Setup FHIR Server

An SSL-enabled FHIR server, supporting HTTP Basic Authentication is required to use Kailona.

This guide will install and run open source IBM® FHIR server in Docker container using NGINX reverse proxy. However, Kailona should work with any other FHIR server in any environment.


  1. A host where Docker containers can run

  2. A domain or sub domain where the FHIR server can run

  3. A web server with reverse proxy capability (e.g. NGINX)

  4. A valid SSL certificate for the domain where the FHIR server can run

Install FHIR Server#

  1. Clone this repository that includes the scripts and config files in the host where Docker containers can run
git clone
  1. Start FHIR server
cd kailona-fhir-server/
docker-compose up -d --build
  1. Wait for a few minutes for database initialization and FHIR server startup

  2. Set INITIALIZE_DB environment variable to false in the docker compose file

  3. FHIR server should be running on http://localhost:9080

  4. Restart FHIR server, if needed

docker-compose down
docker-compose up -d

For more detailed instructions, refer to IBM FHIR Server User's Guide

Setup NGINX Reverse Proxy#

  1. Get a domain name and add SSL registration for your domain with Let's Encrypt to be terminated at NGINX. This is critical for security!

  2. Replace with your domain in the following file and add it into your NGINX configuration file

server {
listen 80;
location / {
# enforce https
return 301 https://$server_name$request_uri;
location /.well-known {
alias /var/www/;
server {
listen 443 ssl;
server_tokens off;
ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;
ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
ssl_session_cache shared:SSL:10m;
ssl_session_timeout 5m;
large_client_header_buffers 4 64k;
location /.well-known {
alias /var/www/;
location / {
proxy_set_header Host $host;
proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $remote_addr;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto https;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Port 443;
proxy_buffer_size 64k;
proxy_buffers 8 64k;
proxy_busy_buffers_size 64k;
proxy_pass http://localhost:9080;
  1. FHIR server should be running on https://{your-domain}/fhir-server/api/v4/