Securing a node with Nginx and Certbot  


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24/05/2019 9:51 pm  

This guide will help you to enable SSL on your node, making all HTTP communication encrypted. We will make use of Nginx and Certbot.

Nginx is a web server which can also be used as a reverse proxy, load balancer, mail proxy and HTTP cache.

Certbot is an easy-to-use client that fetches a certificate from Let's Encrypt—an open certificate authority launched by the EFF, Mozilla, and others—and deploys it to a web server.

PLEASE NOTE: This guide is made as easy as possible and does not go in-depth in regards to each individual topic. I highly recommend visiting the resources below to learn more about using Nginx and Certbot.


  • Fully synced XQR relay node
  • Registered domain name
  • DNS records of domain pointing to the public IP address of your node (both with and without www.)

Step 1: Installing Nginx

Update local packages:

sudo apt update

Install nginx:

sudo apt install nginx

Ignore any fail2ban errors.

Allow traffic on port 80 to be able to set things up:

sudo ufw allow 'Nginx HTTP'

Verify firewall rules:

sudo ufw status

Check if Nginx is running correctly by navigating to your node's public IP in a browser ( http://your_server_ip). You should see the splash screen: Welcome to nginx!

Step 2: Installing Certbot

Add the repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:certbot/certbot

If you're using 16.04, update first:

sudo apt-get update

Install Certbot Nginx package:

sudo apt install python-certbot-nginx

Step 3: Allow HTTPS through firewall

Allow HTTPS traffic:

sudo ufw allow 'Nginx Full'

Remove redundant HTTP profile:

sudo ufw delete allow 'Nginx HTTP'

Step 4: Obtaining an SSL certificate

Let certbot obtain the certificates for your domains (replace with your domain):

sudo certbot --nginx -d -d
  • Enter your email
  • Accept the terms of service
  • Decide on whether to share your email
  • Choose any of the 2 options (we'll overwrite this later, anyway)

Visit your domain via https to verify that everything works (for example: )

Step 5: Redirect your domain to the node's API endpoint

Open the nginx config file with nano:

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/default

Remove all contents from the config and add the following (replacing all occurrences of with your own domain):

server {
  listen 443;
  ssl on;
  ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/; # managed by Certbot
  ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/; # managed by Certbot
  ssl_verify_client off;
  ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;

location / {
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header X-NginX-Proxy true;
    proxy_pass  http://localhost:4103/; 
    proxy_ssl_session_reuse off;
    proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
    proxy_cache_bypass $http_upgrade;
    proxy_redirect off;

Save and exit with CTRL + X and confirm

Next, verify the syntax of the config file with:

sudo nginx -t

If the synthax is correct, reload Nginx to load the new configuration:

sudo systemctl reload nginx

Done ✅

Visit your domain via https and enjoy your secure API endpoint.


Parts of the steps above are taken from the excellent in-depth guides linked below. Check them out if you'd like to know more about these topics:

This topic was modified 3 months ago 2 times by lemii

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