Challenge Error 403 on Forge LE SSL Installation

We have Laravel Forge Laravel setup on an Ubuntu 18.0.4 server. And on adding an SSL certificate using Forge we get:

--2018-07-09 14:10:59--
Resolving (,, 2400:cb00:2048:1::6819:820, ...
Connecting to (||:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: unspecified [text/html]
Saving to: ‘letsencrypt_script1531145459’

     0K ..                                                     27.3M=0s

2018-07-09 14:11:00 (27.3 MB/s) - ‘letsencrypt_script1531145459’ saved [2344]

Cloning into 'letsencrypt1531145460'...
ERROR: Challenge is invalid! (returned: invalid) (result: {
  "type": "http-01",
  "status": "invalid",
  "error": {
    "type": "urn:ietf:params:acme:error:unauthorized",
    "detail": "Invalid response from \"\u003c!DOCTYPE html\u003e\n\u003chtml lang=\"en\"\u003e\n\u003chead\u003e\n    \u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n    \u003ctitle\u003edomain\u003c/title\u003e\n    \u003cmeta name=\"viewport\" content=\"",
    "status": 403
  "url": "",
  "token": "FVA4t8uL3LFzp7BHGYdry_QJ3AJ29dzvmz7auqajoyc",
  "validationRecord": [
      "url": "",
      "hostname": "",
      "port": "80",
      "addressesResolved": [
      "addressUsed": "",
      "addressesTried": [

The domain is using Nginx conf:

    server {
        listen  80 default_server;
        listen  [::]:80 default_server;
        listen  443 default_server ssl http2;
        listen  [::]:443 default_server ssl http2;
        root /home/forge/;
       ssl_certificate /etc/nginx/ssl/;
       ssl_certificate_key /etc/nginx/ssl/;

       ssl_protocols TLSv1.2;
       ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;
       ssl_dhparam /etc/nginx/dhparams.pem;

       add_header X-Frame-Options "SAMEORIGIN";
       add_header X-XSS-Protection "1; mode=block";
       add_header X-Content-Type-Options "nosniff";

       index index.html index.htm index.php;

      location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;

       location ~ \.php$ {
           fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
           fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
          fastcgi_index index.php;
          include fastcgi_params;

to get in and the site does load like all sites from the same webroot . We do not see the challenge directory created… And on loading the challenge we get a 403. Forge is running this as Forge I would think so should be able to create directories in the web root… Any ideas what the real issue is and how to fix this?

Hi @jasperf

without knowing your domain, it's impossible to help.

But your domain can be found there

There are two dns-records - ipv4 and ipv6.

Addresses: 2a01:7c8:aac8:1ff::1

The ipv4 works. But the ipv6:

This site can’t be reached
http://[2a01:7c8:aac8:1ff::1]/ is unreachable.

So change or remove your ipv6 - entry and try it again.

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How would I change or remove the ipv6 here? In the server block? Or in DNS? I prefer fixing really…

This is a DNS-setting.

Name -> IP-Address

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Currently it's not even being routed to your server, so you'll probably need to ask your hosting provider how that IPv6 address was assigned and how to make it work.

I appreciate that, because most people in this situation just try to delete their IPv6 records in order to get their sites working in IPv4 as quickly as possible.

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Thanks. Just opened a ticket . The ipv6 no is used in a records pointing to the server so not sure why ipv6 cannot connect to server. Name is @ and ip is the ipv6 address and that ip is attached to VPS… No ideas yet.

As you already have listen [::]:80 in your nginx configuration, it would probably be helpful to get the provider’s help figuring out why the service is inaccessible.

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Moved to Digital Ocean and there I can ping the new ipv6 using and I can also get whois data and so on using , but I still get the same Let’s Encrypt Error. And ipv4 gets an app error in the browser, but ipv6 cannot be reached. So I am starting to wonder if this a server issue or an app issue… Or is it because I am on an ipv4 network and so is the Laravel Forge site trying to generate the certificate?

Your site works fine on IPv4 and IPv6 now.

I think this comes down to how the Laravel Forge “letsencrypt_script” actually works - how it makes your nginx server serve the correct domain validation response. There’s a number of reasons why it may be malfunctioning, but since it isn’t open source and there’s no way for us to see what it’s doing, it’s hard to give an answer.

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I've got two new ip-addresses:

Addresses: 2a03:b0c0:0:1010::1aa:d001

But the ipv6-address doesn't work. Used Opera / Chrome, which supports such a call.

This site can’t be reached
http://[2a03:b0c0:0:1010::1aa:d001]/ is unreachable.

Because can ping the page, it may be an error of your webserver-configuration.

Might be a problem on your own network.

Did mention the nginx config before and these two lines should deal with ipv6:

listen  [::]:80 default_server;
listen  [::]:443 default_server ssl http2;

or so I would think with limited knowledge of Nginx.

And yes, as @_az said. Could be your network.

Yep, it's an own problem.

Addresses: 2001:470:1:3a8::201

Calling get's a discourse - error-page -

Sorry, the site you are looking for does not exist.

Calling http://[2001:470:1:3a8::201]/ get's also a

This site can’t be reached
http://[2001:470:1:3a8::201]/ is unreachable.

I see we have a special challenge file:

cat /etc/nginx/forge-conf/ 

and that file has:

location /.well-known/acme-challenge {
auth_basic off;
allow all;
alias /home/forge/.letsencrypt;

and in /home/forge/.letsencrypt we have a forge test file and no others

So the script checks the root , but the alias sends it to /home/forge/.letsencrypt it seems… But somehow this does not work now and no challenge is stored and or read…

I fixed it! I was missing

charset utf-8;
include forge-conf/*;

in my custom server block. So that is how the specific acme challenge location could not be loaded. All good now!

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