Installing Baserow behind Nginx

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

We strongly recommend you use our baserow/baserow:1.11.0 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 Nginx then make sure you are using one of the two following deployment methods:

  • Your own container setup with our single service baserow/backend:1.11.0 and baserow/web-frontend:1.11.0 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 Nginx with Baserow in our git repo in the deploy/nginx/recommended folder.

Follow this option if you are using:

  • The all-in-one Baserow image baserow/baserow:1.11.0
  • 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 a Nginx server running which you know how to configure.

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

Step 1 - 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 2 - Add nginx config for Baserow

Create a new baserow.conf in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ with the following contents:

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

server {
    server_name baserow.example.com;

    # Upgrade websocket requests and route the api backend
    location ~ ^/(api|ws)/ {
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header Host $host;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";
        proxy_pass http://localhost:8080;
    }

    location / {
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_pass http://localhost:8080;
    }
}

Step 3 - 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 ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/baserow.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/baserow.conf
 sudo systemctl reload nginx

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 Nginx with Baserow in our git repo in the deploy/nginx/no-caddy folder.

Follow this option if you are using:

  • Our standalone baserow/backend:1.11.0 and baserow/web-frontend:1.11.0 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 a Nginx server running which you know how to configure.

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 Nginx config should still be a useful starting point for you, but you might have to run different commands.

Step 1 - Mount the media volume so Nginx can serve uploaded files

You need to ensure user uploaded files are accessible in a folder for Nginx 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:1.11.0 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 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 nginx config for Baserow

Create a new baserow.conf in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ with the following contents:

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

server {
    server_name baserow.example.com;

    # Upgrade websocket requests and route the api backend
    location ~ ^/(api|ws)/ {
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header Host $host;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";
        proxy_pass http://localhost:8000;
    }

    location /media/ {
        if ($arg_dl) {
            add_header Content-disposition "attachment; filename=$arg_dl";
        }
        # TODO Change to your media folder location!
        alias /var/www/;
    }

    location / {
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_pass http://localhost:3000;
    }
}

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 ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/baserow.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/baserow.conf
 sudo systemctl reload nginx

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 Nginx user by running cd /var/web && chmod 755 *.
  • Fix any file permissions found inside the /var/web sub-folders to be readable by your Nginx user.