Switching to HTTPS with Let’s Encrypt

One of my more trivial resolutions for this year was to switch to using HTTPS with Let’s Encrypt, a free certificate authority that recently entered open beta. It ended up being extremely easy, so i’d recommend it to anyone looking to make the switch.

How To Set Up

The set-up process was fairly trivial for me, running Ubuntu 14.04 with Apache 2.4. Their set-up script requires Python 2.7 or above, which caused issues for me on another system.

The first step is to follow the initial instructions on their website, to clone the repo and run the letsencrypt command to download required dependencies:

I couldn’t use the automated apache installer with my system, but the standalone mode was just as simple.

First, you have to stop your web server, to allow them to run an automatic domain validation tool (ACME, if you’re interested). Next, run this command (changing the domain):

This took less than a minute, and my web server was up and running again. From there I updated my apache configuration, shown below:

And that’s it!

 

Angus Macdonald

Angus works in New York City for Google. He has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of St Andrews.

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