Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Using H2O with Let's Encrypt

Let's Encrypt is a new certificate authority that is going to issue certificates for free using automated validation process. They have announced that they will enter public beta on Dec. 3rd 2015.

This blogpost explains how to setup a H2O using the automated process.

Step 1. Install the client
% git clone

Step 2. Obtain the certificate

If you already have a web server listening to port 80, then run:
% cd letsencrypt
% ./letsencrypt-auto certonly --webroot \
    --webroot-path $DOCROOT \
    --email $EMAIL \
    --domain $HOST1
$DOCROOT should be the path of the web sever's document root. $EMAIL should be the email address of the website administrator. $HOST should be the hostname of the web server (also the name for which a new certificate will be issued).

Or if you do not have a web server listening on the server, then run:
% cd letsencrypt
% ./letsencrypt-auto certonly --standalone \
    --email $EMAIL \
    --domain $HOSTNAME
Issued certificate and automatically-generated private key will be stored under /etc/letsencrypt/live/$HOSTNAME.

Step 3. Configure H2O

Setup the configuration file of H2O to use the respective certificate and key files.
  port: 443
    certificate-file: /etc/letsencrypt/live/$HOSTNAME/fullchain.pem
    key-file: /etc/letsencrypt/live/$HOSTNAME/privkey.pem
Do not forget to replace $HOSTNAMEs within the snippet with your actual hostname.

That's all. Pretty simple, isn't it?
Kudos to the people behind Let's Encrypt for providing all of these (for free).

For more information, please consult documents on and

1: you may also need to use --server option to obtain a production-ready certificate during the beta process


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