Your company here — click to reach over 10,000 unique daily visitors

cockpit-ws - Man Page

Cockpit web service

Examples (TL;DR)


cockpit-ws [--help] [--port PORT] [--address ADDRESS] [--no-tls] [--for-tls-proxy] [--local-ssh] [--local-session BRIDGE]


The cockpit-ws program is the web service component used for communication between the browser application and various configuration tools and services like cockpit-bridge(1).

Users or administrators should never need to start this program as it automatically started by systemd(1) on bootup, through cockpit-tls(8).

Transport Security

cockpit-ws is normally run behind the cockpit-tls TLS terminating proxy, and only deals with unencrypted HTTP by itself. But for backwards compatibility it can also handle TLS connections by itself when being run directly. For details how to configure certificates, please refer to the cockpit-tls(8) documentation.


When started via systemd(1) then cockpit-ws will exit after 90 seconds if nobody logs in, or after the last user is disconnected.



Show help options.

--port PORT

Serve HTTP requests PORT instead of port 9090. Usually Cockpit is started on demand by systemd socket activation, and this option has no effect. Update the ListenStream directive cockpit.socket file in the usual systemd manner.

--address ADDRESS

Bind to address ADDRESS instead of binding to all available addresses. Usually Cockpit is started on demand by systemd socket activation, and this option has no effect. In that case, update the ListenStream directive in the cockpit.socket file in the usual systemd manner.


Don't use TLS.


Tell cockpit-ws that it is running behind a local reverse proxy that does the TLS termination. Then Cockpit puts https:// URLs into the default Content-Security-Policy, and accepts only https:// origins, instead of http: ones by default. However, if Origins is set in the cockpit.conf(5) configuration file, it will override this default.


Normally cockpit-ws uses cockpit-session and PAM to authenticate the user and start a user session. With this option enabled, it will instead authenticate via SSH at port 22.

--local-session BRIDGE

Skip all authentication and cockpit-session, and launch the cockpit-bridge specified in BRIDGE in the local session. If the BRIDGE is specified as - then expect an already running bridge that is connected to stdin and stdout of this cockpit-ws process. This allows the web server to run as any unprivileged user in an already running session.

This mode implies --no-tls, thus you need to use http:// URLs with this.

If you use this, you have to isolate the opened TCP port somehow (for example in a network namespace), otherwise all other users (or even remote machines if the port is not just listening on localhost) can access the session!


The cockpit-ws process will use the XDG_CONFIG_DIRS environment variable from the XDG basedir spec[1] to find its cockpit.conf(5) configuration file.

In addition the XDG_DATA_DIRS environment variable from the XDG basedir spec[1] can be used to override the location to serve static files from. These are the files that are served to a non-logged in user.


Please send bug reports to either the distribution bug tracker or the upstream bug tracker[2].


Cockpit has been written by many contributors[3].

See Also

cockpit-tls(8) , cockpit.conf(5) , systemd(1)


  1. XDG basedir spec
  2. upstream bug tracker
  3. contributors

Referenced By

cockpit(1), cockpit-bridge(1), cockpit.conf(5), cockpit-desktop(1), cockpit-tls(8).

07/10/2024 cockpit