Installation: Setup Wizard Walkthrough

  • We want to make it as easy as possible for you to start RavenDB with a valid, trusted server certificate from the beginning. This will ensure that your servers are secure throughout your application lifecycle.

    • Setting up securely will create a development environment that includes security related features such as encryption and client certificates. This way, such features won't be missing when you launch, and there will be less bugs caused by code that needs to be adapted to security features that must be added later.
  • To make the setup process as smooth as possible, we have introduced the Setup Wizard,
    a step-by-step guide to help you configure the desired security level and easily deploy a secure cluster.

  • Using the Setup Wizard you can set up a secure cluster with:

    • Let's Encrypt certificate - Using the Wizard with "Let's Encrypt" will enable RavenDB's automatic certificate renewals.
    • Self-obtained certificate - You are responsible for periodic certificate renewals.
    • Or choose to continue in an unsecure mode.
  • Note: The RavenDB server can also be set up manually if choosing not to use the wizard.
    See Manual Setup.

  • Note: this page explains how to follow the Setup Wizard, without going into security concerns details.
    To learn more about how Authentication and Authorization are implemented with RavenDB, and about Security in general, go to Security Overview.

  • If you are having trouble using the wizard, or with security in general, please visit the Security Common Errors & FAQ section.

In this page:

Help Us Improve Prompt

When you first launch RavenDB, you will see this prompt asking if you'd be willing to anonymously share some Studio usage data with us in order to help us improve RavenDB:

NoSQL Database Share Studio Usage

Help Us Improve

Once you respond to this prompt, it should not appear again. However, in some scenarios, such as running RavenDB embedded, or working without browser cookies, the prompt may appear again.

If necessary, you can add this flag to the Studio URL to prevent the prompt from appearing:

<Studio URL>#dashboard?disableAnalytics=true


Select Setup Mode

  • When running the RavenDB server for the first time,
    you will be redirected to the setup wizard welcome page where you can choose your preferred option.
Figure 1. Welcome Page

Select Mode in the Welcome Page

Secure Setup with a Free Let's Encrypt Certificate

Let's Encrypt is a free, automated, and non-profit certificate authority.
It will generate a certificate for your domain as long as you can prove that you own it.

During the wizard, RavenDB will give you a free subdomain. This will let you configure the DNS records for this subdomain to point to the IP addresses your server will listen to. The subdomain is owned by RavenDB, and you can manage it through our Customer Portal. Login with your license key, and you can add/remove/update DNS records for your cluster.

The free subdomain is given to you only for the purpose of proving ownership to Let's Encrypt. If you wish to use your own domain, you are welcome to acquire your own certificate and use that instead.

Security consideration and ownership of certificates and domains

The automatic setup is designed to be as convenient and as easy as possible. It takes care of all the details of setting up DNS records, generating certificates, and performing their renewals. Because of these requirements, the ownership of the certificates and DNS records needs to stay within the Hibernating Rhinos company. This gives us the ability to generate valid certificates and modify DNS settings for your registered domains and should be a consideration to keep in mind while reviewing the security of your system.

Hibernating Rhinos will never exploit these abilities and will never perform any modifications to the certificates and DNS records unless explicitly requested by the client.

The purpose of this feature is to make it easy for users to get set up and running with a minimum of fuss. We recommend that for actual production deployments and for the highest level of security and control, you'll use your own certificates and domains, avoiding the need to rely on a third party for such a critical part of your security.

After choosing the Let's Encrypt Secure Setup option, you are required to enter your license key which was sent to the email address you provided. This process will associate your license with the chosen subdomain to ensure that valid certificates can only be generated by a single license holder.

Figure 2. Enter License

The next step is to name and claim your subdomain.

Figure 3. Claim Domain



Configuring The Server Addresses

In the next screen, you will choose the IP address and port that your server will bind to.

If you wish to setup a cluster of servers/nodes (for a more stable, robust, and available database), this is the place to add nodes to the cluster and choose their IP addresses.

For a smooth setup experience, please make sure that the IP address and port are available in each machine. The wizard will validate this and throw an error if they are being used. When using port 443, you need to ensure that it hasn't already been taken by other applications like Skype, IIS, Apache, etc. On Linux, you might need to allow port 443 for non-root processes.

For a list of IPs and ports already in use on your machine, run netstat -a in the command line.

IP addresses and ports may be changed at a later time by running the setup wizard again which will update the DNS records. Another way is to configure the settings.json file in each node's server folder. This process requires you to restart your server after configuring.

