Category Archives: Virtualization

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Be Careful with LetsEncrypt!

 

I must say, like a lot of people I love the idea of a free SSL Certificate.  So I thought this would be great for my site.  So I downloaded the LetsEncrypt package on to an Ubuntu 15.10 box.  The server was running Apache2, and was pretty much stock.  When I applied the cert to the site, it was super easy.  I was very impressed with the ‘–apache’ option.  I then updated my URLs in WordPress to HTTPS.  That’s it I was up and running in a few min.  I was pretty happy at this point.

Then, I realized it broke all of the other services I had on the machine that were public facing.  I had several.  Even ones with their own certs were breaking.  So I decided to remove it…. After removing it from Apache completely I noticed an issue.  All of my users that had been to the site; were getting redirected still.  Somehow it is keeping the redirct with the cert/data that is installed when the cert is installed from visiting the site.

Long story short, I had many people that thought my site was down.  I even moved servers; and it still happened. I tried clearing browser cache, DNS Cache on my MAC, from another IP. Finally after a reinstall (probably not needed, but quicker); I was able to actually load my site without the redirect.  I am sure there is something here I am not seeing; but to be honest I didn’t feel like spending all my time dealing with browser settings.

If anyone would like to let me know how they get around this I would like to know.

I hope this helps those who are thinking of trying out LetsEncrypt.  I am not saying its a bad product; or idea.  I love the install and the idea of it.  However, the practical implementation is not there yet.  For those reading this keep in mind that it is still in Beta as of this article.  So this might eventually go away.

P.S. – To those on the LetsEncrypt project, I appreciate all the work; and I hope you take this criticism positively. A good uninstall path is needed before I think this will go mainstream on monolithic boxes.  Maybe its ok with a 12 factor applications.

Sincerely,

Matthew Curry