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An Experimental Gemini Server

Project description

Jetforce

An experimental TCP server for the new, under development Gemini Protocol. Learn more here.

Rocket Launch

Features

  • A built-in static file server with support for gemini directories and CGI scripts.
  • Lightweight, single-file framework with zero external dependencies.
  • Modern python codebase with type hinting and black style formatting.
  • Supports concurrent connections using an asynchronous event loop.
  • Extendable components that loosely implement the WSGI server/application pattern.

Installation

Requires Python 3.7+

The latest release can be installed from PyPI:

$ pip install jetforce

Or, clone the repository and run the script directly:

$ git clone https://github.com/michael-lazar/jetforce
$ cd jetforce
$ python3 jetforce.py

Usage

Use the --help flag to view command-line options:

$ jetforce --help
usage: jetforce [-h] [--host HOST] [--port PORT] [--hostname HOSTNAME]
                [--tls-certfile FILE] [--tls-keyfile FILE] [--tls-cafile FILE]
                [--tls-capath DIR] [--dir DIR] [--cgi-dir DIR]
                [--index-file FILE]

An Experimental Gemini Protocol Server

optional arguments:
  -h, --help           show this help message and exit
  --host HOST          Server address to bind to (default: 127.0.0.1)
  --port PORT          Server port to bind to (default: 1965)
  --hostname HOSTNAME  Server hostname (default: localhost)
  --tls-certfile FILE  Server TLS certificate file (default: None)
  --tls-keyfile FILE   Server TLS private key file (default: None)
  --tls-cafile FILE    A CA file to use for validating clients (default: None)
  --tls-capath DIR     A directory containing CA files for validating clients
                       (default: None)
  --dir DIR            Root directory on the filesystem to serve (default:
                       /var/gemini)
  --cgi-dir DIR        CGI script directory, relative to the server's root
                       directory (default: cgi-bin)
  --index-file FILE    If a directory contains a file with this name, that
                       file will be served instead of auto-generating an index
                       page (default: index.gmi)

Hostname

Because the gemini protocol sends the whole URL in the request, it's necessary to declare the hostname that your server is expecting to receive traffic under. Jetforce will reject any request that doesn't match your hostname with a status of Proxy Request Refused.

TLS Certificates

The gemini specification requires that all connections be sent over TLS.

If you do not provide a TLS certificate file using the --tls-certfile flag, jetforce will automatically generate a temporary cert for you to use. This is great for making development easier, but before you expose your server to the public internet you should configure something more permanent. You can generate your own self-signed server certificate, or obtain one from a Certificate Authority like Let's Encrypt.

Here's the OpenSSL command that jetforce uses to generate a self-signed cert:

$ openssl req -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout {hostname}.key \
    -nodes -x509 -out {hostname}.crt -subj "/CN={hostname}"

Jetforce also supports verified client TLS certificates. You can specify your client CA with the --tls-cafile or --tls-capath flags. Verified connections will have the REMOTE_USER variable added to their environment, which contains the client certificate's CN attribute. Instructions on how to generate TLS client certificates are outside of the scope of this readme, but you can find many helpful tutorials online.

There are currently no plans to support unverified (transient) client certificates. This is due to a technical limitation of the python standard library's ssl module, which is described in detail here.

Static Files

Jetforce will serve static files in the /var/gemini/ directory:

  • Files ending with .gmi will be interpreted as the text/gemini type
  • If a directory is requested, jetforce will look for a file in that directory with the name of index.gmi
    • If it exists, the index file will be returned
    • Otherwise, jetforce will generate a directory listing

CGI Scripts

Jetforce implements a slightly modified version of the official CGI specification. Because Gemini is a less complex than HTTP, the CGI interface is also inherently easier and more straightforward to use.

The main difference in jetforce's implementation is that the CGI script is expected to write the entire gemini response verbatim to stdout:

  1. The status code and meta on the first line
  2. The optional response body on subsequent lines

The script is not allowed to respond with HTTP headers like Content-Type, or any other special CGI headers like internal file redirects.

Some of the HTTP specific environment variables like REQUEST_METHOD are not used, because they don't make sense in the context of a Gemini request.

License

This project is licensed under the Floodgap Free Software License.

The Floodgap Free Software License (FFSL) has one overriding mandate: that software using it, or derivative works based on software that uses it, must be free. By free we mean simply "free as in beer" -- you may put your work into open or closed source packages as you see fit, whether or not you choose to release your changes or updates publicly, but you must not ask any fee for it.

Project details


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