Example I - On one machine

In the following screenshot, we show an example of constructing a cluster for local development on one machine:

Figure 4. Configure Cluster

All 3 nodes will run on the local machine:

  • Node A (https://a.raven.development.run) will listen to 127.0.0.1 on port 8080.
  • Node B (https://b.raven.development.run) will listen to 127.0.0.2 on port 8080.
  • Node C (https://c.raven.development.run) will listen to 127.0.0.3 on port 8080.

Each node will run in its own process and have its own data directory and settings.json file. You should have 3 separate RavenDB node folders.

Example II - On separate machines for higher availability

Each node will run on its own machine in a network.

A common scenario for running an internal cluster will be:

  • Node A (https://a.raven.development.run) will listen to 10.0.0.84 on port 443.
  • Node B (https://b.raven.development.run) will listen to 10.0.0.75 on port 443.
  • Node C (https://c.raven.development.run) will listen to 10.0.0.91 on port 443.

You can deploy a cluster that is completely internal to your network and still gain all the benefits of using certificates and SSL with full trust and complete support from all the standard tooling.

A cluster of nodes on separate machines

To enable the nodes to communicate between machines, use the 10.0... IP addresses instead of the 127.0...

Example III - Behind a firewall

A RavenDB server can run behind a firewall (in cloud environments for example).

RavenDB will bind to the private IP address. However, the DNS records must be updated to the external IP address which is reachable from the outside world. Requests made to the external IP address will be forwarded to the private IP address (which RavenDB listens on).

Check the box "Customize external IP and Ports" and supply the external IP address.

Figure 4a. Configure Cloud Node


Example IV - In a Docker container

In Docker, if you choose to use port mapping with the -p flag, You need to check the box "Customize external IP and Ports" and supply the external IP address as well as the exposed ports.

So if a container was created using:

sudo docker run -t -p 38889:38888 -p 443:8080 ravendb/ravendb

Then the following configuration should be applied:

Figure 4b. Configure Docker Node



Installing The Certificate

When you click next, the wizard will establish a connection with Let's Encrypt to obtain a valid certificate for the entire cluster.

It usually takes this process a couple of minutes to complete. The wizard validates that the DNS records updated successfully and that the server can run with the supplied addresses and certificate and is reachable using the new domain name.

Caching of Let's Encrypt Certificates

In some scenarios you will run the setup wizard again. In that case, if none of the cluster domains changed, the wizard will use the cached certificate and not request a new one from Let's Encrypt.

Figure 5. Finishing Up

Configuration Failure

If the validation fails, you will receive a detailed error. You can go back in the wizard, change the settings and try again.

A common DNS error is that DNS records didn't yet update locally.
Usually, the solution is to wait a few minutes and try again. If you do not want to wait, you can configure your network card (just for the setup) to use Google's DNS server (8.8.8.8), to bypass caching of DNS (Domain Name System) records.

Tip: use dns.google.com to see the DNS record of your domain.

When finished you will receive a .zip file containing all of the cluster configuration files and certificates.
Save this .zip file in each of your server folders. It has the security certificate and settings and for each node.
You may need it in the future, so make sure it is saved in a permanent location. If you are setting up a cluster, you will use this Zip file to set up the other nodes.

Figure 6. Configuration Completed

Copy the downloaded <YourDomainName>.Cluster.Settings.zip folder into the Cluster Parent folder(s) to use it later. It contains the certificate and configurations of the server that you set up in the wizard.

When you will run the .pfx installation wizard, it will set a file path for the certificate in the settings.json file.
Make sure not to relocate these files after installation without also changing the settings.json because relocating them will cause a 'System.InvalidOperationException: Unable to start the server.' error. If you must move your folder at a later time, you can reconfigure the certificate file path in the settings.json file.

Figure 6a. Save Cluster Settings Zip in Parent Folder

If you left the "Automatically register the admin client..." box in the IP setup stage checked (it is checked by default), a client certificate is registered in the OS trusted store during setup. The Chrome and Edge browsers use the OS store, so they will let you choose your certificate right before you are redirected.

Firefox users will have to manually import the certificate to the browser via Tools > Options > Advanced > Certificates > View Certificates.

If you unchecked the box, before you continue, please register the client certificate in the OS store or import it to the browser.


