Expose public HTTPS

Make EmailEngine available over public internet

In this example, we use Nginx as a reverse proxy in front of EmailEngine to make it publicly accessible.

EmailEngine does not have HTTPS capabilities built-in, so to expose EmailEngine over the public internet, you'd need to use an HTTPS reverse proxy like Nginx, HAProxy, Caddy, or even Apache – any web server with proxying capabilities should work.

1. Make sure Nginx is installed

If you do not have Nginx installed yet, install it with your platform's package manager. For example, in Debian or Ubuntu, use apt.

$ apt-get update
$ apt-get install nginx -y

2. Prepare dummy HTTPS certificates

At first, we are going to create some dummy HTTPS certificates. This step is optional, and we only do it so that we would be able to set up Nginx HTTPS virtual host before we provision actual HTTPS certificates.

$ sudo openssl req -subj "/CN=example.com/O=My Company Name LTD./C=US" -new -newkey rsa:2048 -days 365 -nodes -x509 -keyout privkey.pem -out fullchain.pem
$ sudo chmod 0600 privkey.pem
$ sudo mv privkey.pem /etc/ssl/private/emailengine-privkey.pem
$ sudo mv fullchain.pem /etc/ssl/certs/emailengine-fullchain.pem

3. Nginx virtual host config

Create a new virtual host configuration file

$ sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/emailengine.conf

And paste the following configuration. Make sure to change the domain name and verify that EmailEngine's HTTP port would be the correct one (defaults to 3000):

server {
    listen 80;
    listen 443 ssl http2;

    server_name example.com; # <- change this domain name

    ssl_certificate_key /etc/ssl/private/emailengine-privkey.pem;
    ssl_certificate /etc/ssl/certs/emailengine-fullchain.pem;

    location / {
        client_max_body_size 50M;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_redirect off;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto https;
        proxy_set_header X-Scheme $scheme;
        proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
        proxy_set_header X-NginX-Proxy true;
        proxy_pass; # <- use EmailEngine's HTTP port

    # Enforce HTTPS
    if ($scheme != "https") {
        return 301 https://$host$request_uri;

Next, we would have to enable the configuration.

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/emailengine.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/emailengine.conf

Also, verify that the Nginx configuration does not include any errors. Otherwise, reloading or restarting it would stop the Nginx service.

$ sudo nginx -t
nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

And finally, apply the new config.

$ sudo systemctl reload nginx

At this point, if you'd open the domain name in your browser, it should show you EmailEngine's page. Except you are still using the dummy HTTPS certificates, so in most cases, you'd see the invalid certificate warning instead.

4. Provision HTTPS certificates

In this example, we'll use acme.sh to provision HTTPS certificates from Let's Encrypt.

If you do not have it installed, you can do it easily like the following (in this example, we would be performing all acme.sh related operations as root)

$ sudo su
$ cd
$ curl https://get.acme.sh | sh -s email=my@example.com

Make sure to use your actual email address

Once we have acme.sh installed and set up, we can provide the certificates (must run as root):

$ /root/.acme.sh/acme.sh --issue --nginx --server letsencrypt \
    -d example.com \
    --key-file       /etc/ssl/private/emailengine-privkey.pem  \
    --ca-file        /etc/ssl/certs/emailengine-chain.pem \
    --fullchain-file /etc/ssl/certs/emailengine-fullchain.pem \
    --reloadcmd     "/bin/systemctl reload nginx"

Replace example.com with the domain name of your virtual host.

Acme.sh will be renewing these certificates automatically, so in the best-case scenario, you will never have to deal with these certificates again.

Unless something went utterly wrong, you should now have EmailEngine publicly accessible. Additionally, you can find a more thorough Nginx virtual host configuration example for EmailEngine here.