Mattermost Logo
Subpath Support
June 25, 2018 393 words

Mattermost 5.1 will include support for serving Mattermost from subpaths. This allows Mattermost to be exposed at something like https://example.com/company/mattermost, with your proxy server exposing different services at other subpaths. Subpath support is configured via the Site URL.

Using subpaths in production 

In production, after configuration and restart, the application server expects all HTTP requests to be anchored to the configured subpath. This includes static assets, API calls, and WebSockets. For convenience, the application server redirects any unexpected requests back into this subpath, e.g. forwarding http://example.com/login to http://example.com/company/mattermost/login.

The pre-built static assets shipped with Mattermost assume being hosted at /static/. In production, when the SiteURL is configured with a subpath such as https://example.com/company/mattermost, the application server rewrites any affected assets on startup to point at /company/mattermost/static instead. This rewriting can be done manually with the mattermost config subpath command:

mattermost config subpath --path /company/mattermost

Rewriting the static assets manually may be necessary when deploying to a CDN.

Using subpaths in development 

In development, with webpack running, the static assets are rewritten whenever a source file changes. While the server is still configured via the SiteURL, webpack requires this to be set via an environment variable:

cd mattermost-webapp/
make stop
export MM_SERVICESETTINGS_SITEURL='http://localhost:8065/company/mattermost'
make run

To resume testing at the root, either define a SiteURL with no subpath or unset the environment variable:

unset MM_SERVICESETTINGS_SITEURL
make restart

This environment variable is also honoured by the server as an override to config.json as described in documentation. Therefore, you can include this export in your shell’s initialization script to apply to both the server and the webapp simultaneously.

How do subpaths work? 

Under the covers, in development, our webpack.config.js parses the MM_SERVICESETTINGS_SITEURL environment variable to extract the subpath. This is first used by HtmlWebpackPlugin to anchor the assets loaded by root.html. It is then exported into the node environment as process.env.PUBLIC_PATH and used by entry.js to define __webpack_public_path__, affecting all modules loaded dynamically after the web application starts.

In production, with a non-root subpath, the application server rewrites root.html to export window.publicPath. This is checked by entry.js to similarly define __webpack_public_path__. Since HtmlWebpackPlugin is only run during development, the server also rewrites parts of root.html and various CSS files to reflect the correct subpath. To make the rewriting robust against multiple subpath changes, the application server uses any existing definition of window.publicPath to match the appropriate strings.


Written by Jesse Hallam - @jesse.hallam on community.mattermost.com and @lieut-data on GitHub

Join us on community.mattermost.com!