Running express.js server over HTTPS

Oct 27, 2017 · Updated: Dec 01, 2021 · by Tim Kamanin

HTTPS is everywhere and more often than not we need to spin an https server or two. Here's how you can do it for your local express.js dev server:

1. Generate a self-signed certificate

openssl req -nodes -new -x509 -keyout server.key -out server.cert

2. Enable HTTPS in Express

Add something like this to your index.js

var express = require("express");
var fs = require("fs");
var https = require("https");
var app = express();

app.get("/", function (req, res) {
  res.send("hello world");

      key: fs.readFileSync("server.key"),
      cert: fs.readFileSync("server.cert"),
  .listen(3000, function () {
      "Example app listening on port 3000! Go to https://localhost:3000/"

Now run a command node index.js and your server should be available at address https://localhost:3000.

Please be aware that browsers reject self-signed certificates by default, so when you open https://localhost:3000 for the first time, you'll see a browser warning instead of an expected page. If you don't like this, there's a way to force your browser to trust any self-signed certificate. I described it in my other tutorial . Don't freak out, the tutorial is for Django devs, but if you follow what's written in Step 1 you should be good. The approach is generic and works for any framework.

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