A modern public-facing website should these days be served via encrypted
https: rather than
http: for the website and
wss: rather than vs
ws: for websocket connections used by webclient.
The reason is security - not only does it make sure a user ends up at the right site (rather than a spoof that hijacked the original’s address), it stops an evil middleman from snooping on data (like passwords) being sent across the wire.
Evennia itself does not implement https/wss connections. This is something best handled by dedicated tools able to keep up-to-date with the latest security practices.
So what we’ll do is install proxy between Evennia and the outgoing ports of your server. Essentially, Evennia will think it’s only running locally (on localhost, IP 127.0.0.1) while the proxy will transparently map that to the “real” outgoing ports and handle HTTPS/WSS for us.
Evennia | (inside-only local IP/ports serving HTTP/WS) | Proxy | (outside-visible public IP/ports serving HTTPS/WSS) | Firewall | Internet
These instructions assume you run a server with Unix/Linux (very common if you use remote hosting) and that you have root access to that server.
The pieces we’ll need:
HAProxy - an open-source proxy program that is easy to set up and use.
LetsEncrypt for providing the User Certificate needed to establish an encrypted connection. In particular we’ll use the excellent Certbot program, which automates the whole certificate setup process with LetsEncrypt.
cron- this comes with all Linux/Unix systems and allows to automate tasks in the OS.
Before starting you also need the following information and setup:
(optional) The host name of your game. This is something you must previously have purchased from a domain registrar and set up with DNS to point to the IP of your server. For the benefit of this manual, we’ll assume your host name is
If you don’t have a domain name or haven’t set it up yet, you must at least know the IP address of your server. Find this with
ifconfigor similar from inside the server. If you use a hosting service like DigitalOcean you can also find the droplet’s IP address in the control panel. Use this as the host name everywhere.
You must open port 80 in your firewall. This is used by Certbot below to auto-renew certificates. So you can’t really run another webserver alongside this setup without tweaking.
You must open port 443 (HTTPS) in your firewall. This will be the external webserver port.
Make sure port 4001 (internal webserver port) is not open in your firewall (it usually will be closed by default unless you explicitly opened it previously).
Open port 4002 in firewall (we’ll use the same number for both internal- and external ports, the proxy will only show the safe one serving wss).
Certificates guarantee that you are you. Easiest is to get this with Letsencrypt and the Certbot program. Certbot has a lot of install instructions for various operating systems. Here’s for Debian/Ubuntu:
sudo apt install certbot
Make sure to stop Evennia and that no port-80 using service is running, then
sudo certbot certonly --standalone
You will get some questions you need to answer, such as an email to send
certificate errors to and the host name (or IP, supposedly) to use with this
certificate. After this, the certificates will end up in
/etc/letsencrypt/live/<yourhostname>/*pem (example from Ubuntu). The
critical files for our purposes are
Certbot sets up a cron-job/systemd job to regularly renew the certificate. To check this works, try
sudo certbot renew --dry-run
The certificate is only valid for 3 months at a time, so make sure this test works (it requires port 80 to be open). Look up Certbot’s page for more help.
We are not quite done. HAProxy expects these two files to be one file. More specifically we are going to
privkey.pemand copy it to a new file named
Append the contents of
fullchain.pemto the end of this new file. No empty lines are needed.
We could do this by copy&pasting in a text editor, but here’s how to do it with shell commands (replace the example paths with your own):
cd /etc/letsencrypt/live/my.awesomegame.com/ sudo cp privkey.pem my.awesomegame.com.pem sudo cat fullchain.pem >> my.awesomegame.com.pem
my.awesomegame.com.pem file (or whatever you named it) is what we will
point to in the HAProxy config below.
There is a problem here though - Certbot will (re)generate
us automatically a few days before before the 3-month certificate runs out.
But HAProxy will not see this because it is looking at the combined file that
will still have the old
fullchain.pem appended to it.
We’ll set up an automated task to rebuild the
.pem file regularly by
cron program of Unix/Linux.
An editor will open to the crontab file. Add the following at the bottom (all on one line, and change the paths to your own!):
0 5 * * * cd /etc/letsencrypt/live/my.awesomegame.com/ && cp privkey.pem my.awesomegame.com.pem && cat fullchain.pem >> my.awesomegame.com.pem
Save and close the editor. Every night at 05:00 (5 AM), the
my.awesomegame.com.pem will now be rebuilt for you. Since Certbot updates
fullchain.pem file a few days before the certificate runs out, this should
be enough time to make sure HaProxy never sees an outdated certificate.
Installing and configuring HAProxy¶
Installing HaProxy is usually as simple as:
# Debian derivatives (Ubuntu, Mint etc) sudo apt install haproxy # Redhat derivatives (dnf instead of yum for very recent Fedora distros) sudo yum install haproxy
Configuration of HAProxy is done in a single file. This can be located wherever
you like, for now put in your game dir and name it
Here is an example tested on Centos7 and Ubuntu. Make sure to change the file to put in your own values.
We use the
my.awesomegame.com example here and here are the ports
443is the standard SSL port
4001is the standard Evennia webserver port (firewall closed!)
4002is the default Evennia websocket port (we use the same number for the outgoing wss port, so this should be open in firewall).
# base stuff to set up haproxy global log /dev/log local0 chroot /var/lib/haproxy maxconn 4000 user haproxy tune.ssl.default-dh-param 2048 ## uncomment this when everything works # daemon defaults mode http option forwardfor # Evennia Specifics listen evennia-https-website bind my.awesomegame.com:443 ssl no-sslv3 no-tlsv10 crt /etc/letsencrypt/live/my.awesomegame.com>/my.awesomegame.com.pem server localhost 127.0.0.1:4001 timeout client 10m timeout server 10m timeout connect 5m listen evennia-secure-websocket bind my.awesomegame.com:4002 ssl no-sslv3 no-tlsv10 crt /etc/letsencrypt/live/my.awesomegame.com/my.awesomegame.com.pem server localhost 127.0.0.1:4002 timeout client 10m timeout server 10m timeout connect 5m
Putting it all together¶
Get back to the Evennia game dir and edit mygame/server/conf/settings.py. Add:
WEBSERVER_INTERFACES = ['127.0.0.1'] WEBSOCKET_CLIENT_INTERFACE = '127.0.0.1'
Make sure to reboot (stop + start) evennia completely:
Finally you start the proxy:
sudo haproxy -f /path/to/the/above/haproxy.cfg
Make sure you can connect to your game from your browser and that you end up
https:// page and can use the websocket webclient.
Once everything works you may want to start the proxy automatically and in the
background. Stop the proxy with
Ctrl-C and make sure to uncomment the line
# daemon in the config file.
If you have no other proxies running on your server, you can copy your haproxy.conf file to the system-wide settings:
sudo cp /path/to/the/above/haproxy.cfg /etc/haproxy/
The proxy will now start on reload and you can control it with
sudo service haproxy start|stop|restart|status
If you don’t want to copy stuff into
/etc/ you can also run the haproxy purely
out of your current location by running it with
cron on server restart. Open
the crontab again:
sudo crontab -e
Add a new line to the end of the file:
@reboot haproxy -f /path/to/the/above/haproxy.cfg
Save the file and haproxy should start up automatically when you reboot the
server. Next just restart the proxy manually a last time - with
uncommented in the config file, it will now start as a background process.