Configuring SSL

Package-based installation (DEB/RPM)

SSL configuration can be applied on the first installation, or at any time by reconfiguring the application with:

sudo openproject reconfigure

You will be prompted with the same dialogs than on the initial configuration guide. This assumes that you select the install option when the server/autoinstall dialog appears, and that you have certificate and key files available on your server at a path you know.

Docker-based installation

The current Docker image does not support SSL by default. Usually you would already have an existing Apache or NginX server on your host, with SSL configured, which you could use to set up a simple ProxyPass rule to direct traffic to the container. Or one of the myriad of other tools (e.g. Traefik) offered by the Docker community to handle this aspect.

If you really want to enable SSL from within the container, you could try mounting a custom apache2 directory when you launch the container with -v my/apache2/conf:/etc/apache2. This would entirely replace the configuration we’re using.

Create a free SSL certificate using let’s encrypt

You can get an SSL certificate for free via Let’s Encrypt.

This requires your OpenProject server to be reachable using a domain name (e.g. openproject.mydomain.com), with port 443 or 80 open. If you don’t have anything running on port 80 or 443, we recommend that you first configure OpenProject without SSL support, and only then execute the steps outline below.

Here is how to do it using certbot:

sudo curl https://dl.eff.org/certbot-auto -o /usr/local/bin/certbot-auto
sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/certbot-auto

certbot-auto certonly --webroot --webroot-path /opt/openproject/public -d openproject.mydomain.com

The CLI will ask for a few details and to agree to the Let’s Encrypt terms of usage. Then it will perform the Let’s Encrypt challenge and finally issue a certificate file and a private key file if the challenge succeeded.

At the end, it will store the certificate (fullchain.pem) and private key (privkey.pem) under /etc/letsencrypt/live/openproject.mydomain.com/.

You can now configure OpenProject to use them by running openproject reconfigure: hit ENTER until you get to the SSL wizard, and select “Yes” when the wizard asks for SSL support:

  • Enter the /etc/letsencrypt/live/openproject.mydomain.com/fullchain.pem path when asked for the server/ssl_cert detail.
  • Enter the /etc/letsencrypt/live/openproject.mydomain.com/privkey.pem path when asked for the server/ssl_key detail.
  • Enter the /etc/letsencrypt/live/openproject.mydomain.com/fullchain.pem path (same as server/ssl_cert) when asked for the server/ssl_ca detail.

Hit ENTER, and after the wizard is finished your OpenProject installation should be accessible using https://openproject.mydomain.com.

Note that this Let’s Encryt certificate is only valid for 90 days. To renew it automatically all you have to do is to add the following entry to your crontab (run crontab -e):

0 1 * * * certbot-auto renew --quiet --post-hook "service apache2 restart"

This will execute certbot renew every day at 1am. The command checks if the certificate is expired and renews it if that is the case. The web server is restarted in a post hook in order for it to pick up the new certificate.