Skip to content

Enable HTTP2 with Tomcat in Spring Boot

Tomcat 8.5, which will be the default in Spring Boot 1.4, supports HTTP/2.

How can HTTP/2 be enabled in a Spring Boot application?

Answer

The most elegant and best-performing way to enable HTTP/2 with a Spring Boot application follows here.

First, as mentioned in Andy Wilkinson’s answer, you need to enable HTTP/2 at Tomcat level:

@Bean
public EmbeddedServletContainerCustomizer tomcatCustomizer() {
    return (container) -> {
        if (container instanceof TomcatEmbeddedServletContainerFactory) {
            ((TomcatEmbeddedServletContainerFactory) container)
                    .addConnectorCustomizers((connector) -> {
                connector.addUpgradeProtocol(new Http2Protocol());
            });
        }
    };
}

In case you are not using an embedded Tomcat, you can set up HTTP/2 listening like this:

<Connector port="5080" protocol="HTTP/1.1" connectionTimeout="20000">
    <UpgradeProtocol className="org.apache.coyote.http2.Http2Protocol" />
</Connector>

Remember that you need Tomcat >= 8.5.

Then, you should use HAProxy (version >= 1.7) in front of Tomcat to take care of encryption.

The client will speak https to HAProxy, and HAProxy will speak cleartext HTTP/1.1 or HTTP/2 to the backend, as the client requested. There will be no unnecessary protocol translations.

The matching HAProxy-configuration is here:

# Create PEM: cat cert.crt cert.key ca.crt > /etc/ssl/certs/cert.pem

global
    tune.ssl.default-dh-param 2048
    ssl-default-bind-options no-sslv3 no-tls-tickets force-tlsv12
    ssl-default-bind-ciphers ECDH+AESGCM:DH+AESGCM:ECDH+AES256:DH+AES256:ECDH+AES128:DH+AES:ECDH+3DES:DH+3DES:RSA+AESGCM:RSA+AES:RSA+3DES:!aNULL:!MD5:!DSS
    chroot /var/lib/haproxy
    user haproxy
    group haproxy

defaults
    timeout connect 10000ms
    timeout client 60000ms
    timeout server 60000ms

frontend fe_https
    mode tcp
    rspadd Strict-Transport-Security: max-age=31536000; includeSubDomains; preload
    rspadd X-Frame-Options: DENY
    bind *:443 ssl crt /etc/ssl/certs/cert.pem alpn h2,http/1.1
    default_backend be_http

backend be_http
    mode tcp
    server domain 127.0.0.1:8080
    # compression algo gzip # does not work in mode "tcp"
    # compression type text/html text/css text/javascript application/json

Edit 2019

I face two problems when using mode “tcp”

  • Compression does not work, since it depends on mode http. So the backend has to take care of it
  • The backend can not see the client’s IP-address. Probably I need NAT. Still investigating…

Generally, since haproxy proxies a lower level tcp connection, there is no access to any http stuff