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Setting up a reverse proxy

This guide outlines the basic configuration steps needed to expose your Frigate UI to the internet. A common way of accomplishing this is to use a reverse proxy webserver between your router and your Frigate instance. A reverse proxy accepts HTTP requests from the public internet and redirects them transparently to internal webserver(s) on your network.

The suggested steps are:

  • Configure a 'proxy' HTTP webserver (such as Apache2 or NPM) and only expose ports 80/443 from this webserver to the internet
  • Encrypt content from the proxy webserver by installing SSL (such as with Let's Encrypt). Note that SSL is then not required on your Frigate webserver as the proxy encrypts all requests for you
  • Restrict access to your Frigate instance at the proxy using, for example, password authentication

A reverse proxy can be used to secure access to an internal webserver but the user will be entirely reliant on the steps they have taken. You must ensure you are following security best practices. This page does not attempt to outline the specific steps needed to secure your internal website. Please use your own knowledge to assess and vet the reverse proxy software before you install anything on your system.

There are several technologies available to implement reverse proxies. This document currently suggests one, using Apache2, and the community is invited to document others through a contribution to this page.

Apache2 Reverse Proxy

In the configuration examples below, only the directives relevant to the reverse proxy approach above are included. On Debian Apache2 the configuration file will be named along the lines of /etc/apache2/sites-available/cctv.conf

Step 1: Configure the Apache2 Reverse Proxy

Make life easier for yourself by presenting your Frigate interface as a DNS sub-domain rather than as a sub-folder of your main domain. Here we access Frigate via

<VirtualHost *:443>

ProxyPreserveHost On
ProxyPass "/" "http://frigatepi.local:5000/"
ProxyPassReverse "/" "http://frigatepi.local:5000/"

ProxyPass /ws ws://frigatepi.local:5000/ws
ProxyPassReverse /ws ws://frigatepi.local:5000/ws

ProxyPass /live/ ws://frigatepi.local:5000/live/
ProxyPassReverse /live/ ws://frigatepi.local:5000/live/

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP:Upgrade} =websocket [NC]
RewriteRule /(.*) ws://frigatepi.local:5000/$1 [P,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP:Upgrade} !=websocket [NC]
RewriteRule /(.*) http://frigatepi.local:5000/$1 [P,L]

Step 2: Use SSL to encrypt access to your Frigate instance

Whilst this won't, on its own, prevent access to your Frigate webserver it will encrypt all content (such as login credentials). Installing SSL is beyond the scope of this document but Let's Encrypt is a widely used approach. This Apache2 configuration snippet then results in unencrypted requests being redirected to the webserver SSL port

<VirtualHost *:80>
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME}
RewriteRule ^ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [END,NE,R=permanent]

Step 3: Authenticate users at the proxy

There are many ways to authenticate a website but a straightforward approach is to use Apache2 password files.

<VirtualHost *:443>
<Location />
AuthType Basic
AuthName "Restricted Files"
AuthUserFile "/var/www/passwords"
Require user paul

Nginx Reverse Proxy

This method shows a working example for subdomain type reverse proxy with SSL enabled.

Setup server and port to reverse proxy

This is set in $server and $port this should match your ports you have exposed to your docker container. Optionally you listen on port 443 and enable SSL

# ------------------------------------------------------------
# ------------------------------------------------------------

server {
set $forward_scheme http;
set $port 5000;

listen 80;
listen 443 ssl http2;


Setup SSL (optional)

This section points to your SSL files, the example below shows locations to a default Lets Encrypt SSL certificate.

  # Let's Encrypt SSL
include conf.d/include/letsencrypt-acme-challenge.conf;
include conf.d/include/ssl-ciphers.conf;
ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/npm-1/fullchain.pem;
ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/npm-1/privkey.pem;

Setup reverse proxy settings

The settings below enabled connection upgrade, sets up logging (optional) and proxies everything from the / context to the docker host and port specified earlier in the configuration

  proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
proxy_set_header Connection $http_connection;
proxy_http_version 1.1;

access_log /data/logs/proxy-host-40_access.log proxy;
error_log /data/logs/proxy-host-40_error.log warn;

location / {
proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
proxy_set_header Connection $http_connection;
proxy_http_version 1.1;