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How to run your own ngrokd server

Running your own ngrok server is really easy! The instructions below will guide you along your way!

1. Get an SSL certificate

ngrok provides secure tunnels via TLS, so you'll need an SSL certificate. Assuming you want to create tunnels on *.example.com, buy a wildcard SSL certificate for *.example.com. Note that if you don't need to run https tunnels that you don't need a wildcard certificate. (In fact, you can just use a self-signed cert at that point, see the section on that later in the document).

2. Modify your DNS

You need to use the DNS management tools given to you by your provider to create an A record which points *.example.com to the IP address of the server where you will run ngrokd.

3. Compile it

You can compile an ngrokd server with the following command:

make release-server

Make sure you compile it with the GOOS/GOARCH environment variables set to the platform of your target server. Then copy the binary over to your server.

4. Run the server

You'll run the server with the following command.

./ngrokd -tlsKey="/path/to/tls.key" -tlsCrt="/path/to/tls.crt" -domain="example.com"

Specifying your TLS certificate and key

ngrok only makes TLS-encrypted connections. When you run ngrokd, you'll need to instruct it where to find your TLS certificate and private key. Specify the paths with the following switches:

-tlsKey="/path/to/tls.key" -tlsCrt="/path/to/tls.crt"

Setting the server's domain

When you run your own ngrokd server, you need to tell ngrokd the domain it's running on so that it knows what URLs to issue to clients.

-domain="example.com"

5. Configure the client

In order to connect with a client, you'll need to set two options in ngrok's configuration file. The ngrok configuration file is a simple YAML file that is read from ~/.ngrok by default. You may specify a custom configuration file path with the -config switch. Your config file must contain the following two options.

server_addr: example.com:4443
trust_host_root_certs: true

Substitute the address of your ngrokd server for "example.com:4443". The "trust_host_root_certs" parameter instructs ngrok to trust the root certificates on your computer when establishing TLS connections to the server. By default, ngrok only trusts the root certificate for ngrok.com.

6. Connect with a client

Then, just run ngrok as usual to connect securely to your own ngrokd server!

ngrok 80

ngrokd with a self-signed SSL certificate

It's possible to run ngrokd with a a self-signed certificate, but you'll need to recompile ngrok with your signing CA. If you do choose to use a self-signed cert, please note that you must either remove the configuration value for trust_host_root_certs or set it to false:

trust_host_root_certs: false

Special thanks @kk86bioinfo, @lyoshenka and everyone in the thread https://github.com/inconshreveable/ngrok/issues/84 for help in writing up instructions on how to do it:

https://gist.github.com/lyoshenka/002b7fbd801d0fd21f2f https://github.com/inconshreveable/ngrok/issues/84