DNS

Learn how to configure DNS to point to Galaxy

Before users can access your application, you must configure your DNS records to point to Galaxy. Galaxy is not a DNS provider and you’ll need to use your existing DNS provider to set DNS records. While the process will be specific to your DNS provider, the general method is the same.

We also provide a free subdomain option if you don’t need to have your own domain.

The standard DNS setup for Galaxy is to use a subdomain with a CNAME record to point to Galaxy and redirect your root (also called the naked or apex domain) domain to this subdomain. In the next sections we will guide you on how to do this.

Hosting on a subdomain with CNAME

Configure your subdomain, for example, www.mycompany.com or app.mycompany.com adding a CNAME record to your DNS provider.

Galaxy provides different regions around the world, fill your CNAME record value for your subdomain with the region that you are using:

  • US East: us-east-1.galaxy-ingress.meteor.com.

  • EU West: eu-west-1.galaxy-ingress.meteor.com.

  • Asia-Pacific: ap-southeast-2.galaxy-ingress.meteor.com.

If you don’t know where to configure this we recommend that you use Route 53 as your DNS provider, follow the steps here.

Ensure the hostname you deployed to matches the fully qualified domain name of your app (i.e app.mycompany.com).

We recommend you use SSL as a best practice. You can either enable LetsEncrypt using our integration or upload your own certificate.

Redirecting the root domain

A common scenario is when your app is hosted at www.mycompany.com or app.mycompany.com and you’d like mycompany.com to redirect to the same app running in your subdomain.

Galaxy does not support A record configuration using an IP but you can redirect your root domain (mycompany.com) to your app subdomain and the result will be pretty much the same, follow the next steps to learn how to do it.

Here we are going to explain step-by-step how to redirect your root domain using AWS S3 and AWS Route 53 services.

You can do this configuration in other providers, we are explaining AWS here in details because it is the most popular one.

AWS Setup

AWS Route 53

You need to set your DNS to be controlled by AWS Route 53.

Go to your AWS Console and go to the service called Route 53. If you don’t have an account on AWS can create one here.

In the Route 53 Dashboard click on Create Hosted Zone, fill your Domain Name (mycompany.com) and click on Create.

You are going to see a list of records, copy the value from NS (Name server). You are going to need it soon.

The value will be like

ns-1623.awsdns-10.co.uk.
ns-492.awsdns-61.com.
ns-709.awsdns-24.net.
ns-1485.awsdns-57.org.

but don’t copy these hosts from here, copy from your AWS Route 53 record because they are probably different.

Go to the service where you bought your domain and replace your Name Server, sometimes called DNS Servers or DNS Provider, to use Route 53 pasting the name servers that you have copied from AWS Route 53.

From now on every change in your DNS should be done in Route 53 as it is now your DNS Provider.

Every service that sells domains, like GoDaddy, have a different way to set the Name Servers (DNS Provider) but it is usually very easy to find it, if you have any questions about this contact your domain seller support.

Now that you are using AWS Route 53 as your DNS Provider you can point your subdomain (app.mycompany.com or www.mycompany.com) to Galaxy following the steps here. After you complete your subdomain setup return to the next step below to redirect your root domain.

AWS S3

Now we are ready to start the setup to make your root domain to redirect automatically to your subdomain. Go to S3 Dashboard. Click on Create bucket, fill your bucket name with your root domain (mycompany.com), uncheck Block all public access, check I acknowledge that the current settings might result in this bucket and the objects within becoming public. and click on Create bucket.

Access your newly created bucket (mycompany.com) and go to Properties tab, scroll down to Static website hosting section, click on Edit. Enable it and check the Hosting type as Redirect requests for an object in the field Host name fill your subdomain (www.mycompany.com or app.mycompany.com) and select the protocol https, click on Save.

Now you need to return to Route 53 create or change a record set type A for mycompany.com and toggle the Alias to enable it and select Alias to S3 website endpoint in the options, choose the region of your bucket and then select your bucket. Click in Create records. Ready, now your root domain will redirect to your subdomain.

Included *.meteorapp.com

You are free to use Galaxy’s built-in domain names. SSL is enabled on these domains by default.

If you’re in the US region (galaxy.meteor.com), deploy your example app to example.meteorapp.com.

If you’re in the EU region (eu-west-1.galaxy.meteor.com), deploy your example app to example.eu.meteorapp.com.

If you’re in the Asia-Pacific region (ap-southeast-2.galaxy.meteor.com), deploy your example app to example.au.meteorapp.com.

Substitute in the actual name of your app for ‘example’. Beyond that, no DNS configuration is necessary; Galaxy handles all of this for you.

Note: example.meteor.com is not available. You cannot deploy to meteor.com domains.

DNS propagation

DNS is distributed and cooperative, and it takes time for the world to see your changes. In many countries, it usually updates within about 30 minutes, but it can take up to 24 hours or even longer in some circumstances (depending on the record’s TTL).

You can check if your ALIAS or ANAME or CNAME setting was successful in the terminal by typing dig +show www.mycompany.com. If your ANSWER SECTION includes a record like this, you are in good shape:

www.mycompany.com.    1800   IN    CNAME        galaxy-ingress.meteor.com.

Testing your DNS changes

A quick way to test that your app is working is by modifying the /etc/hosts file to resolve your app’s hostname to the Galaxy load balancer’s IP address directly. Note that this will only affect your local machine.

To find out which IP address to use, type dig +short galaxy-ingress.meteor.com and choose any of the ones shown. The IP addresses used by Galaxy’s load balancer are likely to change, so you may need to do this process more than once.

Add a line to /etc/hosts (Windows: c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts) that contains:

[Galaxy's current ip address]   [Your app's hostname, e.g app.mycompany.com]

To ensure your changes take effect, you can reset your computer’s local DNS cache with sudo dscacheutil -flushcache (Mac; see other OSes) after making your changes.

Other options for redirecting the root domain

While the way to do this varies by DNS provider, these are common methods:

Because another service is hosting the redirect page, you’ll need to set up SSL using their methods, which will most likely involve a certificate upload.

If you’d like to host on Galaxy on the naked domain with HTTPS, or would like to serve a redirect from Amazon S3 via Amazon CloudFront (which supports custom certs), this guide, from a member of the DNSimple team, may be helpful.

Hosting on a root domain using ALIAS

In this scenario, you do want to emphasize a short URL like mycompany.com. While hosting on a root domain can introduce complications, it’s possible to do by using an ALIAS (also called an ANAME record).

First, you’ll need to either deploy your app to the root domain (e.g myapp.com) or add the root domain as an additional domain for your app. Next, you will need to add an ALIAS record to your DNS provider that points your root domain to galaxy-ingress.meteor.com.

Not all DNS providers support this feature and the implementation is usually very specific to each provider. Providers we know and recommend are:

Note: If you decide to host directly on a root domain, you will likely want to forward www to your root domain by setting up URL redirection (see above).

We recommend you use SSL as a best practice. You can either enable LetsEncrypt using our integration or upload your own certificate.

Other issues

Galaxy is not a DNS record provider. Our support is focused on configuring your settings to work with Galaxy apps, as described in the sections above.

If you have additional issues which reach beyond the scope of this article, you may need to contact your DNS record provider to resolve them.

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