Could not open configuration file /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-apache.conf: No such file or directory

Seems your article is a good way to go…
Googled and found “second and third witnesses”

sudo ln -s /etc/httpd/sites-available/ /etc/httpd/sites-enabled/

Please confirm the paths…

EDIT: remember to restart apache



Thanks Rip, confirmed the paths, executed command and symlink works; now exists within /etc/httpd/sites-enabled/.

Restarted apache, but nothing seems to really have changed on the domain, as it still mentions “not secured” (in Dutch) Capture

Don’t really understand it anymore to be honest :slight_smile: Any thoughts?

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@Thomasvdw Ik heb ook geen ervaring met CentOS, maar op zich zou dat ook niet nodig moeten zijn. Apache heeft namelijk een commando waarmee je een soort “uitdraai” van alle actieve VirtualHosts kunt krijgen, waardoor we wat meer inzicht kunnen krijgen in hoe je Apache-configuratie er precies uitziet.

Kun je a.j.b. apachectl -S draaien en de uitkomst hier plaatsen? Dan zien we daarna wel weer verder.

Oh en het zou helpen als je bepaalde outputs van commando’s tussen drie “backticks” (```, op een eigen lijn boven en onder de tekst) kunt plaatsen.


Hi @Osiris

Command apachectl -S does not do anything…? So no output whatsoever.

OK, iets anders dan:

grep -Ri SSLCertificateFile /etc/httpd/


Wild guess, but I saw here that /etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf should contain the letsencrypt/…/.pem-files. Now for me that is not the case:

It has these two lines:

SSLCertificateFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/localhost.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/pki/tls/private/localhost.key

This may be the issue? Referencing wrong certs?

Output of grep -Ri SSLCertificateFile /etc/httpd/

/etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf:# Point SSLCertificateFile at a PEM encoded certificate. If
/etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf:SSLCertificateFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/localhost.crt
/etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf:# the referenced file can be the same as SSLCertificateFile
grep: /etc/httpd/logs: Permission denied
Binary file /etc/httpd/modules/ matches
grep: /etc/httpd/run: Permission denied
/etc/httpd/sites-available/backup-le-ssl.conf:SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/
/etc/httpd/sites-available/ /etc/letsencrypt/live/
/etc/httpd/sites-enabled/ /etc/letsencrypt/live/

Ik denk dat de directives in ssl.conf gebruikt worden i.p.v. de configuratie-bestanden in sites-enabled. De vraag is: waarom?

Kun je de inhoud van ssl.conf, en met ons delen? (Graag dan wel met boven en onder de output steeds ```).


SSLCertificateFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/localhost.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/pki/tls/private/localhost.key
#SSLCertificateChainFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/server-chain.crt
#SSLCACertificateFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/ca-bundle.crt

<VirtualHost *:80>
    DocumentRoot /var/www/
    <Directory /var/www/>
        AllowOverride All
    ErrorLog /var/www/
    CustomLog /var/www/ combined
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME} [OR]
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME}
RewriteRule ^ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [END,NE,R=permanent]

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
<VirtualHost *:443>
    DocumentRoot /var/www/
    <Directory /var/www/>
        AllowOverride All
    ErrorLog /var/www/
    CustomLog /var/www/ combined
Include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-apache.conf
SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/
SSLCertificateChainFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/

Is that really all the contents of ssl.conf? :hushed: If so, you can try to comment out the first two lines too.

The other files seem to be in order.


Definitely not, but did not want to throw all 200 lines or so in here… Assumed these were the relevant ones.

Commented the SSLCertificateFile and SSLCertificateKeyFile, and attempted to restart Apache:

sudo systemctl restart httpd.service
Job for httpd.service failed because the control process exited with error code. See "systemctl status httpd.service" and "journalctl -xe" for details.

Guess it doesnt really like it…

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Here we go, full ssl.conf:

# When we also provide SSL we have to listen to the
# the HTTPS port in addition.
Listen 443 https

##  SSL Global Context
##  All SSL configuration in this context applies both to
##  the main server and all SSL-enabled virtual hosts.

#   Pass Phrase Dialog:
#   Configure the pass phrase gathering process.
#   The filtering dialog program (`builtin' is a internal
#   terminal dialog) has to provide the pass phrase on stdout.
SSLPassPhraseDialog exec:/usr/libexec/httpd-ssl-pass-dialog

#   Inter-Process Session Cache:
#   Configure the SSL Session Cache: First the mechanism
#   to use and second the expiring timeout (in seconds).
SSLSessionCache         shmcb:/run/httpd/sslcache(512000)
SSLSessionCacheTimeout  300

#   Pseudo Random Number Generator (PRNG):
#   Configure one or more sources to seed the PRNG of the
#   SSL library. The seed data should be of good random quality.
#   WARNING! On some platforms /dev/random blocks if not enough entropy
#   is available. This means you then cannot use the /dev/random device
#   because it would lead to very long connection times (as long as
#   it requires to make more entropy available). But usually those
#   platforms additionally provide a /dev/urandom device which doesn't
#   block. So, if available, use this one instead. Read the mod_ssl User
#   Manual for more details.
SSLRandomSeed startup file:/dev/urandom  256
SSLRandomSeed connect builtin
#SSLRandomSeed startup file:/dev/random  512
#SSLRandomSeed connect file:/dev/random  512
#SSLRandomSeed connect file:/dev/urandom 512

