Tag: discourse

Discourse acme.sh Script Failure

I had a hellacious time updating the certificate on my Dockerized Discourse server — the acme.sh script doesn’t have a slash delimiter between the hostname and the ./well-known folder within the URI. Which means the request fails. Repeatedly.


[Sat Oct 10 00:01:09 UTC 2020] _post_url='https://acme-v02.api.letsencrypt.org/acme/chall-v3/7784162898/nr42-g'
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:09 UTC 2020] _CURL='curl -L --silent --dump-header /shared/letsencrypt/http.header -g '
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:10 UTC 2020] _ret='0'
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:10 UTC 2020] code='200'
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:10 UTC 2020] trigger validation code: 200
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:10 UTC 2020] sleep 2 secs to verify
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:12 UTC 2020] checking
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:12 UTC 2020] url='https://acme-v02.api.letsencrypt.org/acme/chall-v3/7784162898/nr42-g'
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:12 UTC 2020] payload
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:12 UTC 2020] POST
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:12 UTC 2020] _post_url='https://acme-v02.api.letsencrypt.org/acme/chall-v3/7784162898/nr42-g'
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:12 UTC 2020] _CURL='curl -L --silent --dump-header /shared/letsencrypt/http.header -g '
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:13 UTC 2020] _ret='0'
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:13 UTC 2020] code='200'
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:13 UTC 2020] discourse.example.com:Verify error:Fetching https://discourse.example.com.well-known/acme-challenge/XY02T_40TL92IADByQ45JMj4JzC2qJCatVd2odJMAlU: Invalid host in redirect target
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:13 UTC 2020] pid
[Sat Oct 10 00:01:13 UTC 2020] No need to restore nginx, skip.


Turns out that’s my bad config — I’ve got a reverse proxy in front of Discourse, and we don’t use the clear text http site. The reverse proxy just bounces you over to the https site. Two problems — one, I failed to put the trailing slash after my redirect, s http://discourse.example.com/.well-known/blah is being redirected to https://discourse.example.com.well-known/blah

ServerName discourse.example.com
ServerAlias discourse

Redirect 301 / https://discourse.example.com



That’s easy enough to fix — add the trailing slash I should have had anyway. But the subsequent problem is that the bootstrap nginx config that is used to serve up the validation page only listens on port 80. So I cannot redirect the clear-text traffic over to the SSL site. I have to reverse proxy the clear text site as well (at least whenever the certificate needs to be renewed).

ProxyPass / https://discourse.example.com/
ProxyPassReverse / https://discourse.example.com/

Voila, a web server with an updated certificate.

Discourse Censored Words List

It took an unexpectedly long time to find the censored word list in Discourse. I finally resorted to searching the PRs until I located one where the censored word list was replaced with ‘watched words’ … although there wasn’t any readily apparent watched word list in the configuration either. I was able to locate the meta post regarding the watched word implemented under that PR. It’s hiding under logs?! Under each action (block, censor, require approval, flag), there is a “show words” checkbox that displays the configured words.

Discourse in Docker on Fedora 32

I had to make a few tweaks in order to run the Discourse base Docker image. First, I got the following very clear error:

discourse docker this version of runc doesn't work on cgroups v2: unknown

I had to switch from cgroupv2 to cgroup

grubby --update-kernel=ALL --args="systemd.unified_cgroup_hierarchy=0"

At which point I was at least able to run through the configuration. This yielded an access denied error attempting to create /shared/postgres:

Configuration file at updated successfully!

Updates successful. Rebuilding in 5 seconds.
Building app
Ensuring launcher is up to date
Fetching origin
Launcher is up-to-date
cd /pups && git pull && /pups/bin/pups --stdin
Already up to date.
I, [2020-08-11T18:15:03.664400 #1] INFO -- : Loading --stdin
I, [2020-08-11T18:15:03.672609 #1] INFO -- : > locale-gen $LANG && update-locale
I, [2020-08-11T18:15:03.746912 #1] INFO -- : Generating locales (this might take a while)...
Generation complete.

I, [2020-08-11T18:15:03.747838 #1] INFO -- : > mkdir -p /shared/postgres_run
mkdir: cannot create directory ‘/shared/postgres_run’: Permission denied
I, [2020-08-11T18:15:03.754890 #1] INFO -- :

Pups::ExecError: mkdir -p /shared/postgres_run failed with return #<Process::Status: pid 21 exit 1>
Location of failure: /pups/lib/pups/exec_command.rb:112:in `spawn'
exec failed with the params "mkdir -p /shared/postgres_run"
** FAILED TO BOOTSTRAP ** please scroll up and look for earlier error messages, there may be more than one.
./discourse-doctor may help diagnose the problem.

Gut was that I encountered an SELinux problem. Turns out I was right. There’s a lot of reading you can do about SELinux and Docker — this, for one — but the quick and simple solution is to run the docker container in privileged mode (note: this may not be a good idea in your specific scenario. understand what privileged mode is and the risks it entails). To do so, edit the launcher script (/var/discourse/launcher in my case) and add  “–privileged” to user_args:

And finally (and this may well be a RTFM thing) — you’ve got to have your public DNS set up & whatever firewall rules to get traffic to the http:// website you are trying to build in order to use the LetsEncrypt SSL cert and configure HTTPS. It uses the file-based verification (i.e. create a file named xyz in /path/to/xyz.whatever on your web server, lets encrypt grabs the file and verifies it exists) which fails quite spectacularly when the Internet at large cannot access your about-to-be-a-discourse-server.