Autarchy of the Private Cave

Tiny bits of bioinformatics, [web-]programming etc

    How to fix: mod_proxy’s ProxyPass directive does not work

    10th February 2016

    So… You had finally built a nice LXC container for your web-facing application, and even configured Apache (Debian package version 2.14.18-1 in my case) to serve some static/web-only components.
    From your client-side JavaScript UI you talk (in JSON) to the API, which is implemented as a separate node.js/Python/etc server – say, on port 8000 in the same LXC container.

    The simplest solution to forward requests from the web-frontend to your API is by using mod_proxy.
    If you want to forward any requests to /api/* to your custom back-end server on port 8000, you just add the following lines to your VirtualHost configuration:

    ProxyPass “/api” “http://localhost:8000″
    ProxyPassReverse “/api” “http://localhost:8000″

    I’d suggest not wrapping this fragment with the classical IfModule: as your application will not really work without its API back-end, you actually want Apache to fail as soon as possible if mod_proxy is missing.

    That was easy, right? What, it doesn’t work? Can’t be! It’s dead simple! No way you could make a mistake in 2 lines of configuration!!! :mad_rage: :)

    Oh wait… I remember I had this problem before…

    Let’s check:

    1. Step 1. Did you disable (using a2dissite default or a2dissite 000-default, depending on your Debian-based GNU/Linux) the default website? If your application and the default website are configured in a similar way, then it might be the default site which is serving your app’s pages. The most sure way is to just disable it.
    2. Step 2. Did you enable also the proxy_http sub-module? (Using a2enmod proxy_http, followed by service apache2 restart) mod_proxy is only the core module, actual per-protocol work is done by these sub-modules.

    Your requests to /api should now be passed on to your API server. If not – please write in the comments what was the problem in your case and how you solved it. HTH!

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