Running uptime-kuma with podman and RHEL 9 as a systemd service

3 minute read

TIL: With a simple #podman command I can install and run a container that monitors my services - from the wonderful Louis Lam.

With a second simple podman command I turn that container into a #systemd service, so it automagically starts after a reboot. Et voilá!

uptime-kuma The uptime-kuma dashboard


I run my server with RHEL 9 (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) which means I also get a nice overview with #cockpit.

Cockpit Cockpit dashboard showing the status of my containers

With the Red Hat Developer Subscription for individuals you get RHEL for absolutely free, even for production setups, on up to 16 physical or virtual nodes. See

Let’s get it done

So how did I do this? Well, not that much work.

  • Create a container using #podman
  • Add a Let’s Encrypt certificate
  • Configure nginx
  • Add it as a systemd service using podman

OK. Let’s start!

Create the container:

The container with uptime-kuma is in many registries, so no problem with that part.

podman run -d --restart=always -p 3001:3001 -v uptime-kuma:/app/data --name uptime-kuma louislam/uptime-kuma:1

This downloads the container, sets up the local container storage and port forwarding and runs it.

Add a Let’s Encrypt certificate

I use nginx as reverse proxy to expose my containers to the internet, so we need to add a server entry to /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

To save myself some time, I run the certbot command to add a certificate for the new subdomain, which also adds the stub entries in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf:

certbot --nginx -d up.MYDOMAIN.TLD

With this I don’t have to worry about the certificate stuff, as certbotwill automagically check and renew the certificate.

Configure nginx

I will expose this service under a subdomain called up.MYDOMAIN.TLD as that is the most simple way. So I set up the DNS as needed, which in this case is a simple CNAME entry like


(do note the trailng . after TLD, DNS needs it and it is a common mistake to forget it. It’s ALWAYS DNS when things go wrong ;)

Which means that requests for https://up.MYDOMAIN.TLD will be handled by the nginx server on `srv02.MYDOMAIN.TLD.

With that out of the way, I can extend the server entry in my /etc/nginx/nginx.conf under the server section to look like this:

server {
    server_name up.MYDOMAIN.TLD;
    location / {
        proxy_set_header   X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header   X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header   Host $host;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header   Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header   Connection "upgrade";
    listen [::]:443 ssl; # managed by Certbot
    listen 443 ssl; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/up.MYDOMAIN.TLD/fullchain.pem; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/up.MYDOMAIN.TLD/privkey.pem; # managed by Certbot
    include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-nginx.conf; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_dhparam /etc/letsencrypt/ssl-dhparams.pem; # managed by Certbot

server {
  if ($host = up.MAYDOMAIN.TLD) {
      return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
  } # managed by Certbot

  server_name up.MYDOMAIN.TLD;
  listen 80;
  listen [::]:80;
  return 404; # managed by Certbot

This does two things. It ensures that requests to https://up.MYDOMAIN.TLD get forwarded to the container listening on port 3001 and that requests to http://up.MYDOMAIN.TLD get redirected to the secure https connection.

If you are using a different reverse proxy setup, you can find an extensive list of configurations here.

Install a systemd service:

Podman can create a systemd service file from a running container, so let’s do that.

podman generate systemd --new --name uptime-kuma -f /etc/systemd/system/uptime-kuma.service  systemctl enable uptime-kuma

And that’s it! A container checking the uptime of my services, running as a systemd service, that just works.

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