First class support for pip installations (or not with Snapd)

Snapd is a HUGE problem in virtual environments. It is not a light-weight and simple installation as the certbot site suggests.

For example for LXC containers you will get an error like this:

error: system does not fully support snapd: cannot mount squashfs image using "fuse.squashfuse":

As seems fuse / squashfuse digs deep into the system and doesn't play way with virtualization. Python seems like a way more flexible / transparent solution.

So please add first class support for pip installation. Otherwise there might be no other way then to migrate to something different then certbot. At least in some environments.

PS: I'm aware that you could change LXC settings (if the host will do that for you). We did that and it broke snapshot features of the virtualization. And generally VM became unstable. That might be a problem with LXC, but also shows how deep Snapd is trying to dig for something that seems relatively simple.

Instructions for installing Certbot into a Python virtual environment using pip can be found here.


But is that First Class support ?

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this may better exemple for install without snap - it's hard to do renew by cron though (certbot doesn't write renewal cron with venv in mind IIRC


Certbot is maintained by EFF and volunteers; LetsEncrypt is maintained by ISRG and volunteers.

As a LetsEncrypt community member and contributor, I sadly (and strongly) doubt the Certbot staff will entertain this. pip/virtualenv are very easy to mess up for novices, and that is a large reason why they dropped first class support for it and do not recommend using it. That being said, I urge you to create a ticket on their github tracker for this - or comment/resurface existing ones.

Several of us on this forum are experienced Python developers and happy to help on these issues here, to the best of our abilities. For those situations where I use Certbot, but don't use snapd, pip+virtualenv is my personal choice for setup.


I know where the instructions are, but it says:

Partial support

The Certbot team supports this installation method on a best effort basis. If you are on a more obscure or heavily customized system, these instructions may not work and the Certbot team may be unable to help you resolve the problem.

My main problem with the statement in the instructions is that this seems like phasing out support for pip (and removing it completely in future).

Obviously I don't mind that Snapd is available as an option. Just wouldn't want to see an info that Python is no longer supported. At least without a warning. And I do hope that the in pip instruction will not be treated as such warning of depreciation.

PS: BTW. I also contributed code to Python certbot. When you see info about new (added) domains - this is my doing :wink: (at least in part)

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That is basically their plan, which I don't agree with at all. I don't see them making installation via pip/source impossible, but their team has no desire (or bandwidth) to assist or instruct users for pip.



OK, thanks. I guess I just need to raise an issue on Github, and so I did:

Hopefully will at least get some clarification and a warning in docs/site about snapd.


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