CF wildcard certificates error when testing renewal

My domains are: * and *

I issued my wildcard certificates using this command: --issue --challenge-alias --dns dns_cf -d * --cert-home /etc/letsencrypt/live

The following variables are set for which is my ACME validation domain:


The certificates are issued, live and working and I can see the above-mentioned CF variables are saved to: /root/

Now, I tried testing renewals using the following command: --renew-all --home "/etc/letsencrypt/live" --test --debug --force

it produces this error for both wildcard domains:

You didn't specify a Cloudflare api key and email yet.
You can get yours from here
Error add txt for
Please add '--debug' or '--log' to check more details.

When I originally issued the certificates yesterday, I wasn't using the --test option. I use it now to avoid reaching issurance limits. Looks like is not attempting to use my saved credentials in account.conf

Does anyone have any idea why this is?

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I think the problem is created when you changed from using --cert-home to --home.


The credentials were environment variables, right? I'm not sure if is supposed to save those?

The CF_Key and CF_Email or CF_Token and CF_Account_ID will be saved in ~/ and will be reused when needed.

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--home <directory>       Specifies the home dir for
--cert-home <directory>  Specifies the home dir to save all the certs, only valid for '--install' command.

The account info is stored in relation to the --home folder.


Thank you very much @rg305 ! This works.
I had a wrong idea that --cert-home was only applicable when installing certs, not renewing them.


Glad you can get it to do what you want :slight_smile:

Cheers from Miami :beers:


I still can't find a good page with --help output.. :confused:

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You are not alone on that.
This is what the software shows:

/root/ -h
Usage: <command> ... [parameters ...]
  -h, --help               Show this help message.
  -v, --version            Show version info.
  --install                Install to your system.
  --uninstall              Uninstall, and uninstall the cron job.
  --upgrade                Upgrade to the latest code from
  --issue                  Issue a cert.
  --deploy                 Deploy the cert to your server.
  -i, --install-cert       Install the issued cert to apache/nginx or any other server.
  -r, --renew              Renew a cert.
  --renew-all              Renew all the certs.
  --revoke                 Revoke a cert.
  --remove                 Remove the cert from list of certs known to
  --list                   List all the certs.
  --to-pkcs12              Export the certificate and key to a pfx file.
  --to-pkcs8               Convert to pkcs8 format.
  --sign-csr               Issue a cert from an existing csr.
  --show-csr               Show the content of a csr.
  -ccr, --create-csr       Create CSR, professional use.
  --create-domain-key      Create an domain private key, professional use.
  --update-account         Update account info.
  --register-account       Register account key.
  --deactivate-account     Deactivate the account.
  --create-account-key     Create an account private key, professional use.
  --install-cronjob        Install the cron job to renew certs, you don't need to call this. The 'install' command can automatically install the cron job.
  --uninstall-cronjob      Uninstall the cron job. The 'uninstall' command can do this automatically.
  --cron                   Run cron job to renew all the certs.
  --set-notify             Set the cron notification hook, level or mode.
  --deactivate             Deactivate the domain authz, professional use.
  --set-default-ca         Used with '--server', Set the default CA to use.

  -d, --domain <domain.tld>         Specifies a domain, used to issue, renew or revoke etc.
  --challenge-alias <domain.tld>    The challenge domain alias for DNS alias mode.

  --domain-alias <domain.tld>       The domain alias for DNS alias mode.

  --preferred-chain <chain>         If the CA offers multiple certificate chains, prefer the chain with an issuer matching this Subject Common Name.
                                    If no match, the default offered chain will be used. (default: empty)

  -f, --force                       Force install, force cert renewal or override sudo restrictions.
  --staging, --test                 Use staging server, for testing.
  --debug [0|1|2|3]                 Output debug info. Defaults to 1 if argument is omitted.
  --output-insecure                 Output all the sensitive messages.
                                    By default all the credentials/sensitive messages are hidden from the output/debug/log for security.
  -w, --webroot <directory>         Specifies the web root folder for web root mode.
  --standalone                      Use standalone mode.
  --alpn                            Use standalone alpn mode.
  --stateless                       Use stateless mode.

  --apache                          Use apache mode.
  --dns [dns_hook]                  Use dns manual mode or dns api. Defaults to manual mode when argument is omitted.

  --dnssleep <seconds>              The time in seconds to wait for all the txt records to propagate in dns api mode.
                                    It's not necessary to use this by default, polls dns status by DOH automatically.
  -k, --keylength <bits>            Specifies the domain key length: 2048, 3072, 4096, 8192 or ec-256, ec-384, ec-521.
  -ak, --accountkeylength <bits>    Specifies the account key length: 2048, 3072, 4096
  --log [file]                      Specifies the log file. Defaults to "/root/" if argument is omitted.
  --log-level <1|2>                 Specifies the log level, default is 1.
  --syslog <0|3|6|7>                Syslog level, 0: disable syslog, 3: error, 6: info, 7: debug.
  --eab-kid <eab_key_id>            Key Identifier for External Account Binding.
  --eab-hmac-key <eab_hmac_key>     HMAC key for External Account Binding.

