Traefik reverse proxy for containers with Lets Encrypt

IMPORTANT: This blog post covers Traefik version 1.

With Traefik, you can easily reverse proxy your containers, and automatically generate a Let’s Encrypt certificate for them. It’s pretty awesome. No more complicated Nginx containers coupled with another Let’s Encrypt companion!

In the following setup, the name of the container will be used for the certificate generation.

For example, if you define domain = in Traefik configuration, and your container is called container01, a certificate will automatically be generated for

It is advised to create a wildcard DNS record * pointing to the IP address of the server hosting Traefik.

Also, make sure you open port TCP/80 and TCP/443.

The following expects you are already running Docker CE.

Create the file that will contain certificate data:

touch /opt/docker/revproxy/acme.json
chmod 600 /opt/docker/revproxy/acme.json

Create Traefik configuration /opt/docker/revproxy/traefik.toml:

#debug = true

InsecureSkipVerify = true 
defaultEntryPoints = ["http", "https"]

domain = ""
watch = true
exposedbydefault = false

address = ":18080"
   users = ["admin:put_your_encrypted_password_here"]

  address = ":80"
      entryPoint = "https"
  address = ":443"

email = ""
storage = "/etc/traefik/acme.json"
entryPoint = "https"
onHostRule = true
entryPoint = "http"

Now start Traefik container:

docker run -d --name revproxy -p 80:80 -p 443:443 --restart=always -l traefik.enable=true -l -l traefik.port=18080 -v /opt/docker/revproxy/acme.json:/etc/traefik/acme.json -v /opt/docker/revproxy/traefik.toml:/etc/traefik/traefik.toml -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock traefik

Then start any container (for example called blah), and make sure they have a label traefik.enable=true.

It should take a couple of seconds only for the certificate to get generated. The timestamp of acme.json is a good indicator. You should now be able to surf on with a valid certificate.

If your container exposes a port other than 80, then you should pass the label traefik.port.

Example: docker run -d --name whoami -l traefik.port=8000 -t jwilder/whoami

For containers exposing their service on TLS, pass the label traefik.protocol=https.

Thanks for reading this post!

If you found an issue in this article, you can create an issue on Github.

If you have a comment or question, please drop me a line below!