • Add domains for test1.example.org and test2.example.org:

    wsproxy/domains-add.sh ws1 test1.example.org
    wsproxy/domains-add.sh ws2 test2.example.org test3.example.org
  • To add a domain that is served through ssh tunnel by a remote server:

    wsproxy/sshtunnel-add.sh test4.example.org

    This will also create the script sshtunnel-keys/test4.example.org.sh which can be used to establish the tunnel from the remote webserver.

  • Get a letsencrypt.org free SSL cert for the domains:

    wsproxy/get-ssl-cert.sh info@test1.example.org test1.example.org test2.example.org --test
    wsproxy/get-ssl-cert.sh info@test1.example.org test1.example.org test2.example.org

Note: In case that one of the containers ws1 or ws2 is stopped and started again, it may change its IP (which is given with DHCP by docker). In this case the /etc/hosts inside the proxy container should be updated as well:


How it works

HTTP requests for a domain are redirected to HTTPS with a configuration like this:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName example.org
    ProxyPass /.well-known !
    ProxyPass / http://example.org/
    ProxyPassReverse / http://example.org/
    ProxyRequests off

HTTPS requests are forwarded to another webserver/container with a configuration like this:

<VirtualHost _default_:443>
    ServerName example.org
    ProxyPass / https://example.org/
    ProxyPassReverse / https://example.org/

    ProxyRequests off

    SSLEngine on
    SSLCertificateFile     /etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem
    SSLCertificateKeyFile  /etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key
    #SSLCertificateChainFile /etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem

    SSLProxyEngine on
    SSLProxyVerify none
    SSLProxyCheckPeerCN off
    SSLProxyCheckPeerName off

    BrowserMatch "MSIE [2-6]" \
            nokeepalive ssl-unclean-shutdown \
            downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0
    BrowserMatch "MSIE [17-9]" ssl-unclean-shutdown


It is important to note that without a line like this on /etc/hosts: example.org, apache2 would not know where to forward the request.

Also these apache2 modules have to be enabled:

a2enmod ssl proxy proxy_http proxy_connect proxy_balancer cache headers rewrite