Bitwarden & Qnap & Docker

Będzie po angielsku bo może przyda się światu. ;)

Short instruction how to run Bitwarden service on home Qnap NAS.

Install „Container Station” on your Qnap. On the left panel of” Container Station” click on „Create” button and then on „Create Application” in upper right corner of window. In the text input field put content of the following listing and name this new application „bitwarden”.

version: '3'

    image: bitwardenrs/server:latest
      - "80"
      - ./data/bitwarden:/data
    restart: on-failure
      driver: "json-file"
    image: nginx:1.15-alpine
      - "580:80"
      - "5443:443"
      - ./data/nginx:/etc/nginx
      - ./data/ssl:/etc/ssl

    image: bruceforce/bw_backup:latest
    container_name: bw_backup
    restart: on-failure
      - bitwarden
      - ./data/bitwarden:/data
      - /etc/timezone:/etc/timezone:ro
      - /etc/localtime:/etc/localtime:ro
      - ./data/bitwarden:/backup_folder/
      - DB_FILE=/data/db.sqlite3
      - BACKUP_FILE=/backup_folder/db_backup/backup.sqlite3
      - BACKUP_FILE=/data/db_backup/backup.sqlite3
      - CRON_TIME=0 5 * * *
      - TIMESTAMP=false
      - UID=0
      - GID=0

Accept it and run. What you have really done is Docker Compose YAML configuration file which pulls 3 images from Docker Hub server:

  • bitwarden_rs – an unofficial Bitwarden server implemented in Rust language,
  • nginx – web server required here as proxy for HTTPS requests,
  • bw_backup – a docker image running cron job to backup bitwarden database.

and runs containers of them inside „Container Station”.

You should pay particular attention to the ports configuration, line with „580:80” and „5443:443” frases. „580” and „5443” are outside ports which are open on the Qnap itself. You can change to whatever fits for you but don’t use 80, 443 or 8080 because they are already taken by Qnap own services.

Before you run freshly created application (that’s Qnap Container Station’s name for docker-compose GUI) SSH log into Qnap and go to application folder:

cd /share/Container/container-station-data/application/bitwarden/data

Now, you must create configuration for nginx:

events {}

  server {
    listen 80;
    return 301 https://$host$request_uri;

  server {
    listen 443 ssl;

    ssl_certificate /etc/ssl/certs/bitwarden.crt;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/ssl/private/bitwarden.key;

    location / {
        proxy_pass http://bitwarden;
            proxy_set_header        Host $host;
        proxy_set_header        X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;

Save it as nginx.conf to /share/Container/container-station-data/application/bitwarden/data/nginx folder.

Now, you have to create self signed certificate to encrypt HTTP requests with SSL. To do this log in to Qnap with SSH and run following commands:

git clone

In this repo you’ll find two interesting files: data/ssl/bitwarden.ext:

# OpenSSL root CA configuration file.
# Copy to `/root/ca/openssl.cnf`.

[ ca ]
# `man ca`
default_ca = CA_default

[ CA_default ]
# Directory and file locations.
dir               = ./data/ssl
certs             = $dir/certs
crl_dir           = $dir/crl
new_certs_dir     = $dir/newcerts
database          = $dir/index.txt
serial            = $dir/serial
RANDFILE          = $dir/private/.rand

# The root key and root certificate.
private_key       = $dir/private/myCA.key
certificate       = $dir/certs/myCA.crt

# For certificate revocation lists.
crlnumber         = $dir/crlnumber
crl               = $dir/crl/ca.crl.pem
crl_extensions    = crl_ext
default_crl_days  = 30

# SHA-1 is deprecated, so use SHA-2 instead.
default_md        = sha256

name_opt          = ca_default
cert_opt          = ca_default
default_days      = 375
preserve          = no
policy            = policy_strict

[ policy_strict ]
# The root CA should only sign intermediate certificates that match.
# See the POLICY FORMAT section of `man ca`.
countryName             = match
stateOrProvinceName     = match
organizationName        = match
organizationalUnitName  = optional
commonName              = supplied
emailAddress            = optional

[ policy_loose ]
# Allow the intermediate CA to sign a more diverse range of certificates.
# See the POLICY FORMAT section of the `ca` man page.
countryName             = optional
stateOrProvinceName     = optional
localityName            = optional
organizationName        = optional
organizationalUnitName  = optional
commonName              = supplied
emailAddress            = optional

[ req ]
# Options for the `req` tool (`man req`).
default_bits        = 2048
distinguished_name  = req_distinguished_name
string_mask         = utf8only

