Aapanel deletes certificates after activation

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My domain is: sm.app

I ran this command: nginx -t

It produced this output:

nginx: [emerg] open() "/etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-nginx.conf" failed (2: No such file or directory) in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default:147
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test failed

My web server is (include version): Nginx

The operating system my web server runs on is (include version): Ubuntu 22.04

My hosting provider, if applicable, is: Godaddy

I can login to a root shell on my machine (yes or no, or I don't know): I don't know

I'm using a control panel to manage my site (no, or provide the name and version of the control panel):
The version of my client is (e.g. output of certbot --version or certbot-auto --version if you're using Certbot): certbot 2.9.0

So my problem is everytime I create a certificate my domain is still unsecured. If I create a certificate and I introduce it in the Aapanel SSL tab and activate it, I then run certbot certificates and none are shown, however if I then run nginx -t the error I get is

Renewal configuration file /etc/letsencrypt/renewal/sm.app.conf produced an unexpected error: expected /etc/letsencrypt/live/sm.app/cert.pem to be a symlink. Skipping.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The following renewal configurations were invalid:

Now I created a new certificate and I ran nginx -t and it produced the first result from above.
How do I make it work. I think it has something to do with my DNS configurations.

Hello @ryzeto, welcome to the Let's Encrypt community. :slightly_smiling_face:

I do not believe there is a DNS issue, the tests I done show it is fine.

Here is a list of issued certificates crt.sh | sm.app, the latest being 2024-03-18.
Be careful - Testing and debugging are best done using the Staging Environment as the Rate Limits are much higher.

I think you maybe coming up on the Rate Limits.

Using the online tool Let's Debug yields these results https://letsdebug.net/sm.app/1840521

sm.app has an A (IPv4) record ( but a request to this address over port 80 did not succeed. Your web server must have at least one working IPv4 or IPv6 address.
Get "http://sm.app/.well-known/acme-challenge/letsdebug-test": dial tcp connect: connection refused

@0ms: Making a request to http://sm.app/.well-known/acme-challenge/letsdebug-test (using initial IP
@0ms: Dialing
@28ms: Experienced error: dial tcp connect: connection refused
A test authorization for sm.app to the Let's Encrypt staging service has revealed issues that may prevent any certificate for this domain being issued. Fetching http://sm.app/.well-known/acme-challenge/YCgKjVmG66DYCtZjuW4k5aNBvn7_zpPbrSawGbJ2weI: Connection refused
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Thanks for your help!

So when I order the Contabo Ubuntu server I got the VPS IP address, however the A address on Godaddy was Which one should I use? I changed the A address on Godaddy to the VPS IP address. Shouldn't I have done that?

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Which ever IP Address is given from the nginx server itself from these commands

curl -4 ifconfig.me
curl -6 ifconfig.me


curl -4 ifconfig.co
curl -6 ifconfig.co


curl -4 ifconfig.io
curl -6 ifconfig.io
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all -4 commands give me and all -6 commands give me curl: (7) Couldn't connect to server
I also don't have an AAAA record in DNS, only an A record which I change from to the IP address above.

Maybe the ANotWorking error is generated by Nginx because it is not started and I can't restart nor start it:

Also when I run nginx -t I get this:

nginx: [emerg] open() "/etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-nginx.conf" failed (2: No such file or directory) in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default:147
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test failed

So you want the DNS A record to be

yeah the A record is indeed that

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Presently I see Ports 80 & 443 are CLOSED

$ nmap -Pn -p80,443 sm.app
Starting Nmap 7.80 ( https://nmap.org ) at 2024-03-18 19:27 UTC
Nmap scan report for sm.app (
Host is up (0.16s latency).
rDNS record for vmi1723978.contaboserver.net

80/tcp  closed http
443/tcp closed https

Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 0.61 seconds
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how can I open it?

Probably by getting nginx running :slight_smile:

Do you have that file on your system? That is usually only created when using Certbot's nginx plugin successfully. Using any other method won't get that file.

What was the command you used to get the cert?


I used

sudo certbot —standalone -d sm.app -d www.sm.app

but when I used

sudo certbot —nginx -d sm.app -d www.sm.app

I eventually got the same error

In order to get rid of those errors I used

sudo rm -rf /etc/letsencrypt/
 sudo rm -rf /var/lib/letsencrypt/
 sudo rm -rf /var/log/letsencrypt/

That first one would delete your certs and auto renew profile too. And deleting the log may hinder debugging if any problems.


The ran ls /etc/letsencrypt/ and the output is accounts archive live renewal renewal-hooks

Maybe /etc/nginx/nginx.conf file is wrongly configured?

I thought you showed that you deleted all those.

What does this show? You had a config error earlier I just want to see if it is still there

sudo nginx -t

I ran only

sudo rm -rf /var/lib/letsencrypt/
 sudo rm -rf /var/log/letsencrypt/

Now if I run sudo nginx -t it shows

nginx: [emerg] open() "/etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-nginx.conf" failed (2: No such file or directory) in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default:147
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test failed

I'll ask the same questions I asked earlier.


I don't have it.
I used sudo certbot certonly --standalone -d sm.app -d www.sm.app

Then you cannot reference it in your nginx conf.

I think you tried to setup an nginx server block for port 443 (HTTPS) before you had any certs.

I recommend fixing your nginx conf so you can start nginx. Then retry

If that doesn't work show us the error messages don't just say "did not work"


I'm completely new to this things, how should I fix my nginx conf?

Usually with an editor. How did you create it in the first place?

I think you need to learn more about your system before trying to get a cert. You should work on creating a working nginx server using HTTP. Once you have that working then try to get a cert.

There are better places than here to learn about configuring and managing an nginx server. You have a considerable learning curve starting with that.