Running Confluence behind NGINX with SSL

This page describes how to set up NGINX as a reverse proxy for Confluence. 

The configuration described on this page results in a scenario where:

  • External client connections with NGINX are secured using SSL. Connections between NGINX and Confluence Server are unsecured.
  • Confluence Server and NGINX run on the same machine.

On this page

We assume that you already have a running instance of NGINX. If not, refer to the NGINX documentation for instructions on downloading and installing NGINX. SSL certificates must be installed on the server machine.  You'll an NGINX version that supports WebSockets (1.3 or later). 

Note that the Atlassian Support does not cover NGINX integration. Assistance with NGINX may be obtained through the Atlassian community from answers.atlassian.com or from an Atlassian Expert.

Step 1: Set the context path

Set your Confluence application path (the part after hostname and port) in Tomcat.  Edit <installation-directory>/conf/server.xml, locate the "Context" definition:

<Context path="" docBase="../confluence" debug="0" reloadable="false">

and change it to:

<Context path="/confluence" docBase="../confluence" debug="0" reloadable="false">

Restart Confluence, and check you can access it at http://example:8090/confluence

Step 2: Configure the Tomcat connector

Next, in the same <installation-directory>/conf/server.xml file, locate this code segment:

<Connector port="8090" connectionTimeout="20000" redirectPort="8443"
                maxThreads="48" minSpareThreads="10"
                enableLookups="false" acceptCount="10" debug="0" URIEncoding="UTF-8"
                protocol="org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11NioProtocol"/>

And add the last line as follows:

<Connector port="8090" connectionTimeout="20000" redirectPort="8443"
                maxThreads="48" minSpareThreads="10"
                enableLookups="false" acceptCount="10" debug="0" URIEncoding="UTF-8"
                protocol="org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11NioProtocol" 
                proxyName="www.example.com" proxyPort="443" scheme="https"/>

Note: don't include secure="true" in this connector.   Make sure you've included correct values for protocol and proxyName

Step 3: Configure NGINX

You will need to specify a listening server in NGINX, as in the example below. Add the following to your NGINX configuration.  

Replace your server name and the location of your SSL certificate and key. 

In this example, users will connect to Synchrony, which is required for collaborative editing, directly.

server {
    listen www.example.com:80;
    server_name www.example.com;
 
    listen 443 default ssl;
    ssl_certificate     /usr/local/etc/nginx/ssl/nginx.crt;
    ssl_certificate_key /usr/local/etc/nginx/ssl/nginx.key;
 
    ssl_session_timeout  5m;
 
    ssl_protocols  SSLv2 SSLv3 TLSv1;
    ssl_ciphers  HIGH:!aNULL:!MD5;
    ssl_prefer_server_ciphers   on;

    location /confluence {
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Host $host;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Server $host;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_pass http://localhost:8090/confluence;
    }
    location /synchrony {
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Host $host;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Server $host;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_pass http://localhost:8091/synchrony;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection "Upgrade";
    }
}

See http://nginx.org/en/docs/http/ngx_http_proxy_module.html for more information.

Note: do not include ssl on; if you are configuring SSL and Confluence on the same server as in this example.

Step 4: Restart Confluence and NGINX

  1. Restart Confluence and NGINX for all the changes to take affect.  
  2. Update Confluence's base URL to include the context path you set earlier - see Configuring the Server Base URL

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