Host Nodejs API with Nginx in the Cloud

Host Nodejs API with Nginx in the Cloud

Complete Process from scratch to Production

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Node.js Deployment

Steps to deploy a Node.js app to any cloud using PM2, NGINX as a reverse proxy and an SSL from LetsEncrypt

1. Sign up for any cloud service and create an VM

In this tutorial i'm using azure's vm to accomplish the task and Domain from Namecheap which is free for any github verified student account , and if you have an .edu account then you can access azure's 100$ sponsorship program without any credit card

2. Create a VM and log in via ssh

I will be using the root user, but would suggest creating a new user

3. Install Node/NPM

curl -sL | sudo -E bash -

sudo apt install nodejs

node --version

4. Clone your project from Github

There are a few ways to get your files on to the server, I would suggest using Git

git clone yourproject.git

5. Install dependencies and test app

cd yourproject
npm install
npm start (or whatever your start command)
# stop app

6. Setup PM2 process manager to keep your app running

sudo npm i pm2 -g
pm2 start app (or whatever your file name)

# Other pm2 commands
pm2 show app
pm2 status
pm2 restart app
pm2 stop app
pm2 logs (Show log stream)
pm2 flush (Clear logs)

# To make sure app starts when reboot
pm2 startup ubuntu

You should now be able to access your app using your IP and port. Now we want to setup a firewall blocking that port and setup NGINX as a reverse proxy so we can access it directly using port 80 (http)

7. Setup ufw firewall

sudo ufw enable
sudo ufw status
sudo ufw allow ssh (Port 22)
sudo ufw allow http (Port 80)
sudo ufw allow https (Port 443)

In case you can't access the url then make sure to allow inbound rule for port 80 in the azure's network security group

8. Install NGINX and configure

sudo apt install nginx

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/default

Add the following to the location part of the server block


    location / {
        proxy_pass http://localhost:5000; #whatever port your app runs on
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection 'upgrade';
        proxy_set_header Host $host;
        proxy_cache_bypass $http_upgrade;
# Check NGINX config
sudo nginx -t

# Restart NGINX
sudo service nginx restart

You should now be able to visit your IP with no port (port 80) and see your app. Now let's add a domain

9. Connect your domain to the VM

In Namecheap go to your DNS section and add the following

Add 2 A record, One for @ and One for www to the public ip address of your vm

Register and/or setup domain from registrar

Use any Trusted domain provided for domains.

It may take a bit to propogate

  1. Add SSL with LetsEncrypt
sudo apt update
sudo apt-get install python3-certbot-nginx
sudo certbot --nginx -d -d

# Only valid for 90 days, test the renewal process with
certbot renew --dry-run

Now visit and you should see your Node app

Thanks ^_____^

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