Software Developer

Notes on traefik v2, Nextcloud, etc.

Now that the Raspberry Pi is set up and Docker ready to be used, Gitea is running nicely. However, without TLS and just accessible by the IP address and port. So before setting up Nextcloud, I wanted to get a reverse proxy ready that also takes care of TLS termination. I use traefik (v2.2) which supports/integrates with Docker. Here I document how I configured it to put all my services (this includes Pi-Hole and my router’s web interface) behind the reverse proxy with TLS.

At the end, I’ll briefly note how Nextcloud is set up.

Setting up traefik

A lot of examples out there are still for v1 so it took a while to get this up and running. Here is an interesting post that even though it criticizes v2 over v1 it helped me figure out some things. If you are using traefik v1 and want to migrate, there is actually a migration tool that you can use. Furthermore, the traefik v2-specific Docker 101 and TLS 101 were quite helpful.

The main challenge at the beginning was to realize the difference between static and dynamic configuration. For some reason I thought that the static configuration is everything that’s configured in the configuration file and the dynamic configuration corresponds to what’s configured through Docker (using labels). That’s only somewhat correct. You can have a dynamic configuration in a file (using the file provider) and there are some options you need to define in the dynamic configuration. Note that in the below snippets I use yaml as opposed to toml. I find it less verbose and easier to read.

In my static configuration (traefik.yml) I have some global options, entryPoints, providers, and certificateResolvers. There are entryPoints for http and https with http-to-https redirection and HTTPS TLS settings:

    address: ":80"
          to: https
    address: ":443"
        certResolver: letsencrypt
          -main: "*.domain.tld"

Besides the Docker provider there is a file provider for a “static” dynamic configuration (dynamic-conf.yml):

    exposedByDefault: false
    defaultRule: "Host(`{{ trimPrefix `/` .Name }}.domain.tld`)"
    filename: "/config/dynamic-conf.yml"

If exposedByDefault is true, Docker containers will automatically be exposed. That’s where the defaultRule comes into play. I rather decide which containers should be exposed, therefore it is disabled. With this, you should be able to run a container (here Gitea) with the following labels (either provided with docker run with -l or in your docker-compose.yml:

# for docker run: replace the ` with \" to avoid command substitution 

So traefik is run with the following volumes:

-v $(pwd)/traefik.yml:/etc/traefik/traefik.yml \
-v $(pwd)/config:/config \
-v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock:ro \
-v /etc/localtime:/etc/localtime:ro \

Wildcard Certificates with Let’s Encrypt

Instead of creating certificates for each host I use one wildcard certificate. This is also because I only use the hosts in my home network, so they are not reachable from the outside, i.e., by Let’s Encrypt to proof that I own the domain. For wildcard certificates, the DNS challenge is required. Basically it requires the creation of a TXT record for the domain during the certificate issuing process. If you want to get a separate certificate for each (sub-) domain you could use the TLS challenge. traefik takes care of it automatically.

Ideally, the DNS challenge is done automatically but it depends on the availability of support for your provider. Some providers have an API with which it is possible to create and manage DNS entries. It turns out that there are quite a few libraries out there that support different providers (with varying degrees of overlap). There is of course certbot. Then there’s lexicon which provides a standardized way to manipulate DNS records for many providers. There’s also and lego. The latter is written in Go and used by traefik. I unfortunately noticed that too late. I had already contributed a provider to lexicon (the first time I did something bigger in Python and contributed a PR on GitHub; overall a great experience). It would probably be possible to build a Docker image that combines certbot with lexicon and takes care of the certificate instead of traefik (in the spirit of separation of concerns).

Anyway, for now it is done manually, which is not too difficult. So the configuration is as follows in traefik.yml:

        provider: manual
        # delayBeforeCheck: 120
      storage: "/config/acme.json"
      # Staging server
      # caServer: ""

I highly recommend to first try the staging server at the beginning to avoid rate limitting. With just this, traefik will however not try to request a certificate. This is where the dynamic configuration comes into play. So, in the dynamic-conf.yml there is this http router:

      minVersion: VersionTLS13
      minVersion: VersionTLS12

As you can see above, there is a way to define default TLS options. Mine is quite strict, but it mostly works. Some services don’t support TLS 1.3 yet so there is an option to explicitly allow TLS 1.2+. To reference it you need to append @file, i.e., mintls12@file.

Now, you need to run traefik manually in interactive mode docker run -it ... in order to be able to react to the console messages. When the certificates are issued, you can stop the container and run it in detached mode (-d).

To enable TLS for a container (here Gitea), all you need to add is the label "traefik.http.routers.gitea.tls=true". To allow TLS 1.2, you need to add the label "traefik.http.routers.gitea.tls.options=mintls12@file".

Add non-container services

Once it is running it is very simple to enable other services. For Docker containers you just need to define the four labels as shown above. For other services you can simply add them to dynamic-conf.yml (or create another configuration file if you prefer). For example, I put Pi-Hole and my router’s web interface behind the reverse proxy. The router has an option for HTTPS, but uses a self-signed certificate so initially you get a warning message by your browser. Here is the configuration for Pi-Hole (the same applies for the router):

# add to HTTP routers
    rule: Host(`pihole.domain.tld`)
    service: pihole
    tls: {}
# add to HTTP services
        - url: "http://pi.hole:8080"

Setting up Nextcloud

Getting Nextcloud up and running is actually very easy with the provided Docker examples. I used the docker-compose/insecure/mariadb-cron-redis/fpm/ version as a base and made the following modifications:

  • Removed MariaDB and cron services
  • Added user-defined bridge network (see previous post)
  • Used custom volume on external drive for Nextcloud app and data
  • Added traefik labels to web (nginx)

Because Nextcloud doesn’t know the hostname (such as nextcloud.domain.tld) due to the use of the reverse proxy there are a few changes to the Nextcloud configuration necessary. I had to add/modify the trusted_proxies IP, overwrite.cli.url and overwriteprotocol. For example:

'overwrite.cli.url' => 'https://nextcloud.domain.tld',
'overwriteprotocol' => 'https',
'trusted_proxies' => 
  array (
    0 => '',

Once Nextcloud is installed you can also set these using occ: docker exec -u www-data <nextcloud-app-container-name> php /var/www/html/occ .... See the documentation for the configuration commands.

There is an open pull request that adds environment variables for these settings.

Finally, I changed the background job from Ajax (default) to Cron. This is switched when the script executes. I added it to my user’s crontab. Execute crontab -e and add the following entry:

*/10 * * * * docker exec -u www-data <nextcloud-app-container-name> php -f /var/www/html/cron.php

Putting it all together

If you want to see how this is all put together, check out my repository on Github where you can find all Docker and configuration files for Gitea, traefik, and Nextcloud.


  • 24.05.2020: Updated for traefik v2.2, added TLS 1.2 options

1 Comment

  1. Marvin


    i loved reading this documentation. I have a similar setup with Docker and traefik and I want to replicate your setup of nextcloud. But I’m stuck on Setting up Nextcloud.
    Your part beginning with “Because Nextcloud doesn’t know the hostname…” is quite unclear to me. Where and when did you change and/or add these values to which file?

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