Let’s Encrypt SSL on Amazon AWS EC2 using GetSSL (ACME V2)

Certbot used to be the go-to tool to install Let’s Encrypt SSL and periodically update them. However, now they require snapd to install the latest version of certbot.

Installing snapd is impossible (or not that I know of) on Amazon AWS EC2 running Amazon Linux at the time of writing.

So let’s use GetSSL (This is suggested in Let’s Encrypt documentation)

Warning: I am no server expert. This is a documentation of how I did it. Please use caution and do your reading. I use Apache.

Install GetSSL

I downloaded GetSSL and made it executable as per their documentation.

curl --silent https://raw.githubusercontent.com/srvrco/getssl/master/getssl > getssl ; chmod 700 getssl

To have access to GetSSL from anywhere, I moved it to the /bin folder. This means you can type getssl from anywhere. Just like how you would run other linux commands.

To move:

mv -i getssl /bin

This is what the bin folder looks like for me.

Configuring GetSSL

Now we have the tools to do it. Time to put it to work. I followed this part of GetSSL documentation.

getssl -c yourdomain.com

Even if you use www.yourdomain.com, make sure you simply enter the top level domain only (i.e yourdomain.com without the www). Sub-domains can be added in the configuration.

If things go well some configuration files will be created and the location will be displayed on screen. It looks very much like:


There are two levels of configuration. It’s quite simple, don’t worry.

  • One general configuration that applies to all domains. This is in ~/.getssl/getssl.cfg
  • One domain level configuration that only applies to the specific domain. This is in ~/.getssl/yourdomain.com/getssl.cfg

Configuring ~/.getssl/getssl.cfg

  • Un-comment this line: CA=”https://acme-v02.api.letsencrypt.org”
  • Added the ACCOUNT_EMAIL
  • Added the command to reload after certificate update: RELOAD_CMD=”sudo service httpd restart”

Configuring ~/.getssl/yourdomain.com/getssl.cfg

  • Added sub-domain to the SANS list as: SANS=”www.yourdomain.com”
  • Added ACL as: ACL=(‘/var/www/html/yourdomain.com/wordpress/.well-known/acme-challenge’)
  • Set USE_SINGLE_ACL as “true”

Note: /var/www/html/yourdomain.com/wordpress/ is where I have installed WordPress. Refer: How I manage WordPress websites with Git, GitHub and Local

Adding SSL Certificate

Now that you have GetSSL and it’s configured, all it takes is to run:

getssl yourdomain.com

I had my certificate and key file saved in the following files respectively along with some other stuff.


Updating VHosts

This totally depends on your specific setup. I will document what is mine. Yours might be similar.

VHosts were located at /etc/httpd/conf.d

Redirect HTTP to HTTPS by editing vhost.conf

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerName yourdomain.com
ServerAlias yourdomain.com *.yourdomain.com
DocumentRoot /var/www/html/yourdomain.com/wordpress
ServerAdmin my-email@gmail.com
ErrorLog "logs/yourdomain.com-error_log"
CustomLog "logs/yourdomain.com-access_log" common    
<Directory /var/www/html/yourdomain.com/wordpress>
AllowOverride All
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME} =*.yourdomain.com [OR]
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME} =yourdomain.com
RewriteRule ^ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [END,NE,R=permanent]

Adding the SSL certificate in vhost-le-ssl.conf

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
<VirtualHost *:443>
ServerName yourdomain.com
ServerAlias yourdomain.com *.yourdomain.com
DocumentRoot /var/www/html/yourdomain.com/wordpress
ServerAdmin my-email@gmail.com
ErrorLog "logs/yourdomain.com-error_log"
CustomLog "logs/yourdomain.com-access_log" common    
<Directory /var/www/html/yourdomain.com/wordpress>
AllowOverride All
SSLCertificateFile /root/.getssl/yourdomain.com/yourdomain.com.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /root/.getssl/yourdomain.com/yourdomain.com.key
SSLCertificateChainFile /root/.getssl/yourdomain.com/chain.crt

Restart Apache

sudo service httpd restart

Automate Certificate Renewals

Easily possible with a cron job. But before that, you will need to find two things.

  • First, the current PATH. To do so simply type echo $PATH in the terminal. Make a note of this. (Mine was /sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/opt/aws/bin)
  • Secondly, the absolute path to the working directory with the global getssl.cfg file. To find that, navigate to the folder by cd ~/.getssl and type echo $PWD. Make a note of the path. (Mine was /root/.getssl)

To see and edit all Cron jobs: vim /etc/crontab

At the top of the file, there might be a PATH mentioned. Check if it matches the PATH you copied from the terminal before. If not, update the missing paths.

If PATH is mentioned in crontab, then you can add a PATH at the top of the file (refer). This is what I have.


Now add a weekly cron:

0 0 * * 0 root getssl -w /root/.getssl -U -a -q


  • -w /root/.getssl is the working directory, the one that contains getssl.cfg and other domain folders, which we found out previously.
  • -U disables automatic updates to getssl.
  • -a updates certificates of all domains.
  • -q enables quiet mode so that the script works silently.
  • You can refer the documentation for further details on these options.

That did it for me. I hope that it helped you. Good luck!

Hello, I am Arun Basil Lal. Thank you for reading!

I am a WordPress product developer and creator of Image Attributes Pro. I am passionate about solving problems and travelling the world.

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  1. Jared says:

    This was super helpful! Thank you so much for the write up

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