Install once and don’t ever think about updating your ssl certificate. A step by step guide

What is it?

A few month ago, I discovered letsencrypt, a service that provide free SSL certificate for everyone that can be use for free and get you some piece of mind. You’ll never have to manually renew your SSL certificates.

Process to create a certificate

To install the tool that will generate the certificate:

sudo apt-get install letsencrypt
sudo mkdir -p $CERT_PATH
sudo letsencrypt certonly -a webroot -w $CERT_PATH -d $DOMAIN

nginx configuration

  • Edit nginx configuration: emacs /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default

  • A working configuration:
    server {
      listen 80;
      return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
    server {
      listen 443 ssl;
      root /var/www/html/;
      ssl_certificate  /var/www/letsencrypt/live/;
      ssl_certificate_key  /var/www/letsencrypt/live/;
      ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;
      ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
      ssl_ciphers 'EECDH+AESGCM:EDH+AESGCM:AES256+EECDH:AES256+EDH';
      index index.html index.htm index.nginx-debian.html;
      location / {
      try_files $uri $uri/ =404;
      location ~ /.well-known {
      allow all;
  • Test and restart the configuration:
    nginx -t
    service nginx restart

You’re done!