For several years now, I've been using IP addresses and ports to access services that I run on my home server. However, I decided it was time to switch to using a domain instead. I had heard about Traefik and Caddy in r/HomeServer and r/homelab and chose to try out Traefik, mainly because it had native support for Docker labels.
The first few steps involved installing Traefik with Docker, adding HTTPS support
through Let's Encrypt, and reconfiguring my web containers to use it. The next step
was to add a dnsmasq rule to my Pi-hole
so that all requests would be redirected to the subdomain I chose (I used
as the base host in Traefik). However, on my Mac, I'm not always using my Pi-hole's
DNS, usually when I need to circumvent the ad-blocking. I accomplish this through
macOS' native support for network locations.
After doing a bit of research, I found out I could use dnsmasq on my Mac to do accomplish wildcard subdomains, just like I did on the Pi-hole, but it worked wonderfully once I got it to work.
I used Homebrew to install and configure dnsmasq:
brew install dnsmasq. I then opened the configuration file for dnsmasq from its
/usr/local/etc/dnsmasq.conf and added the line below. If you changed
the location of your Homebrew install, run
brew --prefix, then replace
with the value.
This line configures the routing, and redirects all requests made to
servername.mydomain.com and its subdomains to
10.90.100.1. Make sure to replace
10.90.100.1 with the IP you want to redirect to. If you're interested in knowing
why dnsmasq redirects all redirects to both the base domain and its subdomains to
the IP, this Stack Overflow answer
To start dnsmasq, run
sudo brew services start dnsmasq. Homebrew will handle autostarting
the daemon and ensuring it stays alive. I found this to be simpler than the common
method of copying the Homebrew launch daemon plist
/Library/LaunchDaemons and manually telling
launchctl to load it.
If you were to try running a command such as
ping to see if your wildcard subdomain
redirection worked, you'd be sorely disappointed, because there's one more step.
I found it easiest to use the GUI for this. Open the Network panel in System Preferences,
click "Advanced", and go to the "DNS" tab. Click the plus button and type in
and then hit enter. For more information on
127.0.0.1, check out
its Wikipedia article. Back to System
Preferences, click the OK button, then click Apply. Once the icon is disabled and
greyed out, flush your DNS cache. You can do that with
sudo dscacheutil -flushcache
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder. Now, try your
ping command again, and you
should get a response. If it does, try accessing the service through your browser.
I hope that this article is useful for you! Thank you for reading!