Enable HTTPS using Nginx

This guide will help you to configure Nginx to act as HTTP(S) proxy for Opencast.

Opencast Configuration

Make sure to use https as protocol for org.opencastproject.server.url in etc/custom.properties.

org.opencastproject.server.url=https://example.opencast.org

No other configuration is required. Do not enable TLS in Opencast. Listen to local connections only. Both are the default settings.

Minimal Set-up

Note that this guide does not give any security advice but is meant to provide a minimal working example which works well with Opencast.

The following configuration is an example for /etc/nginx/nginx.conf. Note that depending on your distributions packaging, often conf.d or sites-enabled directories are used. But since this is an Opencast only set-up (we do not use the web server for anything else), we are just using the main configuration file.

Explanations for the configuration directives are provided inline. Please make sure to replace example.opencast.org with your node's domain name.

The main goals of this set-up are:

# Check your distribution's default nginx.conf to make sure the first
# configuration keys (up until the http section) make sense within your
# distribution's set-up.

# Defines user and group credentials used by worker processes. If group is
# omitted, a group whose name equals that of user is used.
user    nginx;

# Configures logging to `/var/log/…`. Log level `error` is used by default.
error_log    /var/log/nginx/error.log;

# Defines a file that will store the process ID of the main process. This needs
# to match the Systemd unit file.
pid /run/nginx.pid;

events {
    # Sets the maximum number of simultaneous connections that can be opened by
    # a worker process.
    worker_connections 1024;
}

###
# What follows is the specific http(s) set-up for Opencast.
##

http {

    # HTTP set-up
    server {
        listen 80;
        listen [::]:80;
        server_name example.opencast.org;

        # Enforce HTTPS by redirecting requests
        location / {
            return 301 https://example.opencast.org$request_uri;
        }
    }

    # HTTPS set-up
    server {
        listen      443 ssl http2;
        listen [::]:443 ssl http2;
        server_name example.opencast.org;

        # Path to the TLS certificate and private key. In almost all cases, you
        # need to provide intermediate certificates as well to ensure browsers
        # get the whole certificate chain.
        ssl_certificate_key /path/to/example.opencast.org.key;
        ssl_certificate     /path/to/example.opencast.org.crt;

        # Accept large ingests. There should be no limit since Opencast may get
        # really large ingests.
        client_max_body_size 0;

        # Proxy configuration for Opencast
        location / {

            # Make sure to pass the real addresses as well as the fact that
            # outwards we are using HTTPS to Opencast.
            proxy_set_header        Host $host;
            proxy_set_header        X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
            proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
            proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;

            # Pass requests to this location. This expects Opencast to be
            # running locally on port 8080 which should be the default set-up.
            proxy_pass              http://127.0.0.1:8080;

            # Make sure to redirect location headers to HTTPS. This is just a
            # precaution and shouldn't strictly be necessary but it did prevent
            # some issues in the past and it does not cost much performance.
            proxy_redirect          http://$host https://$host;

            # Do not buffer responses
            proxy_buffering         off;

            # Do not buffer requests
            proxy_request_buffering off;
        }
    }
}