# SHA-1 is deprecated, so use SHA-2 instead.
default_md          = sha256

# Extension to add when the -x509 option is used.
x509_extensions     = v3_ca

[ req_distinguished_name ]
# See <>.
countryName                     = Country Name (2 letter code)
stateOrProvinceName             = State or Province Name
localityName                    = Locality Name
0.organizationName              = Organization Name
organizationalUnitName          = Organizational Unit Name
commonName                      = Common Name
emailAddress                    = Email Address

# Optionally, specify some defaults.
countryName_default             = US
stateOrProvinceName_default     =
localityName_default            = 
0.organizationName_default      = 
organizationalUnitName_default  = 
emailAddress_default            = 

[ v3_ca ]
# Extensions for a typical CA (`man x509v3_config`).
subjectKeyIdentifier = hash
authorityKeyIdentifier = keyid:always,issuer
basicConstraints = critical, CA:true
keyUsage = critical, digitalSignature, cRLSign, keyCertSign

[ v3_intermediate_ca ]
# Extensions for a typical intermediate CA (`man x509v3_config`).
subjectKeyIdentifier = hash
authorityKeyIdentifier = keyid:always,issuer
basicConstraints = critical, CA:true, pathlen:0
keyUsage = critical, digitalSignature, cRLSign, keyCertSign

[ usr_cert ]
# Extensions for client certificates (`man x509v3_config`).
basicConstraints = CA:FALSE
nsCertType = client, email
nsComment = "OpenSSL Generated Client Certificate"
subjectKeyIdentifier = hash
authorityKeyIdentifier = keyid,issuer
keyUsage = critical, nonRepudiation, digitalSignature, keyEncipherment
extendedKeyUsage = clientAuth, emailProtection

[ my_subject_alt_names ]
DNS.1 = bitwarden.lan
DNS.2 = www.bitwarden.lan

[ server_cert ]
# Extensions for server certificates (`man x509v3_config`).
basicConstraints = CA:FALSE
nsCertType = server
nsComment = "OpenSSL Generated Server Certificate"
subjectKeyIdentifier = hash
authorityKeyIdentifier = keyid,issuer:always
keyUsage = critical, digitalSignature, keyEncipherment
extendedKeyUsage = serverAuth
subjectAltName = @my_subject_alt_names

[ crl_ext ]
# Extension for CRLs (`man x509v3_config`).

[ ocsp ]
# Extension for OCSP signing certificates (`man ocsp`).
basicConstraints = CA:FALSE
subjectKeyIdentifier = hash
authorityKeyIdentifier = keyid,issuer
keyUsage = critical, digitalSignature
extendedKeyUsage = critical, OCSPSigning

and script called


echo "Creating directory structure for CA"
mkdir -p data/ssl/certs
mkdir -p data/ssl/csr
mkdir -p data/ssl/private
mkdir -p data/ssl/newcerts
touch data/ssl/index.txt
echo 1000 > data/ssl/serial
echo "Creating key for personal CA, please fill out the FQDN with the name you want for your CA"
echo ""
openssl genrsa -aes256 -out data/ssl/private/myCA.key 4096
chmod 500 data/ssl/private/myCA.key
echo "Creating personal CA"
echo ""
openssl req -config data/ssl/bitwarden.ext -x509 -new -sha256 -days 3650 -extensions v3_ca -key data/ssl/private/myCA.key -out data/ssl/certs/myCA.crt
echo "Creating key for bitwarden certificate"
echo ""
openssl genrsa -out data/ssl/private/bitwarden.key 2048
echo "Creating request for Bitwarden certificate, please fill out the FQDN with the nmae that the instance will be located at"
echo ""
openssl req -config data/ssl/bitwarden.ext -key data/ssl/private/bitwarden.key -new -sha256 -out data/ssl/csr/bitwarden.csr
echo ""
echo -n "Please enter your FQDN for your bitwarden instance: "
read answer
sed -i "/DNS.1 = */c\DNS.1 = $answer" ./data/ssl/bitwarden.ext
sed -i "/DNS.2 = */c\DNS.2 = www.$answer" ./data/ssl/bitwarden.ext
openssl ca -config data/ssl/bitwarden.ext -extensions server_cert -days 375 -notext -md sha256 -in data/ssl/csr/bitwarden.csr -out data/ssl/certs/bitwarden.crt
echo ""
echo "Your personal CA has been created, please make sure to install myCA.crt as a trusted root CA in all devices you want to connect to this instance"

You can edit data/ssl/bitwarden.ext to make cert generating easier. Look at this lines:

# Optionally, specify some defaults.
countryName_default             = PL
stateOrProvinceName_default     = mazowieckie
localityName_default            = Warszawa
0.organizationName_default      = FUBAR
organizationalUnitName_default  = fubarek
emailAddress_default            =

and this:

[ my_subject_alt_names ]
DNS.1 = bitwarden.fubar
DNS.2 = www.bitwarden.fubar

Warning: your certificate will be valid only for above domains. I use Pi-hole local DNS to redirect bitwarden.fubar to my QNap IP address.

