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Proxy Management

New as of 0.5.0, Enhanced in 0.6.0

proxy <app>                              # Show proxy settings for app
proxy:disable <app>                      # Disable proxy for app
proxy:enable <app>                       # Enable proxy for app
proxy:ports <app>                        # List proxy port mappings for app
proxy:ports-add <app> <scheme>:<host-port>:<container-port> [<scheme>:<host-port>:<container-port>...]           # Set proxy port mappings for app
proxy:ports-clear <app>                  # Clear all proxy port mappings for app
proxy:ports-remove <app> <host-port> [<host-port>|<scheme>:<host-port>:<container-port>...]                      # Unset proxy port mappings for app
proxy:set <app> <proxy-type>             # Set proxy type for app

In Dokku 0.5.0, port proxying was decoupled from the nginx-vhosts plugin into the proxy plugin. Dokku 0.6.0 introduced the ability to map host ports to specific container ports. In the future this will allow other proxy software - such as HAProxy or Caddy - to be used in place of nginx.

Container network interface binding

New as of 0.5.0

By default, the deployed docker container running your app's web process will bind to the internal docker network interface (i.e. docker inspect --format '{{ .NetworkSettings.IPAddress }}' $CONTAINER_ID). This behavior can be modified per app by disabling the proxy (i.e. dokku proxy:disable <app>). In this case, the container will bind to an external interface (i.e. and your app container will be directly accessible by other hosts on your network.

If a proxy is disabled, Dokku will bind your container's port to a random port on the host for every deploy, e.g.>5000/tcp.

By way of example, in the default case, each container is bound to the docker interface:

docker ps
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                      COMMAND                CREATED              STATUS              PORTS               NAMES
1b88d8aec3d1        dokku/node-js-app:latest   "/bin/bash -c '/star   About a minute ago   Up About a minute                       node-js-app.web.1

As such, the container's IP address will be an internal IP, and thus it is only accessible on the host itself:

docker inspect --format '{{ .NetworkSettings.IPAddress }}' node-js-app.web.1

However, you can disable the internal proxying via the proxy:disable command so that it will listen on the host's IP address:

dokku proxy:disable node-js-app

# container bound to all interfaces
docker ps
CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                      COMMAND                CREATED              STATUS              PORTS                     NAMES
d6499edb0edb        dokku/node-js-app:latest   "/bin/bash -c '/star   About a minute ago   Up About a minute>5000/tcp   node-js-app.web.1

Proxy port mapping

New as of 0.6.0

You can now configure host -> container port mappings with the proxy:ports-* commands. This mapping is currently supported by the built-in nginx-vhosts plugin.

To inspect the port mapping for a given application, use the proxy:ports command:

dokku proxy:ports node-js-app
-----> Port mappings for node-js-app
-----> scheme             host port                 container port
http                      80                        5000

The above application is listening on the host's port 80, which we can test via curl:

Hello World!

There are cases where we may wish for the service to be listening on more than one port, such as port 8080. Normally, this would not be possible:

curl: (7) Failed to connect to port 8080: Connection refused

However, we can use the proxy:ports-add command to add a second external port mapping - 8080 - to our application's port 5000.

dokku proxy:ports-add node-js-app http:8080:5000
-----> Setting config vars
       DOKKU_PROXY_PORT_MAP: http:80:5000 http:8080:5000
-----> Configuring built-in template)
-----> Creating http nginx.conf
-----> Running nginx-pre-reload
       Reloading nginx

We can now test that port 80 still responds properly:

Hello World!

And our new listening port of 8080 also works:

Hello World!

You can also remove a port mapping that is no longer necessary:

dokku proxy:ports-remove node-js-app http:80:5000

By default, buildpack apps and dockerfile apps without explicitly exposed ports (i.e. using the EXPOSE directive) will be configured with a listener on port 80 (and additionally a listener on 443 if ssl is enabled) that will proxy to the application container on port 5000. Dockerfile apps with explicitly exposed ports will be configured with a listener on each exposed port and will proxy to that same port of the deployed application container.

Note: This default behavior will not be automatically changed on subsequent pushes and must be manipulated with the proxy:ports-* syntax detailed above.

Proxy Port Scheme

The proxy port scheme is as follows:


The scheme metadata can be used by proxy implementations in order to properly handle proxying of requests. For example, the built-in nginx-vhosts proxy implementation supports both the http and https schemes.

Developers of proxy implementations are encouraged to use whatever schemes make the most sense, and ignore configurations which they do not support. For instance, a udp proxy implementation can safely ignore http and https port mappings.

To change the proxy implementation in use for an application, use the proxy:set command:

# no validation will be performed against
# the specified proxy implementation
dokku proxy:set node-js-app nginx
  v: v0.7.2
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