Connection refused, rookie here

Hello there,

I am trying to get my little Server a Let’s Encrypt Cert via Certbot. I tried like everything, even looked up some of the already created topics…

My domain is:

I ran this command: certbot --apache

It produced this output:

root@MiniDLNA:/etc/apache2# certbot --apache
Saving debug log to /var/log/letsencrypt/letsencrypt.log
Plugins selected: Authenticator apache, Installer apache
No names were found in your configuration files. Please enter in your domain
name(s) (comma and/or space separated)  (Enter 'c' to cancel):
Obtaining a new certificate
Performing the following challenges:
tls-sni-01 challenge for
Waiting for verification...
Cleaning up challenges
Failed authorization procedure. (tls-sni-01): urn:acme:error:connection :: The server could not connect to the client to verify the domain :: Connection refused

 - The following errors were reported by the server:

   Type:   connection
   Detail: Connection refused

   To fix these errors, please make sure that your domain name was
   entered correctly and the DNS A/AAAA record(s) for that domain
   contain(s) the right IP address. Additionally, please check that
   your computer has a publicly routable IP address and that no
   firewalls are preventing the server from communicating with the
   client. If you're using the webroot plugin, you should also verify
   that you are serving files from the webroot path you provided.

My web server is (include version):

root@MiniDLNA:/etc/apache2# dpkg -l |grep apache
ii  apache2                                    2.4.18-2ubuntu3.5                            amd64        Apache HTTP Server
ii  apache2-bin                                2.4.18-2ubuntu3.5                            amd64        Apache HTTP Server (modules and other binary files)
ii  apache2-data                               2.4.18-2ubuntu3.5                            all          Apache HTTP Server (common files)
ii  apache2-utils                              2.4.18-2ubuntu3.5                            amd64        Apache HTTP Server (utility programs for web servers)
ii  python-certbot-apache                      0.19.0-1+ubuntu16.04.1+certbot+1             all          Apache plugin for Certbot

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

Linux version 4.4.0-103-generic (buildd@lcy01-amd64-001) (gcc version 5.4.0 20160609 (Ubuntu 5.4.0-6ubuntu1~16.04.5) ) #126-Ubuntu SMP Mon Dec 4 16:23:28 UTC 2017 

My hosting provider, if applicable, is: INWX (

I can login to a root shell on my machine: yes - only using shell, but I have installed a GUI aswell.

I’m using a control panel to manage my site : if the question means that i changed anything on my apache config. I did, like enabling SSL via a2ensite or a2enmod ssl / headers

Here some nmap scans

$ /etc/apache2 # nmap -sV

Starting Nmap 6.47 ( ) at 2017-12-12 15:27 CET
Nmap scan report for (
Host is up (0.052s latency).
Not shown: 998 filtered ports
80/tcp  open  http     Apache httpd 2.4.18 ((Ubuntu))
443/tcp open  ssl/http Apache httpd 2.4.18 ((Ubuntu))

Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at .
Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 38.01 seconds

Hi @YuY3v0n,

Despite the nmap scan showing 443 as state “open” I receive the same error as was returned to Certbot from the validation server when I try to connect to your website on port 443:

$ openssl s_client -connect </dev/null
connect: Connection refused

Is Apache running & listening on port 443? Can you think of anything else that might explain the refused connection?

root@MiniDLNA:/etc/apache2# cat ports.conf
# If you just change the port or add more ports here, you will likely also
# have to change the VirtualHost statement in
# /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default.conf

Listen 80

#<IfModule ssl_module>
        Listen 443

#<IfModule mod_gnutls.c>
#       Listen 443

# vim: syntax=apache ts=4 sw=4 sts=4 sr noet

I even commented the If-clause out…

here the heads of the default.conf and the default-ssl.conf

root@MiniDLNA:/etc/apache2# head sites-enabled/*
==> sites-enabled/000-default.conf <==
<VirtualHost *:80>
        # The ServerName directive sets the request scheme, hostname and port that
        # the server uses to identify itself. This is used when creating
        # redirection URLs. In the context of virtual hosts, the ServerName
        # specifies what hostname must appear in the request's Host: header to
        # match this virtual host. For the default virtual host (this file) this
        # value is not decisive as it is used as a last resort host regardless.
        # However, you must set it for any further virtual host explicitly.

==> sites-enabled/default-ssl.conf <==
<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
        <VirtualHost _default_:443>
                ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost

                DocumentRoot /var/www/html

                # Enable HSTS - stick to https after first successful https connect
                Header always set Strict-Transport-Security: "max-age=15768000"

Hi again @YuY3v0n - I noticed this is not the IP address that resolves to for both myself and the validation authority. We’re resolving

That probably explains your problem. Sure enough while isn’t listening on :443, is.

Can you check your DNS? I think at least one of your authoritative nameservers is returning the wrong IP.

I guess you’re right. Mhpf. This overtakes my knowledge. Do I have to change the DNS to the DNS of my internet provider`?

Or change the A Record within my domain?

Yup! You’ll need to change the A record for to point to instead of

okay. TTL is 3600 so let’s have a coffee. I will report tomorrow :slight_smile: thank you mate

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The TTL might mean end users will reach the wrong IP for a little while because of cached responses but you should be able to issue a certificate right now. The Let’s Encrypt validation server directly queries your authoritative nameservers and doesn’t keep a long cache. Might be worth trying :slight_smile:

Take care,

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You were bloody right.
Let’s Encrypt worked properly. We use LE on our servers in our company aswell, but I have never set it Up by my own. Really impressing.
Do you have any preferred options?

Awesome! Glad to hear you’re all set up now :lock: :tada:

I’m not sure what you mean. Preferred options for what?

Sorry, If my Message was not clear enough.

I use the certbot with --apache only. I guess there are more options that will come handy. :slight_smile:

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Aha! I’m afraid I work on the server-side of Let’s Encrypt and don’t have any good tips for Certbot. I recommend you start a new thread in the help topic with the subject “Certbot: Recommended configuration options/best practices” or something similar. There are lots of Certbot users in the forum who would likely reply to that thread.

Take care!

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Good Guy @cpu again. Thank you very much :slight_smile:

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