How to Install? Guide Doesn't Do Anything


So how do i install Certbot?

After selecting my server and service nothing happens. I just get a message saying

If you have administrative shell access to your webserver and you're comfortable running commands on the command line, please select your server software and the operating system it is running from the dropdown menu above.
, which I’ve already done, so this is just going round in circles. What do I do next?

I do have shell access but the interactive certbot guide doesn’t provide any indication or instructions on how to install Certbot.

Are they hidden somewhere else?

Does anybody know where these instructions are?



What selections did you make in the dropdown boxes? If you selected Web Hosting Service, I believe you get this message. Without knowing more specifics, the website is unable to guide you in a specific manner - it all depends on your OS, which you didn’t provide! Instead, it give you some general advice about support from hosting providers, as well as a link to the documentation - which includes installation instructions from the command line. (Specifically, it tells you to use that website for your OS, or click a link to get more information. Click that link - it takes you here:

Peruse the documentation and let us know if you have any further issues once you’ve had a chance to give this a read. Note that if you don’t have administrative shell access (i.e. root/sudo), you will probably be better served by, as that is a more minimalist ACME/Let’s Encrypt client and requires fewer OS privileges. This is common on a very wide range of shared hosting providers. See this list for alternative clients - you can access it from the “Getting Started” link on the Let’s Encrypt homepage:


I selected Apache and Web Hosting Service.

And that’s the message I got.

Doesn’t really leave me anywhere to go.

If I click on the documentation the first thing it tells me to go back to the page I was just on.

This is just nuts.


Andrei pointed me to use and it worked fine on my WebHost…

Read this thread, and you’ll soon be able to help yourself without any Certbot gymnastics.



You’re right, this looks like a bug/oversight in our documentation system. Can you find out what distribution of Linux is running on your web host, for instance by following the instructions at That may allow you to choose one of the more specific distribution drop downs.

We should update the instructions to make this situation clearer. Specifically, to summarize, if you choose “Apache” and “Web Hosting Service”, you get the instructions at, which say “… please select your server software and the operating system it is running from the dropdown menu above.” Perhaps instead we should give instructions to find out what operating system you are using, or provide “generic” instructions likely to work on most Unix-likes. @bmw @erica.

Defensiveness and kindness

Sorry for the trouble here! I created to track resolving this issue and provided some additional thoughts into how we could do this.

@mdg, if you’re able to determine which operating system your shared hosting service is running (possibly by using jsha’s link above) you should select that in the second drop down and follow the generated instructions. If you don’t know which OS, but you know it’s UNIX based, you should follow the instructions here. If you’re running Apache on Windows, Certbot currently doesn’t work on Windows based OSes so we recommend you choose another ACME client from the list here.

I hope that helps and again I apologize for the trouble!



looks good.and straightforward.

I’ll give it a try.


It worked flawlessly for me first time, and I’m certainly no geek :slight_smile:



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