# Use "SSLCryptoDevice" to enable any supported hardware
# accelerators. Use "openssl engine -v" to list supported
# engine names.  NOTE: If you enable an accelerator and the
# server does not start, consult the error logs and ensure
# your accelerator is functioning properly.
SSLCryptoDevice builtin
#SSLCryptoDevice ubsec

## SSL Virtual Host Context

<VirtualHost _default_:443>

# General setup for the virtual host, inherited from global configuration
#DocumentRoot "/var/www/html"

# Use separate log files for the SSL virtual host; note that LogLevel
# is not inherited from httpd.conf.
ErrorLog logs/ssl_error_log
TransferLog logs/ssl_access_log
LogLevel warn

#   SSL Engine Switch:
#   Enable/Disable SSL for this virtual host.
SSLEngine on

#   SSL Protocol support:
# List the enable protocol levels with which clients will be able to
# connect.  Disable SSLv2 access by default:
SSLProtocol all -SSLv2 -SSLv3

#   SSL Cipher Suite:
#   List the ciphers that the client is permitted to negotiate.
#   See the mod_ssl documentation for a complete list.

#   Speed-optimized SSL Cipher configuration:
#   If speed is your main concern (on busy HTTPS servers e.g.),
#   you might want to force clients to specific, performance
#   optimized ciphers. In this case, prepend those ciphers
#   to the SSLCipherSuite list, and enable SSLHonorCipherOrder.
#   Caveat: by giving precedence to RC4-SHA and AES128-SHA
#   (as in the example below), most connections will no longer
#   have perfect forward secrecy - if the server's key is
#   compromised, captures of past or future traffic must be
#   considered compromised, too.
#SSLHonorCipherOrder on

#   Server Certificate:
# Point SSLCertificateFile at a PEM encoded certificate.  If
# the certificate is encrypted, then you will be prompted for a
# pass phrase.  Note that a kill -HUP will prompt again.  A new
# certificate can be generated using the genkey(1) command.
SSLCertificateFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/localhost.crt

#   Server Private Key:
#   If the key is not combined with the certificate, use this
#   directive to point at the key file.  Keep in mind that if
#   you've both a RSA and a DSA private key you can configure
#   both in parallel (to also allow the use of DSA ciphers, etc.)
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/pki/tls/private/localhost.key

#   Server Certificate Chain:
#   Point SSLCertificateChainFile at a file containing the
#   concatenation of PEM encoded CA certificates which form the
#   certificate chain for the server certificate. Alternatively
#   the referenced file can be the same as SSLCertificateFile
#   when the CA certificates are directly appended to the server
#   certificate for convinience.
#SSLCertificateChainFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/server-chain.crt

#   Certificate Authority (CA):
#   Set the CA certificate verification path where to find CA
#   certificates for client authentication or alternatively one
#   huge file containing all of them (file must be PEM encoded)
#SSLCACertificateFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/ca-bundle.crt

#   Client Authentication (Type):
#   Client certificate verification type and depth.  Types are
#   none, optional, require and optional_no_ca.  Depth is a
#   number which specifies how deeply to verify the certificate
#   issuer chain before deciding the certificate is not valid.
#SSLVerifyClient require
#SSLVerifyDepth  10

#   Access Control:
#   With SSLRequire you can do per-directory access control based
#   on arbitrary complex boolean expressions containing server
#   variable checks and other lookup directives.  The syntax is a
#   mixture between C and Perl.  See the mod_ssl documentation
#   for more details.
#<Location />
#SSLRequire (    %{SSL_CIPHER} !~ m/^(EXP|NULL)/ \
#            and %{SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_O} eq "Snake Oil, Ltd." \
#            and %{SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_OU} in {"Staff", "CA", "Dev"} \
#            and %{TIME_WDAY} >= 1 and %{TIME_WDAY} <= 5 \
#            and %{TIME_HOUR} >= 8 and %{TIME_HOUR} <= 20       ) \
#           or %{REMOTE_ADDR} =~ m/^192\.76\.162\.[0-9]+$/

