# Urbit

## Nginx proxy for Urbit in NixOS

I am running my #Urbit ship on Digital Ocean using #NixOS .

Took me quite a bit of time to figure the actual settings to use for Nginx to forward HTTPS to the port 8080 that vere uses. For some reason, default settings were causing the whole UI to misbehave completely: keep showing nonsense, disconnect etc. I finally found a working setup by asking around, googling and just trail and error.

In case you're interested, here are the settings that worked for me. TLS is set up using Let's Encrypt, terminated in Nginx, HTTP is redirected to HTTPs and HTTPs goes to vere.

    services.nginx.enable = true;
services.nginx.recommendedOptimisation = true;
services.nginx.recommendedProxySettings = true;
services.nginx.recommendedGzipSettings = true;
services.nginx.recommendedTlsSettings = true;

services.nginx.virtualHosts."napzod-dopzod.arvo.network" = {
forceSSL = true;
enableACME = true;
http2 = false;
locations."/" = {
proxyWebsockets = true;
proxyPass = "http://127.0.0.1:8080";
extraConfig = ''
# required when the target is also TLS server with multiple hosts
proxy_ssl_server_name on;
# required when the server wants to use HTTP Authentication
chunked_transfer_encoding off;
proxy_buffering off;
proxy_cache off;
};
};

security.acme.certs = {
"napzod-dopzod.arvo.network".email = "myemail@example.com";
};


I have not attempted to minimize these settings, so I don't know which ones are actually necessary.

I am still running vere in a lame way: by starting it in tmux session, since I don't have a working Nix recipe for it yet. If you do, make sure to submit a PR to Nixpkgs so we can all benefit.

## Pragrammatic critique of Urbit

I really like the Urbit project. I don't know how long I've been following it now. It was definitely earlier than 2016 when I discovered it, probably even 2014.

I think #Urbit is fundamentally trying to address the right set of problems in a comprehensive, holistic way. The fact that the Internet is broken for anything but centralized silos. I am deeply enthusiastic and cheering for Urbit. I do want it to succeed!

But in this post, I'm going to focus on an honest critique. I've actually read a lot of interesting critique of Urbit over the years – all that I could get my hands on. Mine is going to be less ambitious, and mostly down to earth and pragmatic. I hope it won't come out to harsh.