Installing Baserow behind Apache

If you have an Apache server this guide will explain how to configure it to pass requests through to Baserow.

We strongly recommend you use our baserow/baserow:1.13.1 image or the example docker-compose.yml files (excluding the .no-caddy.yml variant) provided in our git repository.

These come with a pre-configured, simple and lightweight Caddy http server which simplifies your life by:

  1. Routing requests to the correct internal Baserow services
  2. Enabling websocket connections for realtime collaboration
  3. Serving user uploaded files
  4. And it still runs behind your own reverse proxy with no problems

If you do not want to use our embedded Caddy service behind your Apache then make sure you are using one of the two following deployment methods:

  • Your own container setup with our single service baserow/backend:1.13.1 and baserow/web-frontend:1.13.1 images.
  • Or our docker-compose.no-caddy.yml example file in our git repository.

Then you should use Option 2: Without our embedded Caddy section instead.

Option 1: With our embedded Caddy

You can find a Dockerized working example of using Apache with Baserow in our git repo in the deploy/apache/recommended folder.

Follow this option if you are using:

  • The all-in-one Baserow image baserow/baserow:1.13.1
  • Any of the example compose files found in the root of our git repository docker-compose.yml/docker-compose.local-build.yml /docker-compose.all-in-one.yml

Prerequisites

We assume you already have an Apache server running which you know how to configure. If not please first follow guides such as this one to get familiar with Apache.

Additionally, we assume you are using a debian based operating system and have already successfully deployed Baserow.

Step 1 - Enable the required Apache modules

The Apache config shown later needs the following modules enabled.

# First enable the required Apache modules and restart
sudo a2enmod proxy headers proxy_http proxy_wstunnel rewrite 
sudo systemctl restart apache2

Step 2 - Configure Baserow’s BASEROW_PUBLIC_URL

Baserow needs to know the URL it will be accessed on. We’ll assume you will be hosting Baserow on a subdomain and so you should set the following environment variable on your Baserow deployment (see Configuring Baserow for more details).

BASEROW_PUBLIC_URL=http://baserow.example.com

Step 3 - Add apache config for Baserow

Create a new file in your /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/baserow-site.conf using the example below:

Make sure to replace any http://localhost:PORT references with the correct ones for your particular Baserow deployment.

<VirtualHost *:80>
ProxyPreserveHost On

# Replace with your sub domain
ServerName example.localhost

# Properly upgrade ws connections made by Baserow to the /ws path for realtime collab.
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond ${HTTP:Upgrade} websocket [NC]
RewriteCond ${HTTP:Connection} upgrade [NC]
RewriteRule .* "ws://localhost:8080/$1" [P,L,END]
ProxyPass /ws ws://localhost:8080/ws
ProxyPassReverse /ws ws://localhost:8080/ws

# Send everything else to Baserow as normal.
ProxyPass / http://localhost:8080/
ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:8080/

</VirtualHost>

Step 4 - Enable the new Baserow site

Finally, you should enable your new Baserow site and restart your Baserow server if you made environment variable changes.

sudo a2ensite baserow-site.conf

You should now be able to access Baserow on you configured subdomain.

Option 2: Without our embedded Caddy

You can find a Dockerized working example of using Apache with Baserow in our git repo in the deploy/apache/no-caddy folder.

Follow this option if you are using:

  • Our standalone baserow/backend:1.13.1 and baserow/web-frontend:1.13.1 images with your own container orchestrator.
  • Or the docker-compose.no-caddy.yml example docker compose file in the root of our git repository.

Prerequisites

We assume you already have an Apache server running which you know how to configure. If not please first follow guides such as this one to get familiar with Apache.

Additionally, we assume you are using a debian based operating system and have already successfully deployed Baserow. If you are using a different setup the general steps and Apache config should still be a useful starting point for you, but you might have to run different commands.

Step 1 - Enable the required Apache modules

The Apache config shown later needs the following modules enabled.

# First enable the required Apache modules and restart
sudo a2enmod proxy headers proxy_http proxy_wstunnel rewrite 
sudo systemctl restart apache2

Step 2 - Mount the media volume so Apache can serve uploaded files

You need to ensure user uploaded files are accessible in a folder for Apache to serve. In the rest of the guide we will use the example /var/web folder for this purpose.

If you are using the baserow/backend:1.13.1 image then you can do this by adding -v /var/web:/baserow/data/media to your normal docker run command used to launch the Baserow backend.

If you are instead using the docker-compose.no-caddy.yml then you can change all of the - media:/baserow/media mounts to be - /var/web:/baserow/media.

Step 3 - Configure Baserow’s BASEROW_PUBLIC_URL

Baserow needs to know the URL it will be accessed on. We’ll assume you will be hosting Baserow on a subdomain and so you should set the following environment variable on your Baserow deployment (see Configuring Baserow for more details).

BASEROW_PUBLIC_URL=http://baserow.example.com

Step 4 - Create your new baserow-site.conf

Create a new file in your /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/baserow-site.conf using the example below:

Make sure to replace any http://localhost:PORT references with the correct ones for your particular Baserow deployment.

<VirtualHost *:80>
ProxyPreserveHost On

# Replace with your sub domain
ServerName example.localhost

# Serve user uploaded files and add the Content-Disposition header when the filename
# query param is set.
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (?:^|&)dl=([^&]+)
RewriteRule ^/media/.* - [E=FILENAME:%1]
Header set "Content-Disposition" "attachment; filename=\"%{FILENAME}e\"" env=FILENAME
ProxyPass /media !
Alias /media /var/www
<Directory "/var/www/">
    Require all granted
</Directory>


# Properly upgrade ws connections made by Baserow to the /ws path for realtime collab.
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond ${HTTP:Upgrade} websocket [NC]
RewriteCond ${HTTP:Connection} upgrade [NC]
RewriteRule .* "ws://localhost:8000/$1" [P,L,END]
ProxyPass /ws ws://localhost:8000/ws
ProxyPassReverse /ws ws://localhost:8000/ws

ProxyPass /api http://localhost:8000/api
ProxyPassReverse /api http://localhost:8000/api

ProxyPass / http://localhost:3000/
ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:3000/

</VirtualHost>

Step 5 - Enable the new Baserow site

Finally, you should enable your new Baserow site and restart your Baserow server if you made environment variable changes.

sudo a2ensite baserow-site.conf

You should now be able to access Baserow on you configured subdomain.

Troubleshooting

If you can upload images to Baserow but no thumbnails show, or you can’t re-download them (you are getting 403 denied errors when accessing the files) then:

  • Make sure the permissions on the sub-folders in /var/web are set to be readable by your Apache user by running cd /var/web && chmod 755 *.
  • Fix any file permissions found inside the /var/web sub-folders to be readable by your Apache user.