3.5. Install optional components#

There are several optional components that you can set up apart from the vantage6 server itself.

User Interface

An application that will allow your server’s users to interact more easily with your vantage6 server.

Docker registry

A (private) Docker registry can be used to store algorithms but it is also possible to use the (public) Docker hub to upload your Docker images. For production scenarios, we recommend using a private registry.


If you want to enable algorithm containers that are running on different nodes, to directly communicate with one another, you require a VPN server.


If you have a server with a high workload whose performance you want to improve, you may want to set up a RabbitMQ service which enables horizontal scaling of the Vantage6 server.

SMTP server

If you want to send emails to your users, e.g. to help them reset their password, you need to set up an SMTP server.

Below, we explain how to install and deploy these components.

3.5.1. User Interface#

The User Interface (UI) is a web application that will make it easier for your users to interact with the server. It allows you to manage all your resources (such as creating collaborations, editing users, or viewing tasks), except for creating new tasks. We aim to incorporate this functionality in the near future.

To run the UI, we also provide a Docker image. Below is an example of how you may deploy a UI using Docker compose; obviously, you may need to adjust the configuration to your own environment.

name: run-ui
    image: harbor2.vantage6.ai/infrastructure/ui:cotopaxi
      - "8000:80"
      - SERVER_URL=https://<url_to_my_server>
      - API_PATH=/api

Alternatively, you can also run the UI locally with Angular. In that case, follow the instructions on the UI Github page

The UI is not compatible with older versions (<3.3) of vantage6.

UI screenshot

Fig. 3.1 Screenshot of the vantage6 UI#

3.5.2. Docker registry#

A Docker registry or repository provides storage and versioning for Docker images. Installing a private Docker registry is useful if you don’t want to share your algorithms. Also, a private registry may have security benefits, for example, you can scan your images for vulnerabilities and you can limit the range of IP addresses that the node may access to its server and the private registry.


Our preferred solution for hosting a Docker registry is Harbor. Harbor provides access control, a user interface and automated scanning on vulnerabilities.

Docker Hub#

Docker itself provides a registry as a turn-key solution on Docker Hub. Instructions for setting it up can be found here: https://hub.docker.com/_/registry.

Note that some features of vantage6, such as timestamp based retrieval of the newest image, or multi-arch images, are not supported by the Docker Hub registry.

3.5.3. EduVPN#

EduVPN is an optional server component that enables the use of algorithms that require node-to-node communication.

EduVPN provides an API for the OpenVPN server, which is required for automated certificate retrieval by the nodes. Like vantage6, it is an open source platform.

The following documentation shows you how to install EduVPN:

After the installation is done, you need to configure the server to:

  1. Enable client-to-client communication. This can be achieved in the configuration file by the clientToClient setting (see here).

  2. Do not block LAN communication (set blockLan to false). This allows your docker subnetworks to continue to communicate, which is required for vantage6 to function normally.

  3. Enable port sharing (Optional). This may be useful if the nodes are behind a strict firewall. Port sharing allows nodes to connect to the VPN server only using outgoing tcp/443. Be aware that TCP meltdown can occur when using the TCP protocol for VPN.

  4. Create an application account.


EduVPN enables listening to multiple protocols (UDP/TCP) and ports at the same time. Be aware that all nodes need to be connected using the same protocol and port in order to communicate with each other.


The EduVPN server should usually be available to the public internet to allow all nodes to find it. Therefore, it should be properly secured, for example by closing all public ports (except http/https).

Additionally, you may want to explicitly allow only VPN traffic between nodes, and not between a node and the VPN server. You can achieve that by updating the firewall rules on your machine.

On Debian machines, these rules can be found in /etc/iptables/rules.v4 and /etc/iptables/rules.v6, on CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora they can be found in /etc/sysconfig/iptables and /etc/sysconfig/ip6tables. You will have to do the following:

Iptables rules to prevent node-to-VPN-server communication
# In the firewall rules, below INPUT in the #SSH section, add this line
# to drop all VPN traffic with the VPN server as final destination:
-I INPUT -i tun+ -j DROP

# We only want to allow nodes to reach other nodes, and not other
# network interfaces available in the VPN.
# To achieve, replace the following rules:
-A FORWARD -i tun+ ! -o tun+ -j ACCEPT
-A FORWARD ! -i tun+ -o tun+ -j ACCEPT
# with:
-A FORWARD -i tun+ -o tun+ -j ACCEPT
-A FORWARD -i tun+ -j DROP

Example configuration

The following configuration makes a server listens to TCP/443 only. Make sure you set clientToClient to true and blockLan to false. The range needs to be supplied to the node configuration files. Also note that the server configured below uses port-sharing.

