smlx and mholt init: Fix configuration permissions in systemd integration. (#2130)
This fixes the permissions on /etc/caddy to match standard linux
permissions for /etc, and makes the Caddyfile read-only for the caddy
Latest commit e263566 Jun 19, 2018

systemd Service Unit for Caddy

Please do not hesitate to ask on caddyserver/support if you have any questions. Feel free to prepend to your question the username of whoever touched the file most recently, for example @wmark re systemd: ….

The provided file should work with systemd version 219 or later. It might work with earlier versions. The easiest way to check your systemd version is to run systemctl --version.


We will assume the following:

  • that you want to run caddy as user www-data and group www-data, with UID and GID 33
  • you are working from a non-root user account that can use 'sudo' to execute commands as root

Adjust as necessary or according to your preferences.

First, put the caddy binary in the system wide binary directory and give it appropriate ownership and permissions:

sudo cp /path/to/caddy /usr/local/bin
sudo chown root:root /usr/local/bin/caddy
sudo chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/caddy

Give the caddy binary the ability to bind to privileged ports (e.g. 80, 443) as a non-root user:

sudo setcap 'cap_net_bind_service=+ep' /usr/local/bin/caddy

Set up the user, group, and directories that will be needed:

sudo groupadd -g 33 www-data
sudo useradd \
  -g www-data --no-user-group \
  --home-dir /var/www --no-create-home \
  --shell /usr/sbin/nologin \
  --system --uid 33 www-data

sudo mkdir /etc/caddy
sudo chown -R root:root /etc/caddy
sudo mkdir /etc/ssl/caddy
sudo chown -R root:www-data /etc/ssl/caddy
sudo chmod 0770 /etc/ssl/caddy

Place your caddy configuration file ("Caddyfile") in the proper directory and give it appropriate ownership and permissions:

sudo cp /path/to/Caddyfile /etc/caddy/
sudo chown root:root /etc/caddy/Caddyfile
sudo chmod 644 /etc/caddy/Caddyfile

Create the home directory for the server and give it appropriate ownership and permissions:

sudo mkdir /var/www
sudo chown www-data:www-data /var/www
sudo chmod 555 /var/www

Let's assume you have the contents of your website in a directory called ''. Put your website into place for it to be served by caddy:

sudo cp -R /var/www/
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/
sudo chmod -R 555 /var/www/

You'll need to explicitly configure caddy to serve the site from this location by adding the following to your Caddyfile if you haven't already: {
    root /var/www/

Install the systemd service unit configuration file, reload the systemd daemon, and start caddy:

sudo cp caddy.service /etc/systemd/system/
sudo chown root:root /etc/systemd/system/caddy.service
sudo chmod 644 /etc/systemd/system/caddy.service
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl start caddy.service

Have the caddy service start automatically on boot if you like:

sudo systemctl enable caddy.service

If caddy doesn't seem to start properly you can view the log data to help figure out what the problem is:

journalctl --boot -u caddy.service

Use log stdout and errors stderr in your Caddyfile to fully utilize systemd journaling.

If your GNU/Linux distribution does not use journald with systemd then check any logfiles in /var/log.

If you want to follow the latest logs from caddy you can do so like this:

journalctl -f -u caddy.service

You can make other certificates and private key files accessible to the www-data user with the following command:

setfacl -m user:www-data:r-- /etc/ssl/private/my.key