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Deploy Rocket in production

Deploy Rocket using Letsencrypt and nginx

Information

This guide uses the domain your-domain.tld and its www. prefixed version. It starts the rocket application on 127.0.0.1:1337 and as the user www-data. The proxy listens on port 80 and 443 though.
If you need other values, update them accordingly in your nginx and systemd configs.

Prerequisites

You need to have nginx, certbot and rust installed.

Firewall

To reach your website from the internet you might need to open ports 80 and 443 in your firewall.

  • UFW: sudo ufw allow proto tcp from any to any port 80,443
  • iptables: sudo iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --match multiport --dports 80,443 -j ACCEPT You might need to add an outgoing rule here aswell. For example: sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -m state --state NEW,ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT

Creating nginx configuration for Letsencrypt

Create /etc/nginx/letsencrypt.conf with the following content:

location ^~ /.well-known/acme-challenge/ {
    default_type "text/plain";
    root /var/www/letsencrypt;
    try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
}

Now create the server config in /etc/nginx/sites-available/your-domain.tld.conf. (/etc/nginx/conf.d/your-domain.tld.conf if sites-available or sites-enabled does not exist).

# http server block with letsencrypt handling and redirect
server {
    #listen 80; # Only if sysctl net.ipv6.bindv6only = 1
    listen [::]:80;

    # Your domain names.
    server_name your-domain.tld www.your-domain.tld;

    # Include letsencrypt location
    include letsencrypt.conf;

    # redirect to https version of the site
    return 301 https://$server_name$request_uri;
}

# https server block which actually proxies to rocket
server {
    #listen 443 ssl http2; # Only if sysctl net.ipv6.bindv6only = 1
    listen [::]:443 ssl http2;

    # Your domain names (same as in the http block)
    server_name your-domain.tld www.your-domain.tld;

    # Include letsencrypt location
    include letsencrypt.conf;

    ## SSL settings (commented for now)
    #ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/your-domain.tld/fullchain.pem;
    #ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/your-domain.tld/privkey.pem;
    #ssl_session_timeout 5m;
    #ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2; # don't use SSLv3. Ref: POODLE
    #ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;

    location / {
        # Forward requests to rocket
        proxy_pass http://127.0.0.1:1337;
    }
}

If you put your config in /etc/nginx/sites-available/ before symlink it now to /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ and check if your configuration works with sudo nginx -t.
(eg: cd /etc/nginx/sites-enabled && sudo ln -s ../sites-available/your-domain.tld.conf)
If you have any errors go back and fix them else you can start or reload nginx.

Starting nginx

If nginx is not running (check with systemctl status nginx) start it with sudo systemctl start nginx && sudo systemctl enable nginx.

Reloading nginx

You can either use systemd to reload nginx with sudo systemctl reload nginx or nginx with sudo nginx -s reload.

Getting the certificates

First create the letsencrypt directory with: sudo mkdir -p /var/www/letsencrypt && sudo chown www-data: /var/www/letsencrypt (replace www-data with the user nginx uses.)

Now you can get your certificate with: sudo certbot certonly --webroot -w /var/www/letsencrypt -d your-domain.tld -d www.your-domain.tld
You will get something like this:

 - Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/your-domain.tld/fullchain.pem. Your cert will
   expire on (date). To obtain a new version of the certificate in
   the future, simply run Let's Encrypt again.

Now go back to /etc/nginx/sites-available/your-domain.tld.conf and uncomment all the lines starting with #ssl_.
Before:

    ## SSL settings (commented for now)
    #ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/your-domain.tld/fullchain.pem;
    #ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/your-domain.tld/privkey.pem;
    #ssl_session_timeout 5m;
    #ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2; # don't use SSLv3. Ref: POODLE
    #ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;

After:

    # SSL settings
    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/your-domain.tld/fullchain.pem;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/your-domain.tld/privkey.pem;
    ssl_session_timeout 5m;
    ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2; # don't use SSLv3. Ref: POODLE
    ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;

Now run sudo nginx -t again to test the updated config and if everything is ok, reload it with sudo nginx -s reload.

Compiling Rocket

You need to install the nightly rust compiler with: rustup install nightly.
To compile your application simply run rustup run nightly cargo build --release in your crates folder.

Creating systemd service for your application

Create /etc/systemd/system/your-domain.tld.service with the following content:

[Unit]
Description=My Rocket application for your-domain.tld

[Service]
User=www-data
Group=www-data
# The user www-data should probably own that directory
WorkingDirectory=/path/to/crates/directory
Environment="ROCKET_ENV=prod"
Environment="ROCKET_ADDRESS=127.0.0.1"
Environment="ROCKET_PORT=1337"
Environment="ROCKET_LOG=critical"
ExecStart=/path/to/crates/directory/target/release/my-application-name

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Also make sure the user www-data has read and execute permissions to your application.

Now you can start and (if there are no errors) enable your service with sudo systemctl start your-domain.tld.service. Now visit your-domain.tld and it should work.

To automatically start it on reboot also enable the service: sudo systemctl enable your-domain.tld.service

@olback

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@olback olback commented Jun 22, 2018

After a few hours of troubleshooting, I managed to figure out that you can't have comments in systemd services.

@TheSirC

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@TheSirC TheSirC commented Aug 31, 2020

After a few hours of troubleshooting, I managed to figure out that you can't have comments in systemd services.

Interesting because the documentation of systemd seems to disagree if people can reproduce it might be interesting to report the bug.

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@belst belst commented Aug 31, 2020

After a few hours of troubleshooting, I managed to figure out that you can't have comments in systemd services.

Interesting because the documentation of systemd seems to disagree if people can reproduce it might be interesting to report the bug.

The problem was a previous version of the gist where the comment was behind the line which is not supported by systemd. Comments need to be on a seperate line.

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