Deploying Lets Encrypt over a locally accessed server

Please fill out the fields below so we can help you better. Note: you must provide your domain name to get help. Domain names for issued certificates are all made public in Certificate Transparency logs (e.g., so withholding your domain name here does not increase secrecy, but only makes it harder for us to provide help.

My domain is:

I ran this command: ./letsencrypt-auto --apache -d (after cloning certbot from github)

It produced this output:
Type: connection
Detail: dns :: DNS problem: NXDOMAIN looking up A for

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): apache2

The operating system my web server runs on is (include version): Ubuntu 18.04

My hosting provider, if applicable, is: using local DNS bind9

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

I’m using a control panel to manage my site (no, or provide the name and version of the control panel):no

The version of my client is (e.g. output of certbot --version or certbot-auto --version if you’re using Certbot):certbot 0.31.0

You can only get publically trusted certificates (such as from Let’s Encrypt) for publically registered domains.

The domain isn’t registered at all, therefore you cannot get a Let’s Encrypt certificate for this domain.


Thanks for the reply.

You have said that it is only possible for registered domains.

So will I be able to get certificate for a domain that is registered but not hosted?

Thanks again

Hi @syedkhizarulhaq-cis

that’s possible. But then you have to use dns-01 validation, not http-01 validation.


then something about the different challenge types:



I have a registered domain on which is not hosted.

I am confused as to how will I prove the ownership of the registered domain?


That’s explained in the “DNS-01 challenge” section of the second link (“Challenge Types”) which was posted by @JuergenAuer above.


That section will explain that you’ll have to create specified DNS TXT records as requested by Let’s Encrypt in order to prove control. However, you are only required to create these temporarily (each time you request a certificate) and you don’t have to create any DNS A or CNAME records (so your site doesn’t have to have a public IP address).

Let’s Encrypt certificates only last 90 days and the service is intended to be used in automated environments. If you use GoDaddy’s own DNS servers, you might want to look at

which describes using the GoDaddy DNS update API together with the Let’s Encrypt client application. That would help you automate renewals so that you wouldn’t have to use GoDaddy’s web interface every 90 days to prove your control over the domain in order to obtain a new Let’s Encrypt certificate.

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What about the Boulder? Can it be used to get the cert for a local server?



Boulder is the software used by Let’s Encrypt to issue certificates. However, a certificate is only publically valid if it is signed by a valid intermediate or root certificate. And those intermediate/root certificates are very well secured and are NOT a part of the Boulder software package.

So you might be able to use Boulder to issue your own certificates locally, but they will not be publically valid, because you won’t have a publically valid intermediate or root certificate to sign them.

That doesn’t have to be a problem is you generate your own root certificate and have the opportunity to add that root certificate to the computers of your users.



So it will be more like a self signed cert?



In effect, yes. [Discourse text padding here]

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Offtopic:   :wink:


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