Install client certificate - Run Certificate Import Wizard

A. Extract the downloaded configuration .zip file <YourDomainName>.Cluster.Settings.zip to the parent folder.

B. Run the admin.client...pfx file to start the client certificate import wizard. Make sure you use the admin.client...pfx and not the cluster.server...pfx.
Unless you want to set a client certificate password or define a different file path, you can use the default settings by clicking next every time.
Figure 7. Certificate Import Wizard

C. In the main installation wizard on your browser, there should be a screen with a restart button.
Figure 7a. Restart server after IP setup

D. After clicking restart, the wizard checks if you've run the certificate Import Wizard, which you've just done. Figure 7b. Restart Certificate Wizard Check

E. You should see a window that asks which certificate you want to use.
Figure 7c. Choose certificate


If you are setting up a only single node, the setup is complete and you can start working on your secure server.



Setting Up Other Nodes

When you access the Studio (automatically opens when starting a RavenDB server) check that Node A is running by clicking the Manage Server tab on the left side > select Cluster. You will see something similar to this:

Figure 8. Incomplete Cluster

Incomplete Cluster view

Nodes B and C are not running yet. As soon as we start them, Node A will detect and add them to the cluster.

Now, let's bring Node B up.

  1. Extract the downloaded server RavenDB...zip folder into the Node B folder.
  2. In Windows, start the RavenDB setup wizard using the run.ps1 script via PowerShell. In Linux, use the start.sh script.
  3. Continue the cluster setup for new node
    This time we will scroll down and click the "Continue the cluster setup for new node" button to connect other servers to this cluster.
    Figure 9. Choose Cluster Setup
  4. If on separate machines, run the admin.cluster...pfx file on the new machine to register the certificate in the OS.
  5. Configuration package
    In the Setup Wizard (image below), Browse for and select the <YourDomainName>.Cluster.Settings.zip file from setup folder.
  6. Node Tag
    Select node tag (B in this case) to designate which node in the cluster this server will be.
  7. Then click next.
    Figure 10. Complete Existing Cluster
  8. Click Restart. A new tab with the Studio should open in your browser and when you navigate to: Manage Server -> Cluster you should see two green nodes with a green line between them.
  9. Repeat the process for the remaining nodes. When all the nodes are up, you can view the updated topology in the Studio.

A Healthy Cluster

  • All of the nodes in a healthy cluster should be green with green lines between them.
  • If one of the nodes disconnects at any time, the RavenDB studio will show that it is red with a red line showing the disconnect.

Figure 11. Healthy Cluster

Healthy Cluster


You have successfully finished setting up a secure cluster of RavenDB servers using a Let's Encrypt certificate.
By default, the server certificate will renew automatically because you set up the cluster with Let's Encrypt and RavenDB's Setup Wizard.

Registering as a service to increase server availability

You can now register the cluster as a service in your OS (it will run in the background every time your machine starts).


Next Steps

Learning how to work with RavenDB correctly with the following resources will make your job easier and save time handling technical problems later.

  • To learn how to fly with RavenDB, here are a few options:
    • Demo - Step-by-step code walkthrough
    • Bootcamp - Lessons mailed to your inbox
    • Documentation Guide - In addition to this guide and the First Steps section below, RavenDB's extensive documentation also has detailed explanations of server related operations, external replication, cloud-based servers, and much more. Navigate to related articles on the left and right sides of your screen.
    • Workshops
    • Webinars

First Steps from our documentation:


Secure Setup with Your Own Certificate

In RavenDB, users can provide their own server certificate. The certificate can be issued by a trusted SSL vendor or it can be a self-signed certificate. In the latter case, it's the user's responsibility to have the self-signed CA registered in the OS stores on all the relevant machines.

RavenDB will accept PFX server certificates which contain the private key, are not expired, and have the following fields:

  • KeyUsage: DigitalSignature, KeyEncipherment
  • ExtendedKeyUsage: Client Authentication, Server Authentication

If you wish to use the setup wizard to construct a cluster, you must use the same certificate for all nodes. If you wish to use a different certificate for each node, it's possible only through manual setup. A wildcard certificate is probably the easiest way to go. Another option is to issue a certificate which contains all the domains of all the cluster nodes as "Subject Alternative Names" (SANs).

After choosing the Secure Setup with your own certificate option, you are required to upload the certificate and click next. In the example, we will use the *.ravendb.example.com wildcard certificate.

Figure 1. Upload Certificate

Upload Certificate

Configuring The Server Addresses

In the next screen, you will choose the IP address and port that your server will bind to.

