Install instructions are missing the first chapters?


Are there any instructions on how to use this?

Any that doesn’t start with "just type blingwald -gobeldygook " or similar BS that does nothing if Im not using your computer with your setup already up and running.

What are the actual first steps?


The official documentation has instructions that work on most UNIX-based operating systems.

If you’re on Windows, you might want to look at alternative clients that have better support for that OS.

If you’re not familiar with the command line, SSL or web hosting in general, maybe a web hosting provider that includes support for Let’s Encrypt would be a better option for you. There’s a community-maintained list available here.

It would be useful to include more details about your environment (Server OS, Hoster, etc.) so that we can give you a more specific answers.


I do my developing and testing on windows, and then upload and test, and deploy on some linux-box, not sure what kind.

The start of the instructions reads:
“If letsencrypt is packaged for your OS, you can install it from there, and run it by typing letsencrypt”

Im missing the steps before that one, where I somehow find out IF letsencrypt is packaged for my OS and how i install.

Am I blind, or does the install-instructions not actually tell me anything about how to install anything?

And if this thing only works on UNIX, why not put that detail somewhere in the first sentence, or even in the headline?


Page one of the official Documentation

System Requirements
The Let’s Encrypt Client presently only runs on Unix-ish OSes that include Python 2.6 or 2.7;

The Apache plugin currently requires a Debian-based OS with augeas version 1.0; this includes Ubuntu 12.04+ and Debian 7+.

So yes - only works on Unix systems.

It is Beta - so the documents and everything aren’t prefect yet.

How about swapping things the other way round - what do you have / need ?

If you are deploying in linux-boxes, it’s best to use directly there ( primarily because the system generally needs to be on the same server as you are using it on. Also, the official client doesn’t work on Windows ). What OS do you have on your linux boxes ? and do you have root access ? or is it shared hosting ? and do you have any sort of “control panel” on them ?


That would depend on your OS and package manager, which Let’s Encrypt assumes you’re familiar with as a user of that OS. It’s generally one of apt-get install letsencrypt (for Debian-based systems) or yum install letsencrypt (for RPM-based systems like Fedora/RHEL/CentOS).

I have highlighted the relevant bit of documentation. The actual commands you’ll need follow that section.

If letsencrypt is packaged for your OS, you can install it from there, and run it by typing letsencrypt. Because not all operating systems have packages yet, we provide a temporary solution via the letsencrypt-auto wrapper script, which obtains some dependencies from your OS and puts others in a python virtual environment:

The documentation has a “System Requirements” section where this is mentioned.


Ok,Im off then.

Maybe change;
"If letsencrypt is packaged for your OS"
"If letsencrypt is packaged for your OS, and its not if you’re not using UNIX"
or maybe:
“If letsencrypt is packaged for your UNIX-OS”

that would have saved me some time.

And maybe don’t put links to the most important info as gray text on gray background.


to find out if its packaged for your os you consult your os documentation as if they package it they will tell you (lets just assume it isnt)
otherwise you download it and place the files in the location you want to use them (instal it)


also if on windows or any other system their is a long list of other clients you can use (or even write your own like these guys did) as its an open protocol

there are many windows clients there


@MatsSvensson, I think your suggestion is useful and I’m proposing an edit at

Sorry for the lack of clarity in the previous version.

Edit: this change has now propagated to the documentation page you referred to.