#   SSL Engine Options:
#   Set various options for the SSL engine.
#   o FakeBasicAuth:
#     Translate the client X.509 into a Basic Authorisation.  This means that
#     the standard Auth/DBMAuth methods can be used for access control.  The
#     user name is the `one line' version of the client's X.509 certificate.
#     Note that no password is obtained from the user. Every entry in the user
#     file needs this password: `xxj31ZMTZzkVA'.
#   o ExportCertData:
#     This exports two additional environment variables: SSL_CLIENT_CERT and
#     SSL_SERVER_CERT. These contain the PEM-encoded certificates of the
#     server (always existing) and the client (only existing when client
#     authentication is used). This can be used to import the certificates
#     into CGI scripts.
#   o StdEnvVars:
#     This exports the standard SSL/TLS related `SSL_*' environment variables.
#     Per default this exportation is switched off for performance reasons,
#     because the extraction step is an expensive operation and is usually
#     useless for serving static content. So one usually enables the
#     exportation for CGI and SSI requests only.
#   o StrictRequire:
#     This denies access when "SSLRequireSSL" or "SSLRequire" applied even
#     under a "Satisfy any" situation, i.e. when it applies access is denied
#     and no other module can change it.
#   o OptRenegotiate:
#     This enables optimized SSL connection renegotiation handling when SSL
#     directives are used in per-directory context.
#SSLOptions +FakeBasicAuth +ExportCertData +StrictRequire
<Files ~ "\.(cgi|shtml|phtml|php3?)$">
    SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
<Directory "/var/www/cgi-bin">
    SSLOptions +StdEnvVars

#   SSL Protocol Adjustments:
#   The safe and default but still SSL/TLS standard compliant shutdown
#   approach is that mod_ssl sends the close notify alert but doesn't wait for
#   the close notify alert from client. When you need a different shutdown
#   approach you can use one of the following variables:
#   o ssl-unclean-shutdown:
#     This forces an unclean shutdown when the connection is closed, i.e. no
#     SSL close notify alert is send or allowed to received.  This violates
#     the SSL/TLS standard but is needed for some brain-dead browsers. Use
#     this when you receive I/O errors because of the standard approach where
#     mod_ssl sends the close notify alert.
#   o ssl-accurate-shutdown:
#     This forces an accurate shutdown when the connection is closed, i.e. a
#     SSL close notify alert is send and mod_ssl waits for the close notify
#     alert of the client. This is 100% SSL/TLS standard compliant, but in
#     practice often causes hanging connections with brain-dead browsers. Use
#     this only for browsers where you know that their SSL implementation
#     works correctly.
#   Notice: Most problems of broken clients are also related to the HTTP
#   keep-alive facility, so you usually additionally want to disable
#   keep-alive for those clients, too. Use variable "nokeepalive" for this.
#   Similarly, one has to force some clients to use HTTP/1.0 to workaround
#   their broken HTTP/1.1 implementation. Use variables "downgrade-1.0" and
#   "force-response-1.0" for this.
BrowserMatch "MSIE [2-5]" \
         nokeepalive ssl-unclean-shutdown \
         downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0

#   Per-Server Logging:
#   The home of a custom SSL log file. Use this when you want a
#   compact non-error SSL logfile on a virtual host basis.
CustomLog logs/ssl_request_log \
          "%t %h %{SSL_PROTOCOL}x %{SSL_CIPHER}x \"%r\" %b"

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Try changing <VirtualHost _default_:443> to <VirtualHost *:443>


@Osiris Changed it, saved it, restarted apache. Same result it seems :frowning:

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Can you confirm the configuration files in sites-enabled are actually used? Perhaps make a syntax error on purpose in the le-ssl.conf and see if Apache complains… I’m quite out of ideas at the moment…


It is used, after I took out an “>” and restarted apache it complained:

Job for httpd.service failed because the control process exited with error code. See "systemctl status httpd.service" and "journalctl -xe" for details.
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What clues did these give?


Try this:

apachectl configtest

If that fails, try:

httpd -t

I believe at least one of these should work on your machine. The result should be that it shows you exactly where your config is broken.


@Rip @Osiris @_az

I believe we have found a clue!

apachectl configtest
AH00526: Syntax error on line 12 of /etc/httpd/sites-enabled/
SSLCertificateFile: file '/etc/letsencrypt/live/' does not exist or is empty

Following this I checked if the file exists:

test -f /etc/letsencrypt/live/ && echo "$FILE exists."

which returns nothing; so apparently it just doesnt exist.

I suppose running sudo certbot --apache should have created this file, so tried running again:

  • selected both www.bikegeartracker and
  • choose “Attempt to reinstall this existing certificate”


Keeping the existing certificate
Deploying Certificate to VirtualHost /etc/httpd/sites-available/
Deploying Certificate to VirtualHost /etc/httpd/sites-available/
Enhancement redirect was already set.
Enhancement redirect was already set.

Congratulations! You have successfully enabled and

You should test your configuration at:

Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at:
   Your key file has been saved at:

Following this I checked again if the file exists:

test -f /etc/letsencrypt/live/ && echo "$FILE exists."

which still returns nothing. The question then, I think, becomes how to create cert.pem?

If you are not running as root, you will need to use: sudo apachectl configtest. Otherwise, it will complain about the certificate files not existing.

If you are running as root and cert.pem is actually missing, then something has messed with the symlinks inside the /etc/letsencrypt directory, and they will need to be repaired.

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Journalctl -xe starts with:
httpd: Syntax error on line 354 of /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.c

So I suppose it simply fails of the syntax error when I remove a “>”

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