If you wish to setup a cluster of servers/nodes (for a more stable, robust, and available database), this is the place to add nodes to the cluster and choose their IP addresses.

For a smooth setup experience, please make sure that the IP addresses and ports are available in each machine. The wizard will validate this and throw an error if they are being used. When using port 443, you need to ensure that it hasn't already been taken by other applications like Skype, IIS, Apache, etc. On Linux, you might need to allow port 443 for non-root processes.
For a list of IPs and ports already in use, run netstat -a in the command line.

Important

If you bring your own certificate, you must also take care of the DNS records. If you choose to bind to 127.0.0.1, and provide a certificate with CN=my.domain, then the DNS record of my.domain must point to 127.0.0.1.

If you are running behind a firewall, the DNS records must point to the external IP address.

Example I - On one machine

In the following screenshot, we show an example of constructing a cluster for local development on one machine:

Figure 2. Configure Cluster

All 3 nodes will run on the local machine:

  • Node A (https://a.ravendb.example.com) will listen to 127.0.0.1 on port 8080.
  • Node B (https://b.ravendb.example.com) will listen to 127.0.0.2 on port 8080.
  • Node C (https://c.ravendb.example.com) will listen to 127.0.0.3 on port 8080.

Each node will run in its own process and have its own data directory and settings.json file.

Example II - On separate machines

Each node will run on its own machine in a network.

A common scenario for running an internal cluster will be:

  • Node A (https://a.ravendb.example.com) will listen to 10.0.0.84 on port 443.
  • Node B (https://b.ravendb.example.com) will listen to 10.0.0.75 on port 443.
  • Node C (https://c.ravendb.example.com) will listen to 10.0.0.91 on port 443.

You can deploy a cluster that is completely internal to your network and still gain all the benefits of using certificates and SSL with full trust and complete support from all the standard tooling.

A cluster of nodes on separate machines

To enable the nodes to communicate between machines, use the 10.0... IP addresses instead of the 127.0...

Example III - Behind a firewall

A RavenDB server can run behind a firewall (in cloud environments for example).

RavenDB will bind to the private IP address. However, the DNS records must be updated to the external IP address which is reachable from the outside world. Requests made to the external IP address will be forwarded to the private IP address (which RavenDB listens on).

It is your responsibility to update the DNS record of your domain to point to your external IP address.

Example IV - In a Docker container

In Docker, if you choose to use port mapping with the -p flag, You need to check the box "Customize external ports" and supply the exposed ports.

It is your responsibility to update the DNS record of your domain to point to your external IP address.

So if a container was created using:

sudo docker run -t -p 38889:38888 -p 443:8080 ravendb/ravendb

Then the following configuration should be applied:

Figure 2a. Configure Docker Node

A common DNS error is that DNS records didn't yet update locally.
Usually, the solution is to wait a few minutes and try again. If you do not want to wait, you can configure your network card (just for the setup) to use Google's DNS server (8.8.8.8), to bypass caching of DNS (Domain Name System) records.

When finished, you will receive a Zip file containing all of the cluster configuration settings files.
If you are setting up a cluster, you will use this Zip file to set up each of your nodes.

Figure 3. Configuration Completed

Configuration Completed


Installing Your Certificate and Setting the File Path

RavenDB will accept .pfx server certificates which contain the private key, are not expired, and have the following fields:

KeyUsage: DigitalSignature, KeyEncipherment
ExtendedKeyUsage: Client Authentication, Server Authentication

  1. Place the .pfx file in a permanent location in each server/node folder.

    If this location changes without adjusting your settings.json file, the server won't find the certificate and will not run unless you also reconfigure the settings.json.

  2. Run the .pfx file and click next each time for default settings, or configure the path and optional certificate password.
  3. At this point, click the "Restart Server" button, and wait until the browser redirects you to the new URL (in the example it's "https://a.ravendb.example.com").
  4. If you left the "Automatically register the admin client..." box in the IP setup stage checked (it is checked by default), a client certificate is registered in the OS trusted store during setup. The Chrome and Edge browsers use the OS store, so they will let you choose your certificate right before you are redirected.
    • Firefox users will have to manually import the certificate to the browser via Tools > Options > Advanced > Certificates > View Certificates.
    • If you unchecked the box, before you continue please register the client certificate in the OS store or import it to the browser.
Figure 4. Restart and choose certificate

Restart and choose certificate

If you are setting up a single node, the setup is complete and you can start working.


