Reverse proxy with nginx


For this you will need certbot, the certbot nginx plugin and of course nginx. These are popular packages so your distro will probably have them.


sudo apt install certbot python3-certbot-nginx nginx


sudo pacman -S certbot certbot-nginx nginx


sudo zypper install nginx python3-certbot python3-certbot-nginx

Configure GoToSocial

In your GoToSocial config turn off letsencrypt. First open the file in your text editor.

sudoedit /gotosocial/config.yaml

Then set letsencrypt-enabled: false.

If GoToSocial is already running, restart it.

sudo systemctl restart gotosocial.service

Or if you don't have a systemd service just restart it manually.

Set up nginx

First we will set up nginx to serve GoToSocial as unsecured http and then later use certbot to automatically upgrade to https. Please do not try to use it until that's done or you'll be transmitting passwords over clear text.

First we'll write a configuration for nginx and put it in /etc/nginx/sites-available.

sudo mkdir /etc/nginx/sites-available/
sudoedit /etc/nginx/sites-available/yourgotosocial.url.conf

The file you're about to create should look a bit like this:

server {
  listen 80;
  location / {
    proxy_pass http://localhost:8080;
    proxy_set_header Host $host;

Change proxy_pass to the ip and port that you're actually serving GoToSocial on and change server_name to your own domain name. If your domain name is then server_name; would be the correct value. If you're running GoToSocial on another machine with the local ip of and on port 8080 then proxy_pass; would be the correct value.

Next we'll need to link the file we just created to the folder that nginx reads configurations for active sites from.

sudo mkdir /etc/nginx/sites-enabled
sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/yourgotosocial.url.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Now check for configuration errors.

sudo nginx -t

If everything is fine you should get this as output:

nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

Everything working? Great! Then restart nginx to load your new config file.

sudo systemctl restart nginx

Setting up SSL with certbot

You should now be able to run certbot and it will guide you through the steps required to enable https for your instance.

sudo certbot --nginx

After you do, it should have automatically edited your configuration file to enable https. Just reload it one last time and after that you should be good to go!

sudo systemctl restart nginx