Janik von Rotz

2 min read

Install Let’s Encrypt and create a free SSL certificate

This post is part of my Your own Virtual Private Server hosting solution project.
Get the latest version of this article here: https://gist.github.com/2e0ee4cf7e04bb75742d.


Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit. Let’s Encrypt is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). This guide shows you how you can obtain a free SSL certificate.



Download the client code from the Github repository.

cd /usr/local/src/
sudo git clone https://github.com/letsencrypt/letsencrypt
cd letsencrypt

Run the letsencrypt wrapper script.

sudo -h ./letsencrypt-auto

If you experience an error like this:

          InsecurePlatformWarning: A true SSLContext object is not available. 
          This prevents urllib3 from configuring SSL appropriately and may cause certain SSL connections to fail. 
          For more information, see https://urllib3.readthedocs.org/en/latest/security.html#insecureplatformwarning.

You have to update some pyhton libraries by running this command.

pip install pyopenssl ndg-httpsclient pyasn1

Now you can request a new ssl certificate. I assume you’re running Nignx as your web server. To request a certificate we have to stop the web service temporarily.

sudo service nginx stop
sudo -H ./letsencrypt-auto certonly --email hostmaster@domain.com -d domain.com
sudo service nginx start

The new certificates are stored here: /etc/letsencrypt/live/domain.com

Update the Nginx configuration file for your domain.

sudo vi /etc/nginx/conf.d/domain.com.conf

Add the new certificates:

ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/domain.com/fullchain.pem;
ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/domain.com/privkey.pem;

Test your Nginx configuration file.

sudo nginx -t

And restart the service

sudo service nginx reload

Finally check your Nginx SSL configuration here: https://globalsign.ssllabs.com/


Official Let’s Encrypt client documentation

Categories: Security , Web server
Tags: certificate , letsencrypt , nginx , ssl , ubuntu
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