Setting Up Other Nodes

When you access the Studio (automatically opens when starting a RavenDB server) check that Node A is running by clicking the Manage Server tab on the left side > select Cluster.

Figure 8. Incomplete Cluster

Incomplete Cluster

Nodes B and C are not running yet. As soon as we start them, node A will detect it and add them to the cluster.

Now, let's bring Node B up.

  1. Extract the downloaded server RavenDB...zip folder into the Node B folder.
  2. In Windows, start the RavenDB setup wizard using the run.ps1 script via PowerShell. In Linux, use the start.sh script.
  3. Continue the cluster setup for new node
    This time we will scroll down and click the "Continue the cluster setup for new node" button to connect other servers to this cluster.
    Figure 9. Choose Cluster Setup
  4. If on separate machines, run the admin.cluster...pfx file on the new machine to register the certificate in the OS.
  5. Configuration package
    In the Setup Wizard (image below), Browse for and select the <YourDomainName>.Cluster.Settings.zip file from setup folder.
  6. Node Tag
    Select node tag (B in this case) to designate which node in the cluster this server will be.
  7. Then click next.
    Figure 10. Complete Existing Cluster
  8. Click Restart. A new tab with the Studio should open in your browser and when you navigate to: Manage Server -> Cluster you should see two green nodes with a green line between them.
  9. Repeat the process for the remaining nodes. When all the nodes are up, you can view the updated topology in the Studio.

A Healthy Cluster

  • All of the nodes in a healthy cluster should be green with green lines between them.
  • If one of the nodes disconnects at any time, the RavenDB studio will show that it is red with a red line showing the disconnect.

Figure 11. Complete Cluster

Complete Cluster

You have successfully finished setting up a secure cluster of RavenDB servers using your own wildcard certificate.

You are responsible to periodically renew your server certificate.

Registering as a service to increase server availability

You can now register the cluster as a service in your OS (it will run in the background every time your machine starts).

Next Steps

Learning how to work with RavenDB correctly with the following resources will make your job easier and save time handling technical problems later.

  • To learn how to fly with RavenDB, here are a few options:
    • Demo - Step-by-step code walkthrough
    • Bootcamp - Lessons mailed to your inbox
    • Documentation Guide - In addition to this guide and the First Steps section below, RavenDB's extensive documentation also has detailed explanations of server related operations, external replication, cloud-based servers, and much more. Navigate to related articles on the left and right sides of your screen.
    • Workshops
    • Webinars

First Steps from our documentation:

Unsecure Setup

In the Unsecure Mode, all you need to do is specify the IP address and ports that the server will listen to.

Danger

  • We strongly recommend setting up securely from the start to prevent potential future vulnerability. The process takes a few minutes and is free.

  • All security features (authentication, authorization and encryption) are disabled in the Unsecure Mode.

  • When choosing to listen to an outside network, the RavenDB server does not provide any security since Authentication is off.

  • Anyone who can access the server using the configured IP address will be granted administrative privileges.

Figure 1. Complete Cluster

Configuring a server on Node A, listening to 127.0.0.1 on port 8080

  1. Http Port - Enter the port that will be used by the clients and the Studio. Default is 8080.
    TCP Port - Enter the port that will be used for inter-server communication and for subscriptions. Default is 38888.

  2. IP Address: Enter the server's IP address.

  3. Create new cluster

    • Checked - The server will be created within a cluster with the specified Node Tag.
      This new cluster will only contain this node.
    • Unchecked - The server will Not be created in a cluster.
      The server will be created in a Passive State and can later be added to an already existing cluster.
  4. Environment
    This option only shows when creating a new cluster.
    Select the label that will be shown in the Studio UI for this server.
    If you select 'None' now, you can still configure this later from the Studio.

  5. Next - Click Next when done configuring.

Figure 2. Complete Cluster

Configuration has completed - Restart the Server

Once configuration is completed, restart the server.
After a few seconds, the server will be ready and accessible.
Access the Studio by entering the URL in the browser: "http://127.0.0.1:8080" or "http://localhost:8080".

Figure 3. Complete Cluster

The server's dashboard

Continuing The Cluster Setup

To construct a cluster, unzip the downloaded RavenDB package to more machines (or local folders), as many as the number of nodes you want.
In each node, start the RavenDB server and complete the Setup Wizard, entering a different IP address per server.

Once all the servers are up and running, building the cluster is simple.
Access the studio, go to Manage Server > Cluster, and add nodes to the cluster by their URL.
Learn more in Adding a Node to a Cluster.