This weekend I was updating and reconfiguring my apache2 installation, I run a server with multiple domains both with http and https, they are sitting behind a firewall. I also had some tomcat installations running on port 8080 on my server. In my previous configuration in the firewall I had port 80,443 and 8080 forwarded to my apache server and it worked perfectly. but as you know it’s easy to educate users to use both http(port 80) and https(port443) but not that easy to tell them to write https://yourserver:8080/blabla to redirect them to the tomcat server.

Having this I decided to change the way things work but using a reverse proxy this way I can have all the users using just http and https and at the same time redirect the traffic to the t0mcat behind the the firewall.

How did I do it?

First you have to enable the following modules on your apache2 server (I won’t explain how to do it as you can do it multiple ways and even use your distro tools to help you):

proxy_module

proxy_http_module

rewrite_module

I also recommend you to use virtualhosts for doing this as you’ll be able to serve multiple domains with ease:

and edit your virtual host to look like this:

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerAdmin xxx@yourdomain.com
ServerName www.yourdomain.com
DocumentRoot /srv/www/htdocs
ServerSignature On
DirectoryIndex index.php index.html index.htm
ProxyRequests Off
ProxyPreserveHost On
ProxyPass / http://your.internalserver.local:8080/
ProxyPassReverse / http://your.internalserver.local:8080/
</virtualhost>
<proxy>
Order deny,allow
Allow from all
</proxy>

or if you are using https your virtualhost config file might look like:

<IfDefine SSL>
<IfDefine !NOSSL>
<VirtualHost *:443>
ServerName www.yourdomain.com
DocumentRoot "/srv/www/htdocs"
ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/error.log
TransferLog /var/log/apache2/access.log
SSLEngine on
SSLCipherSuite ALL:!ADH:!EXPORT56:RC4+RSA:+HIGH:+MEDIUM:+LOW:+SSLv2:+EXP:+eNULL
SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/certs/www.yourdomain.com.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/certs/www.yourdomain.com.key
SSLCertificateChainFile /etc/apache2/certs/www.yourdomain.com_intermediate_bundle.crt
<Files ~ "\.(cgi|shtml|phtml|php3?)$">
SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
</Files>
<Directory "/srv/www/cgi-bin">
SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
</Directory>
SetEnvIf User-Agent ".*MSIE.*" \
nokeepalive ssl-unclean-shutdown \
downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0
CustomLog /var/log/apache2/ssl_request_log   ssl_combined
ProxyPreserveHost On
ProxyRequests Off
ProxyPass / http://www.your_domain.local:8080/
ProxyPassReverse / http://www.your_domain.local:8080/
</VirtualHost>
</IfDefine>
</IfDefine>

Well hope this is helpful to someone.

Cheers,

Pedro M. S. Oliveira

UPDATE:
Found this article about APACHE2 as a OWA proxy which I really liked 🙂 bellow there are some excerpts that I frequently use. I’m copying them for my reference:

<VirtualHost *:443>

DocumentRoot "/var/www/owa"
ServerName mail.mycompany.com:443
ServerAdmin support@mycompany.com
DirectoryIndex index.html index.php

SSLEngine on
SSLCipherSuite ALL:!ADH:!EXPORT56:RC4+RSA:+HIGH:+MEDIUM:+LOW:+SSLv2:+EXP:+eNULL
SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/server.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/ssl/server.key

SSLProxyEngine on

RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule	^/$	/exchange	[L,R]

RequestHeader set Front-End-Https On
ProxyRequests On
ProxyPreserveHost On
ProxyVia full

<Proxy *>
	Order deny,allow
	Allow from all
</Proxy>

    ProxyPass        /exchange https://mxbsas.example.local/exchange
    ProxyPassReverse /exchange https://mxbsas.example.local/exchange

    ProxyPass        /exchweb https://mxbsas.example.local/exchweb
    ProxyPassReverse /exchweb https://mxbsas.example.local/exchweb

    ProxyPass        /public https://mxbsas.example.local/public
    ProxyPassReverse /public https://mxbsas.example.local/public

    ProxyPass        /exchangerng https://mxrng.example.local/exchangerng
    ProxyPassReverse /exchangerng https://mxrng.example.local/exchangerng
    ProxyPass        /Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync https://mxbsas.example.local/Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync
    ProxyPassReverse /Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync https://mxbsas.example.local/Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync

</VirtualHost>