  These parameters are to install the cert to nginx/apache or any other server after issue/renew a cert:

  --cert-file <file>                Path to copy the cert file to after issue/renew..
  --key-file <file>                 Path to copy the key file to after issue/renew.
  --ca-file <file>                  Path to copy the intermediate cert file to after issue/renew.
  --fullchain-file <file>           Path to copy the fullchain cert file to after issue/renew.
  --reloadcmd <command>             Command to execute after issue/renew to reload the server.

  --server <server_uri>             ACME Directory Resource URI. (default:

  --accountconf <file>              Specifies a customized account config file.
  --home <directory>                Specifies the home dir for
  --cert-home <directory>           Specifies the home dir to save all the certs, only valid for '--install' command.
  --config-home <directory>         Specifies the home dir to save all the configurations.
  --useragent <string>              Specifies the user agent string. it will be saved for future use too.
  -m, --accountemail <email>        Specifies the account email, only valid for the '--install' and '--update-account' command.
  --accountkey <file>               Specifies the account key path, only valid for the '--install' command.
  --days <ndays>                    Specifies the days to renew the cert when using '--issue' command. The default value is 60 days.
  --httpport <port>                 Specifies the standalone listening port. Only valid if the server is behind a reverse proxy or load balancer.
  --tlsport <port>                  Specifies the standalone tls listening port. Only valid if the server is behind a reverse proxy or load balancer.
  --local-address <ip>              Specifies the standalone/tls server listening address, in case you have multiple ip addresses.
  --listraw                         Only used for '--list' command, list the certs in raw format.
  -se, --stop-renew-on-error        Only valid for '--renew-all' command. Stop if one cert has error in renewal.
  --insecure                        Do not check the server certificate, in some devices, the api server's certificate may not be trusted.
  --ca-bundle <file>                Specifies the path to the CA certificate bundle to verify api server's certificate.
  --ca-path <directory>             Specifies directory containing CA certificates in PEM format, used by wget or curl.
  --nocron                          Only valid for '--install' command, which means: do not install the default cron job.
                                    In this case, the certs will not be renewed automatically.
  --noprofile                       Only valid for '--install' command, which means: do not install aliases to user profile.
  --no-color                        Do not output color text.
  --force-color                     Force output of color text. Useful for non-interactive use with the aha tool for HTML E-Mails.
  --ecc                             Specifies to use the ECC cert. Valid for '--install-cert', '--renew', '--revoke', '--to-pkcs12' and '--create-csr'
  --csr <file>                      Specifies the input csr.
  --pre-hook <command>              Command to be run before obtaining any certificates.
  --post-hook <command>             Command to be run after attempting to obtain/renew certificates. Runs regardless of whether obtain/renew succeeded or failed.
  --renew-hook <command>            Command to be run after each successfully renewed certificate.
  --deploy-hook <hookname>          The hook file to deploy cert
  --ocsp, --ocsp-must-staple        Generate OCSP-Must-Staple extension.
  --always-force-new-domain-key     Generate new domain key on renewal. Otherwise, the domain key is not changed by default.
  --auto-upgrade [0|1]              Valid for '--upgrade' command, indicating whether to upgrade automatically in future. Defaults to 1 if argument is omitted.
  --listen-v4                       Force standalone/tls server to listen at ipv4.
  --listen-v6                       Force standalone/tls server to listen at ipv6.
  --openssl-bin <file>              Specifies a custom openssl bin location.
  --use-wget                        Force to use wget, if you have both curl and wget installed.
  --yes-I-know-dns-manual-mode-enough-go-ahead-please  Force use of dns manual mode.

  -b, --branch <branch>             Only valid for '--upgrade' command, specifies the branch name to upgrade to.
  --notify-level <0|1|2|3>          Set the notification level:  Default value is 2.
                                    0: disabled, no notification will be sent.
                                    1: send notifications only when there is an error.
                                    2: send notifications when a cert is successfully renewed, or there is an error.
                                    3: send notifications when a cert is skipped, renewed, or error.
  --notify-mode <0|1>               Set notification mode. Default value is 0.
                                    0: Bulk mode. Send all the domain's notifications in one message(mail).
                                    1: Cert mode. Send a message for every single cert.
  --notify-hook <hookname>          Set the notify hook
  --revoke-reason <0-10>            The reason for revocation, can be used in conjunction with the '--revoke' command.

  --password <password>             Add a password to exported pfx file. Use with --to-pkcs12.


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