Setup Let's Encrypt with Nginx

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When I migrated my VPS (with Ubuntu) to an other host, I needed to setup Nginx again with Let's Encrypt but I always forget how to exactly do it. This blog post is aimed to describe in easy steps how to setup up Nginx with auto-renewing Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates.

Setting up Nginx

Setting up Nginx is super easy on Ubuntu. Run the following commands on your VPS.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nginx

If you have a firewall (ufw) enabled run the following command to enable HTTP (80) and HTTPS (443) to the firewall.

sudo ufw allow 'Nginx Full'

Installing Certbot

Certbot is also super easy. Run the following commands on your VPS.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository universe
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:certbot/certbot
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install certbot python-certbot-nginx

Getting a SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt

Now that we installed Certbot we can get a certificate from Let’s Encrypt by running the following command.

sudo certbot --nginx -d -d

Auto-renew your certificates

To auto-renew the certificates you have installed, add the following command to your crontab (open by running crontab -e from terminal)

0 \* \* \* \* sudo certbot renew