Configuring Proxy to Mattermost Transport Encryption

Mattermost is able to encrypt the traffic between the proxy and the application server using TLS.

Prerequisites

  • Operational Mattermost server or cluster
  • Authentication credentials for Mattermost user on application server

Example Environment

In this scenario there is one Mattermost application server and one NGINX server, both running Ubuntu 18.04, with the following IPs:

  • transport-encryption-mattermost1: 10.10.250.146
  • transport-encryption-nginx: 10.10.250.107

Configuring NGINX

On the NGINX server, connect to both servers with a sudo or root user. Open the Mattermost proxy configuration (Refer to Configuring NGINX with SSL and HTTP/2 (End-User - Proxy) for additional information) and search for the following line twice:

proxy_pass http://backend;

Change the protocol from http to https:

proxy_pass https://backend;

Afterwards do not reload the NGINX server yet to minimize the downtime of the service.

Configuring Mattermost

On the Mattermost server, change to the config directory of Mattermost and generate a self-signed certificate that will be used to encrypt the traffic between the proxy server and the application server.

Note: Alternatively you can sign a certificate from your company’s CA.

$ cd /opt/mattermost/config
$ openssl req -x509 -newkey rsa:4096 -keyout key.pem -out cert.pem -days 365 -nodes
$ chown root:mattermost *.pem
$ chmod 640 *.pem

Once complete, open the file config.json and modify the values ConnectionSecurity, TLSCertFile and TLSKeyFile in the ServiceSettings section.

Before

{
    "ServiceSettings": {
        "SiteURL": "https://transport-encryption.dev.example.com",
        "WebsocketURL": "",
        "LicenseFileLocation": "",
        "ListenAddress": ":8065",
        "ConnectionSecurity": "",
        "TLSCertFile": "",
        "TLSKeyFile": "",
        "...":"..."
    },
    "...":"..."
}

After

{
    "ServiceSettings": {
        "SiteURL": "https://transport-encryption.dev.example.com",
        "WebsocketURL": "",
        "LicenseFileLocation": "",
        "ListenAddress": ":8065",
        "ConnectionSecurity": "TLS",
        "TLSCertFile": "/opt/mattermost/config/cert.pem",
        "TLSKeyFile": "/opt/mattermost/config/key.pem",
        "...":"..."
    },
    "...":"..."
}

Restart the Mattermost server and ensure it’s up and running:

$ sudo systemctl restart mattermost
$ systemctl status mattermost
● mattermost.service - Mattermost
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mattermost.service; static; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Mon 2019-10-28 16:45:29 UTC; 1h 15min ago
   [...]

Finally, on the NGINX server, reload the configuration to ensure that requests are sent on HTTPS:

$ sudo systemctl reload nginx
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