Using Apache2 as Proxy

basic network architecture

This document shows a sample configuration process to use reverse proxy as a method to make DHD Web Apps available on a public network.

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Modules required by apache2 are:

  • proxy
  • proxy_html
  • proxy_http
  • proxy_wstunnel
  • rewrite


Install Apache2 via

sudo apt install apache2

Enable all required modules by using

sudo a2enmod [MODNAME]

Create new directory /etc/apache2/proxy

Add your new proxy file with all configuration data to the default (or designated) vhost (default: *80)

File path: /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default.conf

Add line:

Include /etc/apache2/proxy/*.conf

before </VirtualHost>

For more advanced hosting, use the code snipped provided below for windows. Make sure to adjust paths.


Windows apache2 distribution used here was XAMPP.

Enable all required modules by uncommenting them in httpd.conf located in C:/XAMPP/apache/conf/.

Create new directory C:/XAMPP/apache/conf/proxy/.

Add a new virtual host in C:/XAMPP/apache/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf. Code:

<VirtualHost *:80>
  ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
  DocumentRoot "C:/xampp/htdocs/"
  Include "C:/xampp/apache/conf/proxy/*.conf"
  <Directory "C:/xampp/htdocs">
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Includes ExecCGI
    AllowOverride All
    Require all granted

In this snippet port 80 is bound to apache, the vhost gets a document root and also includes the newly generated proxy folder. Also, hosting in document root is enabled.

Then, add the proxy1.conf as described below.

Create file proxy1.conf at /etc/apache2/proxy

The following is an example code for a device:

<Location /demo1/>
  RewriteEngine On
  RewriteCond %{HTTP:Connection} Upgrade [NC]
  RewriteCond %{HTTP:Upgrade} websocket [NC]
  RewriteRule /(.*) ws:// [P,L]
  Require all granted

Exchange the three IPs provided here with the designated device IP. (Only IP, not port or paths).

/demo1/ in the Location tag is just a sample path and can be replaced. The / in the end must be set and entered with any call in chrome.

Rewrite rules are neccessary to allow connection upgrade request pass the proxy.

To apply changes, save the conf file and on unix systens, use

sudo service apache2 restart

On windows, restart the apache2 service.

User Auth requires the following additional module:

  • auth_basic

Enable it using

sudo a2enmod auth_basic

Create a .htpasswd file in /etc/apache2/proxy/ directory

To create a .htpasswd file, install:

sudo apt install apache2 apache2-utils

then create it using:

sudo htpasswd -c /etc/apache2/proxy/.htpasswd username

You will be prompted for the new users password. To add another user to the file run the command again, but without -c argument.

Then modify your proxy1.conf file to add authentication:

  RewriteEngine On
  RewriteCond %{HTTP:Connection} Upgrade [NC]
  RewriteCond %{HTTP:Upgrade} websocket [NC]
  RewriteRule /(.*) ws:// [P,L]
  Require valid-user
  AuthType Basic
  AuthName "Enter Password"
  AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/proxy/.htpasswd

Don't use a relative path to .htpasswd file.

To apply changes, save the conf file and use

sudo service apache2 restart

For XAMPP / Windows, see:

Because of the rewrite rule in the vhosts (see link above) no “https” rules have to be added in proxy1.conf.