Failed authorization procedure (acme-challenge/ not created)


I installed certbot-auto on Debian 7.11, and it seemed to install and update everything fine as far as I could tell. I then ran:

./certbot-auto certonly --webroot -w /path/to/ -d

It took forever, and then I got the following error:

Failed authorization procedure. (http-01): urn:acme:error:unauthorized :: The client lacks sufficient authorization :: Invalid response from "<html>
<head><title>404 Not Found</title></head>
<body bgcolor="white">
<center><h1>404 Not Found</h1></center>

When I looked in my webroot, I saw a .well-known directory, but I did not see anything inside with ls -la. I tried running the same command above using sudo, which still got the same error. I also tried using the graphical installer, with the same result. The .well-known directory did not exist before I ran the script, so apparently it was able to create it but not put anything else inside? I’m confused. The .well-known directory is still empty, hence the 404 above.


certbot deletes the acme-challenge subdirectory after the challenge passes or fails.

Try creating the subdirectory manually, put a file in there and check if your browser is able to request that file successfully. A common issue is that .htaccess rules or similar are interfering with the request and preventing the file from being served. Your web server logs might have more details.


Thank you! I got sidetracked, not realizing that the files got cleaned up. You were right; I had a rule to hide all directories starting with a period. Once I added an override for .well-known/ it all worked as expected. Thanks for the help!


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