HomeLab 4: Install and configure Nginx Proxy Manager with SSL Wildcard Certs

1. Forward HTTPS traffic to Ubuntu machine

First we need to redirecting the communication addressed to the public IP address to the static IP of our host Ubuntu machine. In my case, that address is the we set in my previous Home Lab 3 blog post.

Setting up port forwarding is straightforward. You would have to connect your machine to your network, log in to the router, navigate to settings and under port forwarding. You should specify the specific port you want to forward to your device. As long as the port is open, your internet connection is working, and your machine is connected to the network, you will be able to access it from anywhere outside your home network. TCP port 443 is the standard TCP port used for a website which uses SSL. We will forward all 443 traffic.

2. Install Nginx Proxy Manager

Follow the official set up. You can watch video walkthrough from The Digital Life that goes over how to use Nginx Proxy Manager with Cloudflare for SSL wildcard certificates (like I will be doing here).

Create the docker-compose.yaml:

version: "3"
    image: 'jc21/nginx-proxy-manager:latest'
    restart: unless-stopped
      # These ports are in format <host-port>:<container-port>
      - '80:80' # Public HTTP Port
      - '443:443' # Public HTTPS Port
      - '81:81' # Admin Web Port
      # Add any other Stream port you want to expose
      # - '21:21' # FTP
      DB_MYSQL_HOST: "db"
      DB_MYSQL_PORT: 3306
      DB_MYSQL_USER: "npm"
      DB_MYSQL_PASSWORD: "npm"
      DB_MYSQL_NAME: "npm"
      # Uncomment this if IPv6 is not enabled on your host
      # DISABLE_IPV6: 'true'
      - ./data:/data
      - ./letsencrypt:/etc/letsencrypt
      - db

    image: 'jc21/mariadb-aria:latest'
    restart: unless-stopped
      MYSQL_DATABASE: 'npm'
      MYSQL_USER: 'npm'
      MYSQL_PASSWORD: 'npm'
      - ./data/mysql:/var/lib/mysql

Bringing the container up:

sudo docker compose up -d

3. Configure Nginx Proxy Manager

1. Login with default Administrator and change it

Go to http://ipaddress:81 (e.g. for me it’s http://

Default Administrator user:

Change the Administrator user and password.

2. Get API token from Cloudflare dashbard

You will use this token for DNS Challenge in Nginx Proxy Manager configuration.

(1) Get your API toke > API tokens > Create API token > Edit zone DNS (2) Give it a name (e.g. Toke name: *.psychlab.eu), set a Zone (e.g. All zones) (3) Then click Create Token, copy the token and store it somewhere safe

(4) Important: during the DNS Challenge when setting up SSL certs you should set “DNS only” in Cloudflare dashbabard DNS > Proxy Status. If you are on your dashboard, might as well set “DNS only” for TLD (e.g. psychlab.eu) and wildcard (*) now, but don’t forget after DNS Challenge to switch back to “Proxied”.

3. SSL Certificates

Login to Nginx Proxy Manager through Administrator account:

SSL Certificates > Add Certificate

  • Domain Names: *.psychlab.eu, psychlab.eu
  • Email Address for Let’s Encrypt: put your email address
  • Use DNS Challenge
  • DNS Provider: Cloudflare
  • Credentials File Content: put here the Cloudflare API token after dns_cloudflare_api_token =
  • Agree to the Let’s Encrypt Terms of Service

4. Add Proxy Host

Hosts > Add Proxy Host

  • Details

    • Domain Names: *.psychlab.eu, psychlab.eu
    • Scheme: http - IP:
    • Port: 80
    • Cache Assets: disabled
    • Block Common Exploits: enabled
    • Websockets Support: disabled
    • Access List: Publicly Accessible

  • SSL

    • SSL Certificate: *.psychlab.eu, psychlab.eu
    • Force SSL
    • HTTP/2 Support
    • HSTS Enabled

  • Custom Locations

    • (nothing)
  • Advanced

    • (nothing)

5. E.g. add Proxy Host for Guacamole

Hosts > Add Proxy Host

  • Details

    • Domain Names: guac.psychlab.eu
    • Scheme: http
    • IP:
    • Port: 8080
    • Cache Assets: disabled
    • Block Common Exploits: enabled
    • Websockets Support: enabled
    • Access List: Publicly Accessible

  • SSL

    • SSL Certificate: *.psychlab.eu, psychlab.eu
    • Force SSL: enabled
    • HSTS Enabled: enabled
    • HTTP/2 Support: enabled
    • HSTS Subdomains: disabled

  • Custom Locations

    • (nothing)
  • Advanced: paste in the following

location / {
    proxy_buffering off;
    proxy_http_version 1.1;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
    proxy_set_header Connection $http_connection;
    client_max_body_size 1g;
    proxy_cookie_path /guacamole/ /;
    access_log off;

As I outlined in Home Lab 3 blog post, the static IP address in my network for my Ubuntu machine is and guacamole is accessible through

When proxying Guacamole through Nginx, you may run into issues with the default limitations that Nginx places on file uploads (1MB), but client_max_body_size parameter can be set within the location block to configure the maximum file upload size.

4. Firewall

sudo apt update

# Basic ufw lockdown
sudo ufw default allow outgoing

sudo ufw default deny incoming

# Allow inbound ports:
sudo ufw allow ssh

sudo ufw allow http/tcp

sudo ufw allow https/tcp

sudo ufw allow 81/tcp

# iptables -L
Claudiu-Cristian Papasteri
Claudiu-Cristian Papasteri
Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Researcher