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Published: Apr 5, 2022 License: Apache-2.0 Imports: 18 Imported by: 0


https-forward https-forward

(Watch a video about https-forward!)

Provides a forwarding HTTPS server which transparently fetches and caches certificates via Let's Encrypt. This must run on 443 and 80 (http:// just forwards to https://, no forwarding happens unencrypted) and can't coexist with any other web server on your machine.


This is so you can host random and long-lived services publicly on the internet—perfect for other services which are served on http://, don't care about certificates or HTTPS at all, and might be provided by Node or Go on a random high port (e.g., some dumb service running on localhost:8080).

Note! This doesn't magic up domain names. You would use this service only if you're able to point DNS records to the IP address of a machine you're running this on, and that the machine is able to handle incoming requests on port 443 and 80 (e.g., on a home network, you'd have to set up port forwarding on your router).


⚠️ You should probably install this via Snap if you're using Ubuntu or something like it.

Otherwise, you can build the Go binary and see --help for flags. You should restrict the binary's permissions or run it as nobody with a setcap configuration that lets it listen on low ports.


If you're using Snap, the configuration file is at /var/snap/https-forward/common/config (which is empty after install). Otherwise, the default configuration is read at /etc/https-forward.

Either way, it should be authored like this:

# hostname            forward-to          optional-basic-auth      localhost:8080  user:pass localhost:9002      user       # accepts any password

# Specify host with '.' to suffix all following
test                  localhost:9000

# Clear the current suffix with a single "." (otherwise below would be "*")

# You can include ? or * to glob-match domain parts (this does NOT match "-")
*         localhost:9000
test-v?*  localhost:9999    # matches "test-v1", "test-v100", but NOT "test-v" or "test-vx-123"

# serves a blank dummy page (but generate https cert, perhaps as a placeholder)

( used above purely as an example. You'd replace it with a domain name you controlled, preferably with a wildcard DNS record like *

Restart or send SIGHUP to the binary to reread the config file.


If incoming HTTPS requests take a long time and then fail, Let's Encrypt might have throttled you. Unfortunately, the autocert client in Go isn't very verbose about this. This happens on a per-domain basis (rather than say, from your client IP), so just try a new domain (even a subdomain).

This service only forwards to http:// hosts, not secure hosts.

Release Instructions

Follow the guide for Go applications. Run snapcraft and it will probably just build.


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