Certbot can be used to get/renew LetsEncrypt certificates. Follow these instructions to install and use Certbot. Certbot’s web site can be found at https://certbot.eff.org.
1. SSH into the server¶
SSH into the server running your HTTP website as a user with *ALLOBJ special authority.
2. Set up your environment¶
It is assumed that you are running these commands from an SSH terminal.
You must first assure that your PATH environment variable is set up correctly.
PATH=/QOpenSys/pkgs/bin:$PATH export PATH
3. Install system dependencies¶
Install Python 3.9 and necessary packages by running:
yum install python39-pip python39-cryptography
4. Set up a Python virtual environment¶
Execute the following instruction on the command line to set up a virtual environment.
python3.9 -m venv --system-site-packages /opt/certbot
5. Install Certbot¶
Run this command on the command line on the machine to install Certbot.
/opt/certbot/bin/pip install certbot
6. Choose how you’d like to run Certbot¶
Are you ok with temporarily stopping your website?¶
Yes, my web server is not currently running on this machine.¶
Stop your webserver, then run this command to get a certificate. Certbot will temporarily spin up a webserver on your machine.
/opt/certbot/bin/certbot certonly --standalone
No, I need to keep my web server running.¶
If you have a webserver that’s already using port 80 and don’t want to stop it while Certbot runs, run this command and follow the instructions in the terminal.
/opt/certbot/bin/certbot certonly --webroot
To use the webroot plugin, your server must be configured to serve files from hidden directories. If /.well-known is treated specially by your webserver configuration, you might need to modify the configuration to ensure that files inside /.well-known/acme-challenge are served by the webserver.
7. Install your certificate¶
Proper technique will vary depending on the web server in use. If using IBM i system Apache, the DCM Tools project may be useful.
8. Confirm that Certbot worked¶
To confirm that your site is set up properly, visit https://yourwebsite.com/ in your browser and look for the lock icon in the URL bar. Most browsers will also let you inspect the certificate by clicking on the lock icon.
9. Renewing your certificate manually¶
Certificate renewal can be done by running the following in your terminal:
You can do a “dry run” of the renewal (making no modifications) by running:
/opt/certbot/bin/certbot renew –dry-run
10. Setting up automatic renewal¶
To set up automatic renewal of your certificate, first create a shell script that performs the following tasks:
Stops your web server
Runs /opt/certbot/bin/certbot renew -q
Installs the certificate
Starts your web server
(optional) Records the activity, for instance by running
system "SNDMSG MSG('Certificate renewal process complete') TOUSR(*SYSOPR)"
For instance, the following script uses Service Commander to restart the app. It
also writes output to
renewcert.log and sends a message when completed.
#!/QOpenSys/pkgs/bin/bash export PATH=/QOpenSys/pkgs/bin:$PATH set -e cd $(dirname $0) exec >> renewcert.log exec 2>&1 echo "==================================================" date sc stop mywebapp /opt/certbot/bin/certbot renew sc start mywebapp system "SNDMSG MSG('Certificate renewal process has completed') TOUSR($(/usr/bin/id -u -n))"
Once that is completed, you can create a job scheduler entry that calls your script. This example Shows how to create a job scheduler entry that runs at 1:11 AM on the first and third sundays.
ADDJOBSCDE JOB(CERTRENEW) CMD(QSH CMD('/path/to/script.sh')) FRQ(*MONTHLY) SCDDATE(*NONE) SCDDAY(*SUN) SCDTIME(011111) RELDAYMON(1 3) SAVE(*YES)
Replace the job name and path to script as needed.
11. Upgrading Certbot¶
It’s good practice to occasionally update Certbot to keep it up-to-date. To do this, run the following command on the command line on the machine.
/opt/certbot/bin/pip install --upgrade certbot
If this step leads to errors, run
rm -rf /opt/certbot and repeat all installation instructions.
What about wildcard certificates?¶
If you need wildcard certificates, follow steps 1-5, above, then proceed as documented here
6. Check if your DNS provider is supported¶
See if your DNS provider is supported by Certbot by checking this list in the documentation.
7. Install correct DNS plugin¶
Run the following command, replacing
/opt/certbot/bin/pip install certbot-dns-<PLUGIN>
For example, if your DNS provider is Cloudflare, you’d run the following command:
/opt/certbot/bin/pip install certbot-dns-cloudflare
8. Set up credentials¶
You’ll need to set up DNS credentials. Follow the steps in the “Credentials” section for your DNS provider to access or create the appropriate credential configuration file. Find credentials instructions for your DNS provider by clicking the DNS plugin’s name on the Documentation list.
9. Get a certificate¶
Run one of the commands in the “Examples” section of the instructions for your DNS provider.
10. Install and renew certificate¶
Follow steps 7 and beyond, above.