Install Keepproxy server

The Keepproxy server is a gateway into your Keep storage. Unlike the Keepstore servers, which are only accessible on the local LAN, Keepproxy is suitable for clients located elsewhere on the internet. Specifically, in contrast to Keepstore:

  • A client writing through Keepproxy generates less network traffic: the client sends a single copy of a data block, and Keepproxy sends copies to the appropriate Keepstore servers.
  • A client can write through Keepproxy without precomputing content hashes. Notably, the browser-based upload feature in Workbench requires Keepproxy.
  • Keepproxy checks API token validity before processing requests. (Clients that can connect directly to Keepstore can use it as scratch space even without a valid API token.)

By convention, we use the following hostname for the Keepproxy server:


This hostname should resolve from anywhere on the internet.

Install Keepproxy

On Debian-based systems:

~$ sudo apt-get install keepproxy

On Red Hat-based systems:

~$ sudo yum install keepproxy

Verify that Keepproxy is functional:

~$ keepproxy -h
Usage: keepproxy [-config path/to/keepproxy.yml]

Create an API token for the Keepproxy server

The Keepproxy server needs a token to talk to the API server. On the API server, use the following command to create the token. Change webserver-user to the user that runs your web server process. If you install Phusion Passenger as we recommend, this is www-data on Debian-based systems, and nginx on Red Hat-based systems.

Using RVM:

apiserver:~$ cd /var/www/arvados-api/current
apiserver:/var/www/arvados-api/current$ sudo -u webserver-user RAILS_ENV=production `which rvm-exec` default bundle exec ./script/get_anonymous_user_token.rb --get

Not using RVM:

apiserver:~$ cd /var/www/arvados-api/current
apiserver:/var/www/arvados-api/current$ sudo -u webserver-user RAILS_ENV=production bundle exec ./script/get_anonymous_user_token.rb --get

Set up the Keepproxy service

Install runit to supervise the keepproxy daemon. On Debian-based systems:

~$ sudo apt-get install runit

On Red Hat-based systems:

~$ sudo yum install runit

The run script for the keepproxy service should set the environment variables ARVADOS_API_TOKEN (with the token you just generated), ARVADOS_API_HOST, and, if needed, ARVADOS_API_HOST_INSECURE. The core keepproxy command to run is:

ARVADOS_API_TOKEN=zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ARVADOS_API_HOST=uuid_prefix.your.domain exec keepproxy

Set up a reverse proxy with SSL support

Because the Keepproxy is intended for access from anywhere on the internet, it is recommended to use SSL for transport encryption.

This is best achieved by putting a reverse proxy with SSL support in front of Keepproxy. Keepproxy itself runs on port 25107 by default; your reverse proxy can run on port 443 and pass requests to Keepproxy on port 25107.

upstream keepproxy {
  server      ;

server {
  listen                [your public IP address]:443 ssl;
  server_name           keep.uuid_prefix.your.domain;

  proxy_connect_timeout 90s;
  proxy_read_timeout    300s;
  proxy_set_header      X-Real-IP $remote_addr;

  ssl                   on;
  ssl_certificate       /etc/nginx/keep.uuid_prefix.your.domain-ssl.crt;
  ssl_certificate_key   /etc/nginx/keep.uuid_prefix.your.domain-ssl.key;

  # Clients need to be able to upload blocks of data up to 64MiB in size.
  client_max_body_size  64m;

  location / {
    proxy_pass          http://keepproxy;

Note: if the Web uploader is failing to upload data and there are no logs from keepproxy, be sure to check the nginx proxy logs. In addition to “GET” and “PUT”, The nginx proxy must pass “OPTIONS” requests to keepproxy, which should respond with appropriate Cross-origin resource sharing headers. If the CORS headers are not present, brower security policy will cause the upload request to silently fail. The CORS headers are generated by keepproxy and should not be set in nginx.

Tell the API server about the Keepproxy server

The API server needs to be informed about the presence of your Keepproxy server. Please execute the following commands on your shell server.

~$ uuid_prefix=`arv --format=uuid user current | cut -d- -f1`
~$ echo "Site prefix is '$uuid_prefix'"
~$ read -rd $'\000' keepservice <<EOF; arv keep_service create --keep-service "$keepservice"

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The content of this documentation is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States licence.
Code samples in this documentation are licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.