Serving Meteor App in Subdirectory, not at root of domain. (Apache reverse proxy help needed)

Hello Meteor Developers,

I have set up a reverse proxy in Apache to serve the meteor app when people access the /heroes directory (i.e. Right now, the initial index page gets served, but all of the bundle files (JS, CSS, templates) fail to load because they link to instead of

Developer Console when loading page

Is there some way to tell Meteor to rewrite the bundle urls with the /heroes prefix, without modifying the actual location of the server (which must stay at localhost:3000 to match the reverse proxy definition?).

Apache config:

<VirtualHost _default_:80>
        <Location /heroes>
                ProxyPass  http://localhost:3000
                ProxyPassReverse  http://localhost:3000


Meteor Command

/inside/app/directory/$ export ROOT_URL=""; meteor


=> Started proxy.
=> Meteor 1.6 is available. Update this project with 'meteor update'.
=> Started MongoDB.
I20171127-12:18:55.385(-8)? Kadira: completed instrumenting the app
=> Started your app.

=> App running at: http://localhost:3000/

I’ll be around to clarify my question if you have any thoughts for me!

Thanks for your help,

1 Like

In Angular 2 this problem is dealt with by the --base-href parameter, to tell the compiler/transpiler to prepend extra subdirectories to the beginning of the internal template and script urls. In my case something like --base-href '/heroes'. Is there something similar in Meteor?

Does ROOT_URL= not work?

Thanks for your response @vigorwebsolutions. When I set the ROOT_URL I get a 404 trying to access the main page. Which must be because the reverse proxy (which is pointing to localhost:3000) is no longer valid… right?

I wonder what port it is listening listening on when you set the ROOT_URL. If I can set the ROOT_URL and still use a localhost:3000 type address within the reverseProxy definition in Apache then I might be in business.

I don’t think that’s the case. The ROOT_URL should only be influencing places in your app where Meteor is trying to read that url to generate links, etc. There should still be an instance running at localhost:3000.

@vigorwebsolutions I think you are correct about the function of ROOT_URL. There is a separate BIND_IP environment variable which can be accessed from the command line using the --port flag:
meteor --port

I restarted using both the ROOT_URL and the --port, and I can’t connect to the app even from the local machine:

server startup

$ export ROOT_URL=; meteor --port
[[[[[ ~/heroes-and-villains ]]]]]

=> Started proxy.
=> Meteor 1.6 is available. Update this project with 'meteor update'.
=> Started MongoDB.
I20171127-16:05:34.190(-8)? Kadira: completed instrumenting the app
=> Started your app.

=> App running at:

Process log

This shows that meteor is running:

ben    38611  37939  1 16:05 pts/1    00:00:16 /home/ben/.meteor/packages/meteor-tool/.1.5.2_1.16dpenh.6jvo++os.linux.x86_64+web.browser+web.cordova/mt-os.linux.x86_64/dev_bundle/bin/node /home/ben/.meteor/packages/meteor-tool/.1.5.2_1.16dpenh.6jvo++os.linux.x86_64+web.browser+web.cordova/mt-os.linux.x86_64/tools/index.js --port
ben    38677  38611  0 16:05 pts/1    00:00:04 /home/ben/.meteor/packages/meteor-tool/.1.5.2_1.16dpenh.6jvo++os.linux.x86_64+web.browser+web.cordova/mt-os.linux.x86_64/dev_bundle/mongodb/bin/mongod --bind_ip --port 3001 --dbpath /home/ben/heroes-and-villains/.meteor/local/db --oplogSize 8 --replSet meteor --nojournal
ben    38738  38611  0 16:05 pts/1    00:00:04 /home/ben/.meteor/packages/meteor-tool/.1.5.2_1.16dpenh.6jvo++os.linux.x86_64+web.browser+web.cordova/mt-os.linux.x86_64/dev_bundle/bin/node /home/ben/heroes-and-villains/.meteor/local/build/main.js

Curl results negative

$ curl http://localhost:3000
Unknown path
$ curl
Unknown path

I would very much appreciate any other suggestions anyone can come up with! Thanks!

It seems like the problem can be boiled down to this.

When I run meteor without the ROOT_URL environment variable, I can reach the server at localhost:3000, but the page won’t load correctly because the domain name of the app is actually
When I run meteor with the ROOT_URL=, I can no longer access the meteor server locally at all on port 3000. I was under the impression that the ROOT_URL only affected the writing of the links and not the actual binding address/port of the meteor server locally.

There is a sort of relevant issue #9241 in github. But it doesn’t seem like anything was actually wrong. Maybe I need to open an issue for this.

UPDATE: I am able to access the app home page at the address:


When using ROOT_URL=

curl localhost:3000 -> 404
curl localhost:3000/ -> 404

I wonder why the ROOT_URL setting is causing bind path to only respond when I append the directory /heroes on the end. Anyone have any thoughts?