Proxying from Apache HTTPS to some backend server that only speaks HTTP

Here’s a use case: You want to run an application server that only speaks HTTP, but securely, over HTTPS. The problem is that the application server won’t know that it’s being accessed via HTTPS, so any URLs and redirects it generates might point to HTTP. Here’s an example virtual host entry that takes care of that by rewriting the header.

You need Apache, mod_proxy and mod_headers.

<VirtualHost *:443>

  SSLEngine on
  SSLCertificateFile    /etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem
  SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key
  Header edit Location "^http:(.*)$" "https:$1"

  PassengerEnabled off
  ProxyPass /
  ProxyPassReverse /

  DocumentRoot /var/www/foo/bar
  <Directory /var/www/foo/bar>
    AllowOverride none
    Options -MultiViews

The magical line is the one with “Header edit…”. This makes sure any request your app server would have sent to HTTP are rewritten to HTTPS.

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