Top Questions

What are the system requirements for Forward?
How do I use Forward with Wordpress?
Does forward work through a firewall?
How do Custom Subdomains work?
Can I password protect the project that I'm Forwarding?
Does Forward support SSL?
I have a business account - how do I add other users to my account?
How do I forward a virtualhost?

Platforms & Technologies

What are the system requirements for Forward?

Forward has been tested to work with Unix-based systems (Mac OS X, BSD, Linux, etc..) and requires Ruby (1.9.3 - 2.2.0) and RubyGems. (Both of these required packages are installed by default on Mac OS X.)

How do I use Forward with Wordpress?

To forward your WordPress site, run:

$ forward yoursite.dev

With “yoursite.dev” being the virtualhost for your WordPress site.

WordPress uses absolute URLs for hyperlinks, so people viewing your Forward URL will still be refered to a local URL for assets and articles. To fix this, you can either:

  1. Change the “Site address” in Admin > Settings > General to your Forward URL. You will need to change this back when you’re done forwarding your site.
  2. Add X-Forwarded-Host support. This will dynamically reconfigure host settings when you access a WordPress site through Forward.

To add X-Forwarded-Host support, download this plugin: https://github.com/50east/wp-forwarded-host-urls/archive/master.zip, then add and activate it in the WordPress Admin panel.

We suggest, however, that you disable the plugin in production mode.

Does forward work through a firewall?

Yes, if your firewall allows outgoing connections on port 22.

If I give you my email address you're not going to spam me right?

Correct. We hate spam as much as you do. We do not send spam, and we do not read spam.

I saw warning messages while installing forward. What do they mean?

If you just installed Forward using gem install forward, Gem may warn you that ~/.gem/.../bin isn’t in your $PATH. You can fix this by either installing Forward globally, or by adding the local bin directory to your $PATH.

To install Forward globally, run:

$ sudo gem install forward

When I run Forward, I see “command not found”. What should I do?

Gem may have installed the forward command into a location not on your $PATH.

Run this command to see where it’s installed:

$ gem contents forward

This will list all of the files in the Forward gem. Look for the bin/forward script. Either add that folder to your $PATH, or symlink the script into a location already on your $PATH. For example:

$ sudo ln -s /var/ruby/gems/.../bin/forward /usr/local/bin
When trying to install Forward on Windows, I see “gem is not recognized as an internal or external command...”. What should I do?

Ruby and RubyGems aren’t in your PATH. Here’s how to add them:

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Find “System > Advanced > Environment Variables”.
  3. Edit the PATH entry.
  4. Append ;C:\Ruby192\bin to the value.
How do Custom Subdomains work?

When you start up the Forward client, we’ll give you a unique URL that’ll look something like yourcompany.fwd.wf. The “yourcompany” part is the subdomain you chose when you created your account. You can change it at any time by logging into your account on forwardhq.com and clicking “Account”

You can also add a prefix to your forward url (like newhomepage-yourcompany.fwd.wf) To do this, run:

$ forward 3000 newhomepage
Can I password protect the project that I'm Forwarding?

Yes. You can do this for each of your Forward URLs when you start the client. Pass in the “-a” switch with a username and password for the URL:

$ forward 3000 -a someusername:somepassword
Can I set a default username and password?

Yes, you can set a default username and password by logging into to your account and clicking “Preferences”. There you’ll see a check box under Password Protection labeled “Automatically password-protect my Forwards…” When you check it, you’ll see a username and password field — now just enter the username and password you want to use on every tunnel and save your preferences.

Note: You can still set a different username and password on a tunnel when you start Forward. To do this, just set authentication like normal: $ forward 3000 -a someusername:somepassword.

Can I require authentication on all of my tunnels?

Yes, if you have a business account and you’ve set a default username and password in your account preferences, you’ll see an extra check box that says “Require all Forwards to be password-protected.” Once it’s checked, you will not be able to create tunnels unless you have a default username and password set, or you manually set one using the Forward client.

Is there an easy way to keep robots from indexing the sites Im Forwarding?

There is. Log into your account, select “Preferences”, and check the box next to “Block Robots” to automatically disallow robots. This is handled by routing all requests for /robots.txt to a robots.txt file that has disallow * set.

How do custom placeholders work?

Whenever someone visits your subdomain (yourbusiness.fwd.wf) or they go to a forward URL that isn’t active (like xyz-yourbusiness.fwd.wf) they will see your custom placeholder page instead of our standard 404 page, if you chose to create one.

To create a custom placeholder page log into your account, select “Preferences” and then enter any valid HTML into the “Placeholder Page” box.

Can Forward automatically disconnect my inactive tunnels?

It can. Log into your account, select “Preferences”, and check the box next to “Auto disconnect tunnel” to automatically disconnect your tunnels after an hour of inactivity.

Does Forward support SSL?

Yes, it does. When you Forward your project, the URL created uses SSL by default. If for whatever reason you wish not to use SSL with one of your Forward URLs, simply replace “https” in the URL with “http”.

I have a business account - how do I add other users to my account?

Log into your account and select “People”. Now just click the “New Person” button and enter the email address of the person you’d like to add. They’ll receive an email with instructions on how to set up their account.

How do I forward a virtualhost?

Simply run the forward command with the name of your virtualhost. So if you access your site locally as “yoursite.dev” you would run:

$ forward yoursite.dev
How do I configure Forward to work with my CNAME?

In your DNS settings, create an alias for your Forward URL to the CNAME you want to use to access your tunnel. You can use either your base url “yourcompany.fwd.wf” or your url with a prefix “yourprefix-yourcompany.fwd.wf”

Now when you run Forward, enter the port/virtualhost you want to forward followed by -c CNAME

$ forward 3000 -c dev.yoursite.com

Or, if you used a prefix, run:

$ forward 3000 -c dev.yoursite.com yourprefix
Can I run my own hosted version of Forward?

Forward currently isn’t available for hosted installs, but if you need a bare-bones tunneling solution you can check out our SSH Tunneling How-To.

Why is my browser redirecting to localhost when I open my Forward URL?
WordPress Users

Install our WordPress plugin. It should fix redirect issues and make links use the correct domain name.
Download Forward WordPress plugin

Django Users

You most likely have APPEND_SLASH enabled in your settings, and Django is using the Host header instead of X-Forwarded-Host to decide what URL to redirect to.

To fix this, enable USE_X_FORWARDED_HOST in your local Django settings, or, disable APPEND_SLASH.

See: https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/dev/ref/settings/#std:setting-USE_X_FORWARDED_HOST
And: https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/dev/ref/settings/#std:setting-APPEND_SLASH

Can I use wildcard subdomains?

Yes. If your Forward URL is example.fwd.wf, then foo.example.fwd.wf, foo.bar.example.fwd.wf, etc. will all be routed to your local dev sever.