How to protect your Controller UI, API, and and Registry API with HTTPS/TLS.


  1. A Root CA certificate. For more information about CAs, see Usually provided by your organization or where you obtain your certificate signing. We will generate a self-signed one in this guide and refer to this as anka-ca-crt.pem and anka-ca-key.pem.

Create a self-signed cert for the services (optional)

Certificates should be in PEM (PKCS #8) format.
Ensure your certs are decrypted! They cannot have passwords.
For this guide, we’re running the Controller & Registry locally, so we use Update this depending on where you have things hosted

If you do not have TLS certificates for your Controller & Registry from a signed source, you can create them using your own CA:

openssl genrsa -out anka-controller-key.pem 4096
openssl req -new -nodes -sha256 -key anka-controller-key.pem -out anka-controller-csr.pem -subj "/O=MyGroup/OU=MyOrgUnit/CN=MyUser" \
  -reqexts SAN -extensions SAN \
  -config <(cat /etc/ssl/openssl.cnf <(printf "[SAN]\nextendedKeyUsage = serverAuth\nsubjectAltName=IP:$CONTROLLER_ADDRESS"))
openssl x509 -req -days 365 -sha256 -in anka-controller-csr.pem -CA anka-ca-crt.pem -CAkey anka-ca-key.pem -CAcreateserial \
  -out anka-controller-crt.pem -extfile <(echo subjectAltName = IP:$CONTROLLER_ADDRESS)
You can use the same certificate for both the Controller and Registry.
Beginning in Controller version 1.12.0, you can control the allowed TLS Cipher Suites and minimum/maximum TLS versions.

Next, ensure that the certificate has Signature Algorithm: sha256WithRSAEncryption using openssl x509 -text -noout -in ~/anka-controller-crt.pem | grep Signature (

Configure the services to use the TLS cert

MacOS combined Controller & Registry package

Edit /usr/local/bin/anka-controllerd:

  1. Change the listen address to 443: export ANKA_LISTEN_ADDR=":443"
SSL will actually work on any port you want.
  1. Add the following ENVs to enable HTTPS:

    # SSL + Cert Auth
    export ANKA_USE_HTTPS="true"
    export ANKA_SERVER_CERT="/Users/MyUser/anka-controller-crt.pem"
    export ANKA_SERVER_KEY="/Users/MyUser/anka-controller-key.pem"
  2. Ensure https is in the registry URL:

    export ANKA_ANKA_REGISTRY="https://anka.registry:8089"
The Controller & Registry runs as root. This is why you need to specify the absolute path to the location where you generated or are storing your certs.

Linux/Docker Controller & Registry package

Within the docker-compose.yml:

  1. Change the anka-controller ports from 80:80 to 443:80. You can keep the anka-registry ports the same (default: 8089).
  2. Under the anka-controller, modify or set ANKA_ANKA_REGISTRY to use https://.
  3. Ensure there is a volumes item that points the local cert location inside of the container at /mnt/cert.

Now let’s configure the Controller & Registry containers/services to use those certificates:

version: '2'
    container_name: anka-controller
      context: controller
      - "443:80"
      - etcd
      - anka-registry
    restart: always
      - "/opt/secure/certs:/mnt/certs"
      ANKA_ANKA_REGISTRY: "https://anka.registry:8089"
      ANKA_USE_HTTPS: "true"
      ANKA_SKIP_TLS_VERIFICATION: "true" # Only needed if registry cert is self-signed
      ANKA_SERVER_CERT: "/mnt/certs/anka-controller-crt.pem"
      ANKA_SERVER_KEY: "/mnt/certs/anka-controller-key.pem"
    container_name: anka-registry
      context: registry
      - "8089:8089"
    restart: always
      - "/opt/anka-storage:/mnt/vol"
      - "/opt/secure/certs:/mnt/certs"
      ANKA_USE_HTTPS: "true"
      ANKA_SERVER_CERT: "/mnt/certs/anka-controller-crt.pem"
      ANKA_SERVER_KEY: "/mnt/certs/anka-controller-key.pem"
For the standalone package (separate docker containers for the controller and registry): If the SERVER_CERT and KEY is self-signed, you will need to set ANKA_SKIP_TLS_VERIFICATION to true in the controller config so it can connect to the registry.

Test the Configuration

Start or restart your Controller and/or Registry and test the new TLS configuration using https://. You can also try using curl -v https://$CONTROLLER_OR_REGISTRY_URL/api/v1/status.

If that doesn’t work, try to repeat the above steps and validate that the file names and paths are correct. If you are still having trouble, debug the system as explained in the Debugging Controller section.