Manually Create a SSL Certificate with LetsEncrypt

Step 1: Install certbot-auto

mkdir /etc/letsencrypt
cd /etc/letsencrypt/
chmod a+x certbot-auto

Step 2: Create the Cert

Part (a): run this command to initiate the process

/etc/letsencrypt/certbot-auto certonly –manual -d * -d –preferred-challenges dns-01 –server

The script will pause at the DNS TXT record deployment recommendation to allow the user an opportunity to create this entry within a control panel for the target domain

Sometimes, there’s mistake in command line where the double quotes ” are being transposed into a similarly appearing ” – the fix is to simply to correct the double-quote characters

[root@ip- kimconnect]# /etc/letsencrypt/certbot-auto --server -d ”*” --manual --preferred-challenges dns-01 certonly
Non-ASCII domain names not supported. To issue for an Internationalized Domain Name, use Punycode.

Part (b): create a TXT record as suggested in the previous output

Part (c): ensure that enough time has passed to allow for the newly created TXT record to propagate through the Internet. The sequence to manually monitor this progress goes as follows:

Run CMD:

 nslookup -type=txt

Wait a few moments… and then query the TXT record again until the result reflects an updated entry. Below is an screenshot to illustrate this activity.

Part (d): proceed to complete the Cert generation script

Although it is beyond the scope of this article, let’s take a look at the process of applying the certificate above to’s HTTP broker engine (HAProxy).

Search for letsencrypt/live certs as specified in the haproxy configuration file:

[root@ip- kimconnect]# grep '/etc/letsencrypt/live' /etc/opt/rh/rh-haproxy18/haproxy/haproxy.cfg bind ssl crt /etc/letsencrypt/live/ accept-proxy 

From the result of the grep command above, we can generalize that HAProxy is expecting the cert to be stored at ‘/etc/letsencrypt/live/’. The next step is to combine the fullchain.pem & privkey.pem of the newly generated/renewed SSL cert and place it into the expected directory with these two lines:

cat /etc/letsencrypt/live/$DOMAIN/fullchain.pem /etc/letsencrypt/live/$DOMAIN/privkey.pem > /etc/letsencrypt/live/$DOMAIN/$DOMAIN.pem

It’s would then become necessary to reload HAProxy to apply the new settings.

systemctl restart rh-haproxy18-haproxy

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