EduVPN server configuration
// /etc/vpn-server-api/config.php

return [
    // List of VPN profiles
    'vpnProfiles' => [
        'internet' => [
            // The number of this profile, every profile per instance has a
            // unique number
            // REQUIRED
            'profileNumber' => 1,

            // The name of the profile as shown in the user and admin portals
            // REQUIRED
            'displayName' => 'vantage6 :: vpn service',

            // The IPv4 range of the network that will be assigned to clients
            // REQUIRED
            'range' => '',

            // The IPv6 range of the network that will be assigned to clients
            // REQUIRED
            'range6' => 'fd58:63db:3245:d20d::/64',

            // The hostname the VPN client(s) will connect to
            // REQUIRED
            'hostName' => 'eduvpn.vantage6.ai',

            // The address the OpenVPN processes will listen on
            // DEFAULT = '::'
            'listen' => '::',

            // The IP address to use for connecting to OpenVPN processes
            // DEFAULT = ''
            'managementIp' => '',

            // Whether or not to route all traffic from the client over the VPN
            // DEFAULT = false
            'defaultGateway' => true,

            // Block access to local LAN when VPN is active
            // DEFAULT = false
            'blockLan' => false,

            // IPv4 and IPv6 routes to push to the client, only used when
            // defaultGateway is false
            // DEFAULT = []
            'routes' => [],

            // IPv4 and IPv6 address of DNS server(s) to push to the client
            // DEFAULT  = []
            // Quad9 (https://www.quad9.net)
            'dns' => ['', '2620:fe::fe'],

            // Whether or not to allow client-to-client traffic
            // DEFAULT = false
            'clientToClient' => true,

            // Whether or not to enable OpenVPN logging
            // DEFAULT = false
            'enableLog' => false,

            // Whether or not to enable ACLs for controlling who can connect
            // DEFAULT = false
            'enableAcl' => false,

            // The list of permissions to allow access, requires enableAcl to
            // be true
            // DEFAULT  = []
            'aclPermissionList' => [],

            // The protocols and ports the OpenVPN processes should use, MUST
            // be either 1, 2, 4, 8 or 16 proto/port combinations
            // DEFAULT = ['udp/1194', 'tcp/1194']
            'vpnProtoPorts' => [

            // List the protocols and ports exposed to the VPN clients. Useful
            // for OpenVPN port sharing. When empty (or missing), uses list
            // from vpnProtoPorts
            // DEFAULT = []
            'exposedVpnProtoPorts' => [

            // Hide the profile from the user portal, i.e. do not allow the
            // user to choose it
            // DEFAULT = false
            'hideProfile' => false,

            // Protect to TLS control channel with PSK
            // DEFAULT = tls-crypt
            'tlsProtection' => 'tls-crypt',
            //'tlsProtection' => false,

    // API consumers & credentials
    'apiConsumers' => [
        'vpn-user-portal' => '***',
        'vpn-server-node' => '***',

The following configuration snippet can be used to add an API user. The username and the client_secret have to be added to the vantage6-server configuration file.

Add a VPN server user account
'Api' => [
  'consumerList' => [
    'vantage6-user' => [
      'redirect_uri_list' => [
      'display_name' => 'vantage6',
      'require_approval' => false,
      'client_secret' => '***'

3.5.4. RabbitMQ#

RabbitMQ is an optional component that enables the server to handle more requests at the same time. This is important if a server has a high workload.

There are several options to host your own RabbitMQ server. You can run RabbitMQ in Docker or host RabbitMQ on Azure. When you have set up your RabbitMQ service, you can connect the server to it by adding the following to the server configuration:

rabbitmq_uri: amqp://<username>:<password>@<hostname>:5672/<vhost>

Be sure to create the user and vhost that you specify exist! Otherwise, you can add them via the RabbitMQ management console.

3.5.5. SMTP server#

Some features of the server require an SMTP server to send emails. For example, the server can send an email to a user when they lost their password. There are many ways to set up an SMTP server, and we will not go into detail here. Just remember that you need to configure the server to use your SMTP server (see All configuration options).