OK, run script and follow instructions. At the and you will find whole new structure of folders with files in ssl directory.

Copy certs and private folders to /share/Container/container-station-data/application/bitwarden/data/ssl.

Now, start Bitwarden application:

Open web browser and go to the URL like: https://bitwarden.fubar:5443, remeber to change domain to same value as in DNS.1 for ssl.

You should see Bitwarden login page:

Time to install and use Bitwarden clients on desktops (macOS, Linux, Windows) and mobiles (Android, iOS) but before you’ll do it first go back to SSH session on you Qnap and copy „myCA.crt” file on your computer.

This file is, root CA certificate that will make your Bitwarden clients think that certificate used to connect is valid even it is self signed by you.

Install CA certificate on every host you use with Bitwarden client:

macOS – double click on CRT file and it will open in Keychain Access, add it to System keychain and choose „Always Trust” option,

Linux (Debian/Ubuntu)-

If your CA is in PEM format convert .pem file to a .crt file:

openssl x509 -in myCA.pem -inform PEM -out myCA.crt
  1. Create a directory for extra CA certificates in /usr/share/ca-certificates:
sudo mkdir /usr/share/ca-certificates/extra

2. Copy server_rootCA.crt file to this directory:

sudo cp myCA.crt /usr/share/ca-certificates/extra/.

3. Let Debian/Ubuntu add the .crt file’s path relative to /usr/share/ca-certificates to /etc/ca-certificates.conf:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure ca-certificates

3a. To do this non-interactively, run:

sudo update-ca-certificates

Windows – don’t use it.


e-mail to yourself CA certificate (in this case myCA.crt file),
go to e-mail app and open this attachement in a message,
there will be pop-up informartion saying that youshould go to Settings to install certificate, so go to Settings->General->Profiles
and finish installation of certificate.
After that you have to go back to the main screen of Settings and scroll untli you will see search input at the top. Put „trusted” word in it and thn you’ll be presented with „Trusted Certificates” option (which is in Settings->General->About).
Go there and at bottom there is „Certificate Trust Settings” option, open it and you will see freshly installed certificate. Turn it on making it trusted.
Bitwarden app should connect to server flawlessly.

In my setup I use local domain name (bitwarden.fubar) when I connect with OpenVPN client from my mobile so, I had to set up additional options to ovpn config file and to OpenVPN server.

First: I already have PiHole server on Raspberry Pi (IP: with option translating „bitwarden.fubar” to IP of my Bitwarden host (say its:

In my ovpn config file add two options:

push "redirect-gateway def1"
push "dhcp-option DNS"

In my router configuration I use separate DHCP pool for OpenVPN connections. For this pool DNS server to set up to So, when mobile establishes VPN connection all DNS queries are redirected to and it translates „bitwarden.fubar” to which is my Bitwarden instance.

Little bit complicated but… I liked it.

Firefox – go to Preferences -> Privacy & Security -> View Certificates. Click Import, then choose PEM/CRT file, select „Trust this CA to identify websites.”

Chrome – in macOS it uses Keychain so you don’t need to add it again. For Linux check this website: Quick hint: go to Settings -> Privacy & Security -> Security -> Manage Certificates and Import.

Warning! Original Bitwarden Desktop client use chromium sandbox so you HAVE TO install CA certificate into Chromium!!!

When CA certificate is in right place the last thing is:

before you connect every Bitwarden client must „know” the right address of Bitwarden server.

Run client and click gear icon:

then put your server address in 4 fields:

  • Server URL
  • Web vault server URL
  • API server URL
  • Identity server URL

Remember to put it in the following form: https://my.ip.address:myport, in case your server has IP and port 5443 it should be: like in image below. If you use domain name (as me) you should replace IP with domain:

Now, there’s time to create account, you can do it pointing browser to the very same URL as used above:

It’s all now ready to use.

Few steps to consider:

  • store database backup somewhere outside Qnap,
  • import data from another password manager,
  • set up VPN connection to Qnap to synchronize database when you outside.


How to update docker images?

  • ALWAYS MAKE BACKUP OF YOUR VAULT!!! Export it in JSON from Bitwarden client.
  • go to your QNap, run FileStation and zip full content of you application data folder:
  • stop application in ContainerStation, remove it. Go to Images tab and pull new version of images: bitwardenrs/server, bruceforce/bw_backup and nginx:1.15-alpine.
  • create application as written at the beginnign of this article, don’t run it
  • unzip content of previously backup data folder (configuration for nginx, ssl, vault and vault’s backup).
  • run application.