The hohenheim dispatcher

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import hohenheim from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/hohenheim';


Hohenheim logo Hohenheim

Hohenheim is a web server and reverse proxy for node.js
Coded with ❤️ by Eleven Ways.



Hohenheim requires at least node.js version 10.21.0


You will need a mongodb server.


Although technically not required, you can configure your sites to use a specific node.js version installed through the n node version manager


Hohenheim requires that your node.js binary has some extra capabilities. These are:

  • cap_setuid: for setting the uid of the instances it spawns
  • cap_setgid: for setting the gid of the instances it spawns
  • cap_kill: for killing spawned instances with another uid than its own
  • cap_net_bind_service: for binding to privileged ports, like port 80 & 443

(If you prefer to route port 80 & 443 to another port, you can drop cap_net_bind_service)

It's best to give hohenheim its own node executable, otherwise all scripts running would have these capabilities.

Here's an easy example on how to create a new node binary (your locations may differ)

sudo cp /usr/local/bin/node /usr/local/bin/hohenode

That's easy. Now give it the required capabilities:

sudo setcap 'cap_kill,cap_setuid,cap_setgid,cap_net_bind_service=+ep' /usr/local/bin/hohenode

Should you ever want to remove all capabilities from the binary, you can do so like this:

sudo setcap -r /usr/local/bin/hohenode


You will need to configure the following files


module.exports = {

    // The main port to listen on
    proxyPort: 80,

    // The main port to listen on for HTTPS/http2 traffic
    proxyPortHttps: 443,

    // Your current environment. Can be dev, preview or live
    environment: 'live',

    // When no sites match, this address will be tried last
    // (This can be your apache server, for instance)
    fallbackAddress: 'http://localhost:8080',

    // The host hohenheim will use to access the spawned node sites,
    // this should probably remain "localhost"
    redirectHost: 'localhost',

    // The first port to use for child node instances
    firstPort: 4748,

    // This is the port the admin interface listens on
    port: 2999,

    // Set to true to enable letsencrypt
    letsencrypt: true,

    // The default e-mail address to use for letsencrypt registrations
    letsencrypt_email: 'your@email.address',

    // Add the ipv6 address you want to listen on
    ipv6Address: ''

app/config/dev/database.js or app/config/live/database.js

You'll find the database settings here, by default these are:

Datasource.create('mongo', 'default', {
    host     : '',
    database : 'hohenheim-live',
    login    : false,
    password : false

Admin interface

Once you have everything configured and running, you can go to the admin interface at http://localhost:2999/chimera

The default credentials are admin:admin


If you want https & http/2 support, you need to set letsencrypt: true in your local configuration.

If you want to use your own certificates (and not letsencrypt), the greenlock module we use lets you do that. You just need to put your own certificate files into the correct directory.

Eg: if you have your own certificates for the domain example.com, you can put them here:



Keep hohenheim running by setting up a Systemd service, for example:

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/hohenheim.service

And then enter

Description=Hohenheim site dispatcher

ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/hohenode /path/to/your/hohenheim/server.js


You will need to change:

  • After: Other services to wait for (in this case mongodb)
  • WorkingDirectory: The path to the directory where the server.js file is
  • ExecStart: The path to the capabilities-enabled node binary + the server.js file
  • User and Group: The user you want to run hohenheim as
  • Environment: Your own environment variables

Finally, enable it:

sudo systemctl enable hohenheim.service

Using screen

Another interesting way to run hohenheim is to add screen. This will give you access to hohenheim through janeway:


ExecStart=/usr/bin/screen -d -m -S hohenheim -d -m /usr/local/bin/hohenode server.js
ExecStop=/usr/bin/killall -w -s 2 hohenheim


Now, if you want to access the hohenheim shell, you can do:

screen -r hohenheim

Node versions

You can configure your websites to use a specific node.js version, these versions are available:

  • The system node binary (which node result)
  • The binary /usr/bin/node if available
  • The binary /usr/local/bin/node if available
  • All global installed versions through the n module

If a configured version is not found, the system node binary will be used.


Many thanks go out to Félix "passcod" Saparelli who allowed me to use the hohenheim package name on npm.