Table of Contents
Certbot is meant to be run directly on a web server, normally by a system administrator. In most cases, running Certbot on your personal computer is not a useful option. The instructions below relate to installing and running Certbot on a server.
System administrators can use Certbot directly to request certificates; they should not allow unprivileged users to run arbitrary Certbot commands as
root, because Certbot allows its user to specify arbitrary file locations and run arbitrary scripts.
Certbot is packaged for many common operating systems and web servers. Check whether
letsencrypt) is packaged for your web server’s OS by visiting
certbot.eff.org, where you will also find the correct installation instructions for
Unless you have very specific requirements, we kindly suggest that you use the installation instructions for your system found at certbot.eff.org.
Certbot currently requires Python 3.7+ running on a UNIX-like operating
system. By default, it requires root access in order to write to
bind to port 80 (if you use the
standalone plugin) and to read and
modify webserver configurations (if you use the
plugins). If none of these apply to you, it is theoretically possible to run
without root privileges, but for most users who want to avoid running an ACME
client as root, either letsencrypt-nosudo or simp_le are more appropriate choices.
The Apache plugin currently requires an OS with augeas version 1.0; currently it supports modern OSes based on Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, SUSE, Gentoo and Darwin.
If you are offline or your operating system doesn’t provide a package, you can use
an alternate method for installing
Most modern Linux distributions (basically any that use systemd) can install Certbot packaged as a snap. Snaps are available for x86_64, ARMv7 and ARMv8 architectures. The Certbot snap provides an easy way to ensure you have the latest version of Certbot with features like automated certificate renewal preconfigured.
You can find instructions for installing the Certbot snap at https://certbot.eff.org/instructions by selecting your server software and then choosing “snapd” in the “System” dropdown menu. (You should select “snapd” regardless of your operating system, as our instructions are the same across all systems.)
Docker is an amazingly simple and quick way to obtain a certificate. However, this mode of operation is unable to install certificates or configure your webserver, because our installer plugins cannot reach your webserver from inside the Docker container.
Most users should use the instructions at certbot.eff.org. You should only use Docker if you are sure you know what you are doing and have a good reason to do so.
You should definitely read the Where are my certificates? section, in order to know how to manage the certificates manually. Our ciphersuites page provides some information about recommended ciphersuites. If none of these make much sense to you, you should definitely use the installation method recommended for your system at certbot.eff.org, which enables you to use installer plugins that cover both of those hard topics.
If you’re still not convinced and have decided to use this method, from
the server that the domain you’re requesting a certificate for resolves
to, install Docker, then issue a command like the one found below. If
you are using Certbot with the Standalone plugin, you will need
to make the port it uses accessible from outside of the container by
including something like
-p 80:80 or
-p 443:443 on the command
sudo docker run -it --rm --name certbot \ -v "/etc/letsencrypt:/etc/letsencrypt" \ -v "/var/lib/letsencrypt:/var/lib/letsencrypt" \ certbot/certbot certonly
Running Certbot with the
certonly command will obtain a certificate and place it in the directory
/etc/letsencrypt/live on your system. Because Certonly cannot install the certificate from
within Docker, you must install the certificate manually according to the procedure
recommended by the provider of your webserver.
There are also Docker images for each of Certbot’s DNS plugins available
at https://hub.docker.com/u/certbot which automate doing domain
validation over DNS for popular providers. To use one, just replace
certbot/certbot in the command above with the name of the image you
want to use. For example, to use Certbot’s plugin for Amazon Route 53,
certbot/dns-route53. You may also need to add flags to
Certbot and/or mount additional directories to provide access to your
DNS API credentials as specified in the DNS plugin documentation.
For more information about the layout
/etc/letsencrypt directory, see Where are my certificates?.
Installing Certbot through pip is only supported on a best effort basis and when using a virtual environment. Instructions for installing Certbot through pip can be found at https://certbot.eff.org/instructions by selecting your server software and then choosing “pip” in the “System” dropdown menu.